I have a lot to say about feminism, but this post will be addressing more of what actress Jennifer Lawrence posted about equal pay.
Here are my thoughts on that.
First of all, failing as a negotiator is not the same as failing as a woman or being paid less because of your gender. Failing in business is something that happens to women AND men. In that same little paragraph, she mentioned that she didn’t want to keep fighting over millions that she didn’t need. Why is she apologizing for being content? She showed maturity by not pushing for something she felt unnecessary, by recognizing enough is enough. I was impressed by her for that (sidenote: I’m really not a huge fan of her for so many different reasons which will probably come out throughout the rest of this post.). Then I read the rest of her post.
Jennifer Lawrence is on the right side of my facebook page or on twitter, pinterest, any social media really, for being cutesy and endearingly-clumsy, and well, quite frankly, the type of girl who won’t let the “dumb blonde” stereotype die. That is now coming back to bite her. The girl who has literally made millions is complaining because she thinks she is getting paid less than men because of her “adorable” personality.
I laughed when the first man she mentioned making more than her was Jeremy Renner. Jeremy Renner is what, twice her age? Obviously he has more real world experience than her. He has been on different sides of the industry, an actor and stage-hand (I’m really not sure what people behind the camera are called in Hollywood.). He can get higher pay for a few of the same reasons my mum, my dad, and myself can get higher pay at our jobs. He’s worth more because of his experience and can point that out to those paying him. He’s confident in his experience and can let those hiring know about his worth.
She herself said it: she’s a bad negotiator. She let her desire for people to like her overrule any business sense she has. This is not an example of guys getting paid more than girls. This is an example of a girl, who has chosen to just roll over and accept whatever is offered to her finally deciding to assert herself and actually being quite clever in now making it nearly impossible for those paying her to refuse a lesser, maybe more appropriate amount. Now, if you have her starring alongside an actor worth more such as Jeremy Renner, she’s going to be demanding the same amount and crying “it’s because I’m a woman” when they try to pay her according to her worth based on experience and talent, the same as they did with Renner.
See, I’m in an actual male-dominated and biased profession. I am someone to whom the average woman in the workforce can relate (Miss Lawrence also said that she realizes people can’t actually relate to her.). There are girls with whom I’ve worked who truly give those as myself a harder time being recognized. I have actually gone to my supervisors and told them I will not work with those girls again who cannot do our job which could lead to themselves, me, or the both of us suffering a severe injury. They’re not worth as much as me in our job. Very few – male or female – want to work with them. However, men and women don’t have a problem and request to work with me. This is not me being vain. This is me with solid work ethic and professionalism (thanks to my parents) being recognized for such qualities.
I don’t know Jennifer Lawrence personally. Interviews of co-workers lead me to believe she’s a decent person. However, I have also seen that she does play the dumb-blonde card excessively. I would not take her seriously and think her deserving of a level of pay as someone who stays out of the tabloids. Do you think if the difference of pay was between her and Natalie Portman that she would be protesting the difference between her and her co-workers? Or if roles were reversed, would she be advocating someone half her age making the same amount as her?