Jennifer Lawrence Is Over Being ‘Likable’ and ‘Adorable,’ Slams Gender Wage Gap and Double Standards in Open Letter
In an essay written for Lena Dunham’s “Lenny Letter” newsletter, Jennifer Lawrence shared her thoughts and reactions on finding out she made drastically less than her male co-stars on American Hustle. She highlights the ridiculous double standard that women face in all industries when it comes to negotiating salary and voicing their opinions to male coworkers.
When it comes to the unwillingness to negotiate her salary for the Oscar-nominated film, she wrote:
I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled.” At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being “difficult” or “spoiled.”
Here, she touches on a problem endemic amongst women in, well, any industry. Many of us are conditioned to try to get people to like us, especially at work, so when it comes to matters of money and speaking up, there’s this worry about seeming “difficult” or “spoiled.” In Hollywood, those words can taint an actress’ entire career–just look at how quickly tabloid mags and the media hop on women who they deem “out of line.”
Lawrence also shared a story about what it was like to share her opinion with a male coworker (well, someone who works for her to be exact):
A few weeks ago at work, I spoke my mind and gave my opinion in a clear and no-bullshit way; no aggression, just blunt. The man I was working with (actually, he was working for me) said, “Whoa! We’re all on the same team here!” As if I was yelling at him.
I was so shocked because nothing that I said was personal, offensive, or, to be honest, wrong. All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.
Think about it: has this ever happened to you? Why do women get shit for sharing their opinions when men are commended and raised up for speaking in a similar manner? There’s a very real double standard that exists in all industries around women defending their opinions and salaries. Lawrence’s example just happens to be a high-profile one with a lot of zeroes attached.
But make no mistake: what’s happening to her happens to a lot of us every day. Maybe it’s high time we took her stance on it:
I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion and still be likable! Fuck that.
Fuck that, indeed.
(via Entertainment Weekly)
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