Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Jennifer Lawrence's Essay on Lenny

This morning I woke up and checked my email first thing like I always do. In my email was another interesting Lenny newsletter, which I have told you about previously and you can read about here. For those of you not familiar with Lenny, it is an email newsletter started by actress Lena Dunham and Girls writer Jenni Konner. Anyways, in it was an essay written by Jennifer Lawrence. I haven't been a big fan of her but after reading her essay, I am now because I think writing it took bravery. 

She wrote her essay on the topic of being a woman in the workplace. I see women and men treated differently on a daily basis every day, and it is a topic that I will write about in a post someday. You can read her essay below- I censored the curse words and profanity since I don't like that kind of stuff in my blog ;)

(Illustration Credit: Jennifer Williams)

Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?
By Jennifer Lawrence

When Lena first brought up the idea of Lenny to me, I was excited. Excited to speak to Lena, who I think is a genius, and excited to start thinking about what to complain about (that’s not what she pitched me, it’s just what I’m gonna do). When it comes to the subject of feminism, I’ve remained ever-so-slightly quiet. I don’t like joining conversations that feel like they’re “trending.” I’m even the a****** who didn’t do anything about the ice-bucket challenge — which was saving lives — because it started to feel more like a “trend” than a cause. I should have written a check, but I ******* forgot, okay? I’m not perfect. But with a lot of talk comes change, so I want to be honest and open and, fingers crossed, not piss anyone off.

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. When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky [men], I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me).

But if I’m honest with myself, 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.” This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both. But this is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way? We’ve only been able to vote for what, 90 years? I’m seriously asking — my phone is on the counter and I’m on the couch, so a calculator is obviously out of the question. Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t “offend” or “scare” men?

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.

I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion and still be likable! F*** that. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share. Again, this might have NOTHING to do with [being a woman], but I wasn’t completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a “spoiled brat.” For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.

Jennifer Lawrence is an Academy Award–winning actress.

Did anyone notice the little dig the producers who called Angelina Jolie a spoiled brat above? That Sony hack was a doozie, wasn't it? Anyways, I can relate to her essay, and she made several interesting points. So many times when women in the workplace state their opinion and don't budge, or show visible frustration, they are judged as being "bitchy". When a man does the same thing, nobody bats an eye.. because "he's a man". But don't get me wrong, I believe that women have it easier in the workplace in other ways too. I have witnessed that people are much more comfortable at yelling at a man in the workplace than a woman. So if you're a man, you are more likely to have someone raise their voice at you.. or be asked to carry heavy objects, ... etc. I will go much more into this topic on another day but I just wanted to share this essay with you all ASAP!

If any of you want to sign up for the Lenny Newsletter, you can do so here! What do you guys think of Jennifer Lawrence's essay? Let me know below! 

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