An open letter to a man’s world

Jennifer Lawrence, lauded for her humorous performances and off-the-cuff clumsy-induced humor, entered the frightening world that is celebrity feminism.

We’ve all been mesmerized by Emma Watson’s HeForShe campaign, Taylor Swift’s tribe of BFFs and Gaga Feminism. The last thing we need is another stereotypical message about gender 
equality.

Recently Lawrence wrote a column on Lena Dunham’s new site,lennyletter.com, about the problems of being a girl. This column, still with sparks of her humor, really does get to the point.

Thankfully, Lawrence spun the celebrity feminism stereotype on its head. “When it comes to the subject of feminism, I’ve remained ever-so-slightly quiet. I don’t like joining conversations that feel like they’re 
‘trending,’” she writes.

The Sony hack in 2014 revealed Lawrence made a far lower payroll than her male cohorts, which is ostensibly absurd.

In addition to this, she pointed out, men simply state their opinions in a blunt manner. Women, on the other hand, are expected to beat around the bush.

Although Lawrence is a multi-million dollar actress, we should all take something away from this.

At IU, start to take notice and hear the difference when girls speak versus their male counterparts.

A girl might say, “Hi, I’m so sorry, but I was wondering if I could possibly borrow a writing utensil? I was so stupid and 
forgot to bring one today.”

While a guy might simply say, “Hey, you got an 
extra pen?”

The contrast is striking. Women use roundabout filler words as if it makes them seem less off-putting than just straight up asking the question.

This isn’t an issue of intelligence; it’s the little voice inside every woman’s brain saying, “Don’t piss anyone off.” I have it, everyone has it. It’s in our DNA to be polite, shy, adorable women who say “No offense,” “I’m sorry” and “It’s not your fault,” even when it is most definitely that person’s fault.

Men don’t say sorry if they’re the ones being wronged. Women do.

The Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri puts it comically when she takes common historical demands from men, and translates them into what they would sound like if they were hypothetically spoken by a woman in a meeting.

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

“Woman in a meeting: ‘I’m sorry, Mikhail, if I could? Didn’t mean to cut you off there. Can we agree that this wall maybe isn’t quite doing what it should be doing?’”

Women are more than girls who grew up neatly brushing the hair of Barbie dolls and making miniature creations in Easy-Bake Ovens. It’s time for a rebranding of our dialogue and the way men ingest it.

Next time I speak my mind, I won’t be the one 
saying B.S.

This article was originally published as a column for the Indiana Daily Student on 15 October 2015.

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