When it comes to Hollywood's sexist pay gap, Jennifer Lawrence is done playing nice for the sake of being liked.
In a new essay published on Oct. 13, 2015, Lawrence — in the most "JLaw" way possible — used one-liners and self-deprecation to make her point loud and clear: It's ridiculous her male co-stars make more money than she does.
In the essay "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?" published in a newsletter by Lenny — a new project by Lena Dunham and HBO "Girls" producer Jenni Konner — Lawrence got blunt on the subject, using personal experience as proof society needs to change.
Lawrence admitted she's cared more about what people thought about her than being treated fairly.
Lawrence first acknowledged that her income inequality problems may not seem that relatable to most working women (what with her being a movie-making multimillionaire and all). But inequality is inequality no matter where it happens, and her voice on this issue is an important one.
Her whole essay is thoughtful and hilarious (I recommend subscribing to Lenny to read it in its entirety). But Lawrence truly hit the nail on the head when she brought up the fact that her male co-stars made more money than she did in "American Hustle" — a story that surfaced last year in the wake of the Sony email hack and proceeded to make headlines everywhere:
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. 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."
Many women, like Lawrence, face that same tricky predicament of being both assertive and well-liked.
Our world tends to like women when they're smiling, friendly, and not the least bit controversial. Women who speak their mind? Go against the grain? They're viewed and treated differently than men who do the same.
Don't take my word for it, though — take Marianne Cooper's. She was the lead researcher for Sheryl Sandberg's best-selling book, "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead," and is a sociologist at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University.
"What the data clearly shows is that success and likability do not go together for women," Cooper wrote in the Harvard Business Review in 2013, pointing to several studies on the subject. "This conclusion is all too familiar to the many women on the receiving end of these penalties. The ones who are applauded for delivering results at work, but then reprimanded for being 'too aggressive,' 'out for herself,' 'difficult,' and 'abrasive.'"
Cooper pointed to Jill Abramson — who was fired as The New York Times' executive editor last year after achieving success in the role — as a prime example of how the double standard can be harmful to women in powerful positions.
Considering the status quo, it's no wonder successful women like Lawrence may be hesitant to speak up.
But Lawrence has had enough. So don't be surprised if she starts ruffling more feathers soon. (I mean, hey — she's already making more money than Chris Pratt in their new movie together, so maybe Lawrence's newfound confidence already kicked in a few months ago?)
PREACH, JLaw. We got your back.