Back in January, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler charmed the world once again with their witty double act when they presented the Golden Globes. Thinking ahead as to how she could best use her publicity, Amy tweeted “The #RedCarpet is open and we want the media to #AskHerMore! Let's go beyond 'who are you wearing?' and ask better questions! #GoldenGlobes.”
What Amy was pointing out was that although these award ceremonies are about celebrating cinematic achievement, when it comes to female actresses the media normally only wants to focus on their appearance. “Who are you wearing tonight?” or “could you do a walk down our ‘Mani Cam’ to show us your nails?” are the sort of monotonous questions that celebrities and audiences alike have to endure. It was unsurprising then that when Amy tweeted the above, the hashtag #AskHerMore took twitter by storm. People from all over the world used the hashtag to show their support for the movement to appreciate female actresses for their minds as well as their appearance.
Although this change in approach towards the upper echelons of Hollywood’s movie stars will not bring about gender equality overnight, it does hint at a prevailing attitude. Not everyone knows what the ins and outs of gender equality or even feminism are, but I think the fact that this hashtag gained so much support shows that people want to know more, and are willing to support it.
This positive attitude towards gender equality within the global online community of twitter helped to highlight International Women’s Day at the start of last month. This was a day where the world’s eye, and particularly its social media, was focused on women and the gender equality they are working for. It is interesting to reflect how excited people were to show their overwhelming support for women. In particular, twitter lit up with questions for Emma Watson’s live Q&A session on International Women’s Day (if you missed it, head to @HerCulture and scroll back – we covered the whole thing!) with questions for Emma about her own opinions, but also with questions regarding how they could support gender equality as an individual.
Even though, at times, “tweeting” questions appears futile to some, I think that small individual acts like this really help to build up a bigger network of support. You also never know when something you tweet about, for example #AskHerMore or #GenderEquality, could inspire someone who follows you to mention it in a conversation to their friend over dinner, or to their mum over the phone. Starting up real life conversations and actual face-to-face debates is what social media should be all about.
It is wonderful to see positive attitudes towards gender equality being championed by celebrities, and big gestures like the #AskHerMore campaign are definitely a move in the right direction. However, it is important to remember that while gender equality can be purported by Hollywood’s stars, actual change is achieved through small individual contributions and attitudes. So maybe, rather than asking Julia Roberts or Jennifer Lawrence “more” on the red carpet, we should #AskHerMore in everyday life.
Marina is currently in her third year at the University of Exeter in the UK. She is studying English and will graduate this summer. She is a member of Her Campus Exeter, an online magazine where she write articles as well as help to run the magazine as Vice President. Marina is also an active member of the university’s Badminton club, and was this year elected to be their publicity secretary. She enjoy managing the club’s social media outlets and publicising their events, as well as the diversity of her university, and the different cultures that she is surrounded by constantly intrigue her.