Jennifer Lawrence is taking a firm stance against gender pay inequality. In a recently published online essay, she spoke out about why — as last year’s Sony Pictures hack revealed — she has earned a lower paycheck than several of her male co-stars in the past. Check out seven of the most powerful quotes from the piece.
As she explains in the essay, Lawrence usually tries not to speak on trending topics, but felt she could no longer stay silent about her experiences as a working woman. As the highest-paid actress in the world this year, she acknowledges that her paycheck problems aren’t exactly relatable to most people. But the feeling of not wanting to speak up out of fear of appearing greedy or entitled is one that many woman have faced both in and outside of Hollywood — and as Lawrence points out, it’s time for that to change. Here are some great points she made in the insightful essay.
1. On her reaction to the Sony hack
“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”
2. On being afraid to use her voice
“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.'”
3. On why some women hesitate to speak up
“This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both. But… based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way?”
4. On a male’s reaction to her honest opinion (one every woman has experienced)
“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.”
5. On the difference between her and her American Hustle male co-stars
“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.”
6. On sexist name-calling
“Again, this [failure to negotiate due to fear of public perception] might have nothing to do with my vagina, 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.”
7. On the need for change
“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.”