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by Derek Loosvelt | October 14, 2015


Although there were many haters (in the comments section) of filmmaker and author Miranda July's New York Times piece on music icon Rihanna, I found it to be one of the better celebrity interviews I've come across in a long time. And what struck me most about the interview, along with the satirical approach July seemed to take when executing the all too often bland and formulaic celebrity Q&A, was the fact that Rihanna is likely working harder than all of us. And she sure doesn't sound like she ever complains about work-life balance.

And this is how you go from being a child with a good voice to selling 54 million albums in just 10 years. Don’t believe the pictures — in between each poolside party photo is an untaken one in which she’s simply working. Almost every night, when you’re asleep, Rihanna is in the studio. She was headed there after our meeting and Jennifer said she’d be there until morning. At that very moment the sound engineer was waiting for her, just as I had been waiting earlier. Rihanna doesn’t have time for extracurriculars right now, and this includes dating.
‘‘Guys need attention,’’ she explained. ‘‘They need that nourishment, that little stroke of the ego that gets them by every now and then. I’ll give it to my family, I’ll give it to my work — but I will not give it to a man right now.’’

Another woman who's apparently been working a significant amount of overtime as of late is Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. By all accounts, including the Wall Street Journal's (excerpted below), Hillary knocked it out of the park on Tuesday night in Vega$ during the first Democratic presidential debate. In fact, she performed so well, and with such force, that many pundits say her performance squashed any possibility of Amtrak Joe Biden parachuting into the race, Flying Elvis style, at the last minute.

Hillary Clinton dominated the first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday—showcasing her sharp rhetorical skills and broad policy expertise over her four less-experienced rivals … Mrs. Clinton’s strong performance could undercut an incentive for Vice President Joe Biden to jump in the race, as he has been privately debating for months. His supporters have said that one possible rationale for him to run would be to campaign as Mr. Obama’s logical successor, the most unalloyed advocate for a continuation of the Obama legacy.
However, Mrs. Clinton—who has distanced herself from Mr. Obama on a range of issues ... repeatedly embraced Mr. Obama and his policies during the debate.
“If Joe Biden were looking to the (debate) for a reason to jump it, he’ll have to search elsewhere,” said Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia.

Perhaps the only negative item that critics of Clinton could say in response to her strong performance is that the sole reason she killed it Tuesday night is due to her formidable debating skills, as though knowing your domestic and foreign issues well and speaking about them intelligently and clearly, while doing so with the force of a seasoned leader, has nothing to do with the ability to lead.

“Hillary Clinton may be the strongest debater on the stage—she was in 2008, too,” said Michael Short, spokesman for the Republican National Committee. “But it was Bernie Sanders that won the hearts and interest of Democrat voters.”

Speaking of folks in the business of winning hearts, the Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence penned an essay ("Why Do These Dudes Make More Than Me?"), which was published this week in the new venture by Lena Dunham of "Girls" fame called Lenny Letter, a newsletter that focuses on producing essays on topics in "feminism, style, health, politics, and friendship." But probably mostly in feminism.

In the latest Lenny Letter, Lawrence tackled gender wage equality, speaking about how men in her line of business (show business) get paid more than women, or at least more than she does. Specifically, Lawrence was referring to the facts that were leaked in the recent Sony hack: that, for her onscreen work, she was paid 7 percent of the profits of "American Hustle" while her male co-stars and the film's director (David O. Russell) were paid 9 percent. Which is 28 percent less. Which is quite a big difference.

While Lawrence admits that she understands she doesn't have that much to complain about thanks to a couple of Hollywood franchises she's a part of (which would probably allow her never to have to dig for another emotion in her life), she is still pretty ticked off, and rightly so, at the unfairness of receiving much lower wages than her male counterparts.

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. 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. Again, this 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.

Agreed. And which reminds me: We are now just one week away from the second annual Women in Tech Ask For a Raise Day. And so, women in tech (and elsewhere), if you feel you are underpaid vs. your male coworkers, now is the time to start preparing for the October 22nd meeting with your boss in which you are going to ask (demand) to be paid a fair wage.

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Read More:
October 22 to Be First Annual 'Women in Tech Ask For a Raise Day'
Should Women Ask For Pay Raises Differently From Men?
History of the Male-Female Salary Gap: A 95-Year-Old Problem