Why Jennifer Lawrence's Pay Gap Essay Isn't A Feminist Triumph

Don't believe the hype.

Don't believe the hype.

This is patriarchy (and racism) at its finest.

Oh, J.Law! How I love you and your self-deprecating manner. I love your Dorito-dusted fingers damaging your American Hustle costume. I love your filthy fucking mouth. I love your multiple klutzy trips at the Academy Awards. And I love your stance on mental illness and body image. And therefore it pains me to say that I do not love your recent op-ed penned for Lenny, a newsletter by Lena Dunham, about pay equity in Hollywood.

I know you were trying to do good by writing this piece — truly, I recognize the effort. It really is an outrage that women in Hollywood aren’t paid equal to their male counterparts. Pay equity is a serious issue for women across the world. And I commend you for talking about how fucking ridiculous it is.

But I don’t necessarily think your piece is the feminist triumph that the Internet is touting it to be. And maybe you didn’t even mean for it to be a feminist rallying cry for women in Hollywood, but that’s how people are taking it.

I found it a bit troubling that you explained that you were silent on the topic of feminism because you felt like it was “trending.” But I can give that a pass. I mean, I get that you didn’t want to answer the dumb question of “are you a feminist?” that all young, female celebrities are inevitably asked. Because you’re right, it’s a dumb fucking question to have to answer.

My main problem is that your opinion on pay equity is wishy-washy at best. Although you wonder why you aren’t getting paid the same as your male counterparts, you still go out of your way (multiple times) to say that the problem may not necessarily be because of your gender. You say, it might be a “young-person thing” or a “personality thing” and you even say outright that “it might have nothing to do with my vagina.”

The reality is that the wage gap between men and women, in Hollywood and in the rest of the workforce, is undoubtedly because you and I both have vaginas. And let’s not forget about how race plays into the pay equity debate. The 78-cents-to-the-dollar statistic is only for white women when compared with white men. Black women earn 64 cents, and Hispanic women only 54 cents, to the dollar of white men.

This isn’t some random coincidence. This is patriarchy (and racism) at its finest.

You say that you’re “over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way” to state your opinion while still being likable, when that’s exactly what you’re doing here. Your piece is only thinly veiled in a no-nonsense, fuck-the-patriarchy attitude. In reality, you’re still apologizing for thinking that pay equity is a gender problem.

I’m sorry girl, I just can’t get behind this.

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