Open Letter to Jennifer Lawrence
In Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?, Jennifer Lawrence basically read every 20-something girl's mind and collected their thoughts in one article...including yours truly.
Addressing the Sony hack and realizing she was paid far less than her male co-stars, Lawrence wrote: "I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early." Placing her need to be well-liked over her need for a large paycheck, her decision to "close the deal without a real fight" was her undoing. She did not want to be perceived as “difficult” or “spoiled.” That is, until she realized that every man she worked with obviously put little thought into that notion.
I'm in the process of figuring out my first full-time gig. I've been extremely nervous to have the "money-talk" with my boss. Dreading the conversation for months, but knew I had to get answers before I ran out of money (thank you student loans). To be honest, I don't like to rock the boat. I am 23, and would never want a superior to think I feel "entitled." That word has been used so many times to describe my generation, and I just don't want to be associated with it. I know I work hard, but sometimes feel undeserving of compliments and praise. Why is that? Lawrence answers the question with grace:
"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? 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 woman (AKA me) might spend a little extra time trying to figure out the best way to phrase an opinion to a coworker. A man might not give a damn and simply speak his mind. Why is it that women constantly account for how something is said, and not just the words that come out of our mouths?
"I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion and still be likable! 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."
If Jennifer Lawrence ever comes across this blog one day, I would want her to know she's right. I'm worried about getting my fair share. I'm also worried about being the "team player," and not the "spoiled brat" at the office. I can't picture someone saying that about a man either.