In a brief, sharply worded piece for Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s newsletter, Lenny, Jennifer Lawrence inveighs against the gender wage gap, the challenges faced by working women, and her own shortcomings: “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.”
Lawrence writes that, after last year’s Sony hack revealed that she and Amy Adams received fewer points on “American Hustle” than male co-stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, and Jeremy Renner, the person she blamed was herself. “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
Following in the footsteps of veteran performers like Meryl Streep and Geena Davis and the female filmmakers who pressured the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate gender discrimination in Hollywood, Lawrence has become increasingly outspoken on the subject of gender disparities in the industry, and the Lenny essay is, primarily, a discussion of finding her voice. She describes the “lingering habit”—a product of social conditioning, she ventures—of women conveying their opinions in a male-dominated workplace so as not to “offend” or “scare” anyone, when it’s speaking up and speaking out that will actually effect change.
The essay finds her resolved to challenge these long-standing dynamics and give up the ghost of trying to seem “adorable” and “likable” instead of demanding what she deserves: “Fuck that.”