AS A newly turned 30-year-old woman, I’m used to the stock-standard questions.
When do you want to have a baby? Do you think your boyfriend will propose soon? When are you going to settle down and have kids?
I don’t know why, but these questions are always directed at me. Never my partner. My friends ask me, colleagues ask me, even my neighbour asks me.
It’s strange how these questions start to crop up as you reach your late twenties … like your future is spelled out for you and people are just waiting to hear the timeline. When, when, when.
Meanwhile, my partner gets off scot-free. No questions, no responsibilities. Living the dream.
All good guys — no pressure. I’m fine. FINE.
I know I’m not the only one … it this isn’t anything new.
In 2014, Jennifer Garner spoke at the Elle ‘Women in Hollywood’ celebrations at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, where she gave a speech about gender equality in the industry.
Garner — who was then married to fellow actor Ben Affleck — used an anecdote about a string of media interviews the pair did together, and how much their questions differed from one another.
“I told him every single person who interviewed me — and I mean every single one … asked me: ‘How do you balance work and family?’” Garner said in the speech.
So what about the questions Ben had to answer? “[Ben] said “As for work-life balance, he said that no one asked him about it that day. As a matter-of-fact, no one had ever asked him about it. Not once.”
The logic and sense behind it confused Garner, who joked: “And we do share the same family. Isn’t it kind of time to change that conversation? For the record, he’s not on diaper duty tonight. He’s working.”
Scarlett Johansson is known for her talent and beauty, there’s no hiding she often finds it frustrating that her appearance overshadows everything else.
In 2012, the Avengers actress shut down an interviewer when he asked co-star, Robert Downey Jr., about his craft as an actor, whereas she was quizzed about her diet.
“How did you approach this role, bearing in mind that kind of maturity as a human being when it comes to the Tony Stark character, and did you learn anything throughout the three movies that you made?” the reporter asked.
Then he asked Johansson:
“Scarlett, to get into shape for Black Widow did you have anything special to do in terms of the diet, like did you have to eat any specific food, or that sort of thing?”
Her response? Golden.
“How come you [Downey Jr] get the really interesting existential question, and I get the like, ‘rabbit food’ question?”
I think we’ve all had our fill, right?
I wanted to see how men would cope with the constant interrogation. How uncomfortable they would feel if they were having to face these private and often intimate questions every day.
Why aren’t men asked the questions females are asked all the time? Do they feel pressure to propose, or settle down?
Do blokes actually want to be asked these questions and will they like talking about it? Have we forgotten that they’re also involved in many of the pressures we face in relationships and life in general?
Do they wish that just for once, they were asked about how they balance their load? (No pun intended).
That word “balance”. Doesn’t it just bring you to tears. If I have to justify how I’m balancing my career with my relationship and impending pressure to be a mum one more time I’m going to become a nun.
Maybe they’ll surprise us and maybe, just maybe, they’ve been wanting to weigh in on these conversations for a while.
A new weekly podcast Balls Deep gives them the chance to do just that.
Co-hosted with news.com.au journalist Vanessa Brown, Balls Deep talks to Australian men in media, sport and everyday life about the topics women are constantly quizzed on.