In the past few months a lot of major actresses have been speaking out about gender inequality in the industry. (And if you still think there isn't a sexism problem in Hollywood, take a quick peep at the stats.) The latest to pipe in is Jennifer Lawrence, who learned (via the Sony email hack at the end of last year) that she was underpaid compared to her male American Hustle costars. Today she penned an essay for Lena Dunham's newsletter Lenny, titled "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?"
J. Law starts off the essay by acknowledging her privilege—"It’s hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman because I can safely say my problems aren’t exactly relatable"—before diving into the Hollywood wage gap issue. Regarding her pay, she says: "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.'" She questions if women are socially conditioned not to be difficult, writing, "Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn't 'offend' or 'scare' men?"
She recalls actually expressing herself to a man in a "no-bullshit" way recently, but she says the man immediately took her tone as aggressive. "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."
"Fuck that," she concludes, saying she doesn't want to try to be "adorable" about stating her opinion anymore. When a big star like J-Law writes about such issues (she is arguably the biggest, most popular actress right now) hopefully more people will listen.
Read the full essay here.