Press junkets and interviews are not normally a place where feminist discourse thrives. The actors are there to sell their movies; the reporters are there to try to squeeze out an interesting sound bite from a group of actors who’ve already talked to a hundred other outlets. It’s a weird fish tank where moments of natural interaction are hard to come by.
Which is why it’s all the more impressive that Emma Stone managed to slip in a moment of honesty during an interview with Yahoo Kids. And, can we say, double the points that the moment was a brief but powerful refutation of a sexist comment that her co-star and real life boyfriend Andrew Garfield made.
Here’s what happened: Garfield was answering a little boy’s question about how Spider-Man got his costume.
“He made it,” Garfield said. “He made it with his bare hands. He sewed it. He took some sewing classes and some needlepoint classes. It’s kind of a feminine thing to do. He made a very masculine costume out of a very feminine—“
And that’s where Stone, standing up for both women and for all the men out there who know their way around sewing a button, cut him off.
“It’s feminine how?” she asked.
“It’s amazing how you took that as an insult,” Garfield said.
“No, I’m not taking that as an insult; I’m asking how it’s feminine,” she continued.
Garfield then went on to explain how he meant the gendered comment as a compliment. “Like my mother, she’s an amazing craftsman. She in fact made my first Spider-Man costume when I was three, so I use it as a compliment,” Garfield said.
Maybe so. But you’ve got to hand it to Stone for sparking a conversation about gender stereotyping at a moment when legions of young super-hero fans are listening. Forget Spider-Man. Emma Stone, you’re our hero.