Other Appropriate Reactions to Totally Sexist Questions and Comments

People asking sexist questions? We've got some advice.

Women of all shapes and backgrounds have the joy of facing sexist questions and comments. Most recently, two well-known women (Liz Kendall, a British politician, and Selena Gomez, a pop star) faced sexist comments and questions in two separate interviews. While Gomez answered her question nicely, Kendall had an angrier response. Both responses are totally valid and that got us thinking how we’d handle such sexist questions and comments. Here are a few of the responses we’ve come up with.

1. The Turnaround

If someone asks you if you’re scared that you’re going to look old after turning 30, ask them if they, too, are afraid of looking old when their next birthday comes around. If done in an not-sarcastic tone (good luck with that), you may be able to easily show that person just how rude their question is.

2. The Walkaway

Does someone think it’s cool to ask you to rate your own hotness? You don’t have time for sexist questions like that! In this situation, you don’t even owe them a response or your time. (Although, as we said earlier, Gomez kindly did — we have no idea how she did that.)

3. The Tell-Off

You don’t have to scream, shout, and yell to make someone know you aren’t very happy with their line of questioning about when you’re going to settle down. All you have to do is respond with a kind takedown of why what they are asking is totally inappropriate and uncalled for. Or if you’re feeling like Kendall, utter an always appropriate “fuck off.”

4. The Solid No

Did someone ask you why you decided to cut your hair? And sorrowfully adds that it was just so pretty and you looked so hot? (Yes, someone actually said something similar to this to Kate Mara…) Just say, “I’m not going to answer that.”

5. The Gesture

Hear something like, “nice tits,” slung your way? You can react with a simple hand to the mouth, a hand gestured stop sign, or a laugh. If you’re extra cheeky (like me), you could also give them the single finger salute because nothing says “hell no” to sexist questions like a middle finger.

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Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.