In a time when everything is posted on everyone’s social media accounts, there is little room for privacy. But it crosses the line when people ask you about things that are none of their business.
Here are the six questions you must stop asking women this very instant.
1. Which designer are you wearing?
This question is common when reporters interview celebrities, especially women, at award ceremonies. An alternative for non-celebrities is “is that a legitimate (insert high-end brand here)?”
Why does it matter how expensive or high class a brand is? A woman should be able to wear whatever she wants without being judged for it.
In the case of celebrities, does it make them better performers if they wear extravagant brands? It is just demeaning. Why not ask them about their work instead of what they’re wearing?
And so what if it’s just an imitation Prada? It’s not practical to spend half your paycheck on “top brands”.
2. Who wore it better?
Not only are women judged based on what brand they wear; they are also constantly compared to each other, especially when wearing the same or similar clothes. Coupled with that is this myth that women hate other women.
While theories behind this claim remain unproven, Alana Piper rightly points out that these “mean girls” images and “girl-on-girl” crimes are consistently used by today’s media as entertainment.
Women are living in a time when they are finally speaking up for themselves and standing up for each other. These kinds of questions only encourage the whole woman versus woman thing.
Besides, women’s bodies are unique and different, and they do not have to live by the standards of gossips or magazine writers who have nothing else to write about.
3. What size are you?
Women are used to seeing the media body-shaming celebrities. And who hasn’t met that bully in school who makes fun of the chubby kid? Weirdly enough, body size has become a basis for judging other people in society today.
These days, women tend to be insecure about their body size.
Here are some facts:
- The number of women with eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia in Asia continue to rise by the day, says a report in the Huffington Post.
- According to the Daily Mail UK, many teenage girls are pressured to lose weight to achieve a size zero, the size Hollywood paparazzi and many fashion lines glorify.
- According to the same news portal, one in every five women feels pressured to lose weight after giving birth.
People asking questions about size do not help ease the insecurity of women at all. Why should it be anyone’s concern what a woman’s size is unless they are planning to get her a gift?
4. When are you planning to have kids?
Some people are tactless when it comes to issues like this. It is also somehow embedded in modern thinking that having kids is necessary for a complete and fulfilling life.
That is probably why many people find it normal to ask something as personal as this.
First of all, unless you are someone close to the woman you are asking, this is none of your business.
Second, some women are having problems with fertility, and to ask them like this is like rubbing salt in their wounds.
Third, there are women who plan on not having kids at all. If that is the case, it is not your business to tell any woman that they should have children in the future; motherhood is a choice!
5. When are you getting married?
This includes asking a woman if she can set them up with someone or when the last time was that they went out on a date. Some do ask this out of concern, especially if they’re family.
Perhaps it’s because of the outdated and false thinking decades ago that women always need to be provided for.
While women appreciate the concern, issues on personal relationships like this should be no one else’s business unless you are asked. Moreover, a significant other is NOT a requirement for women to be happy and fulfilled.
And yes, some women do not have plans on getting married, and that is perfectly fine. Not everyone needs to want it just because society thinks it’s “normal”.
6. Why don’t you pursue culinary arts or fashion design instead of engineering?
Some people are stuck in a time warp, thinking that women should stay in the kitchen and make their men sandwiches.
Other than the fact that this is sexist, the idea that women do not have the skills for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is completely false.
In fact, studies on high school students in the US show that girls are generally outperforming boys not only in English but also in science and maths.
So let’s leave this outdated idea in the past where it belongs.
This article first appeared in The New Savvy.
The New Savvy is Asia’s leading financial, investments and career platform for women. Our bold vision is to empower 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. We deliver high-quality content through conferences, e-learning platforms, personal finance apps and e-commerce stores.