Kunis covers gender bias in new essay

As one of the most recognizable names in Hollywood, Mila Kunis is the epitome of a movie star. But according to an essay released by the actress, one producer predicted she’d never make it Tinseltown.

After refusing to pose semi-nude for a men’s magazine cover in order to promote a film, Women in the World says Kunis shared in her essay for A Plus that her producer said she’d “never work in this town again.” While admitting that she used to be accommodating to such requests, Women in the World says she “had to deal with the reality that standing her ground or speaking out could cost her career,” something that Kunis offered all women fear when they are met with gender bias in the workplace.

Left feeling both objectified and angry, Women in the World reports Kunis said the experience of saying “no” made her realize that her prior complacency perpetuated the “boys’ club” mentality that pervades the industry. But once she freed herself from those constraints, she sought to create a workplace where women would not feel such pressure.

Forming her own production company with the help of three other women, Women in the World says the actress “began work to develop shows ‘with unique voices and perspectives.'” While the gender bias followed her to this role — as Women in the World report a producer they were working with referred to her in an email solely as “soon to be Ashton’s wife and baby momma!!!” — the actress says she is “done compromising; even more so, I’m done with being compromised.”

With women all over the world receiving similar treatment, Kunis concluded her essay vowing to use her platform to make other women feel “less alone” in their struggles with sexism.



‘Les Glorieuses’ fight for pay equity

The fight for pay equality isn’t just an issue unique to the United States — it affects women around the world. But women in France are not going to take it anymore.

According to Women in the World, French women’s rights activists encouraged women to leave work at exactly 4:34 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, all in an effort to shed light on pay equity in the workplace.

Marking the time that women stop being paid at their jobs according to the pay gap in France, Women in the World says the exact time was calculated by feminist group, Les Glorieuses. “In other words,” Women in the World reports, “women must work 38.2 more days per year than men to earn the same salary.”

A protest followed their exodus from work, with many of the photos being posted to social media with the hashtag, “#16H34,” says Women in the World.

Referring to the time women could stop working if they were paid a similar wage to men, Women in the World says the feminist group’s newsletter explained, “If women were paid as much as men, they could stop working on November 7 at 16.34” — a problem they argue “hides other inequalities. Women also do unpaid work, like household tasks.”

While the protests did disrupt the workday, it did draw support from France’s women’s rights minister Laurence Rossignol, according to Women in the World.

“When women protest, they make visible what is invisible,” Rossignol told Le Parisien, Women in the World reports. “I support them.”


Gender-equal emojis get approval

Emojis just got a little more inclusive, thanks to a recent decision by the Unicode Consortium.

According to Glamour, Google announced on Thursday, July 14 that “a new set of emoji[s] that will represent a wider range of professions for both women and men has just been approved by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee that oversees emoji creation.”

Proposed back in May, the new line consists of 11 emojis in a variety of professions that appear as both male and female, while also coming in a spectrum of skin tones, reports Glamour.

The new emojis also go a step further, offering female alternatives to the traditionally-male characters and vice versa; Glamour says that there will soon be female versions of the “male police officer, runner, cyclist, or private investigator,” while men will also be depicted get a haircut or “giving a sassy palm up reaction.”

So who’s to thank for the new gender-equal emojis? Engineers Rachel Been, Agustin Fonts, Nicole Bleuel, according to BuzzFeed — and of course, Google and the Unicode Consortium.

While Glamour reports that the release date for the new characters is still unknown, this is definitely a positive step in promoting gender equality in a small, but significant way.

FLOTUS and Oprah talk gender equality

This week’s United State of Women summit not only brought to light some of the most important issues for women, it also brought together some of the most important female figures of our time share their thoughts on these topics — namely, First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

According to the Huffington Post, Obama told the crowd gathered at the Tuesday, June 14 forum that a large part in helping women achieve gender equality comes from men’s efforts. Thus, men need to “be better” overall to facilitate the process.

“Be better fathers,” Obama offered, according to the Huffington Post. “Good lord, just being good fathers who love your daughters and are providing a solid example of what it means to be a good man in the world, showing them what it feels like to be loved. That is the greatest gift that the men in my life gave to me.”

But Obama told Winfrey that her advice to “be better” doesn’t just apply to those men who are fathers; instead, it applies to all men in whatever roles they happen to occupy.

The Huffington Post says the first lady expanded upon her advice this way:

“Men can be better husbands, which is — be a part of your family’s life. Do the dishes. Don’t babysit your children. You don’t babysit your own children. Be engaged. Don’t just think going to work and coming home makes you a man. Being a father, being engaged, all that stuff is important. Be a better employer. When you are sitting at a seat of power at a table of any kind and you look around you just see you, it’s just you and a bunch of men around a table, on a golf course, making deals, and you allow that to happen, and you’re OK with that — be better.”

Obama continued to offer her insight on some other topics throughout the summit, as well, including delivering some spot-on advice on how to handle any naysayers that may come your way. According to the Huffington Post, the first lady told Winfrey:

“People won’t remember what other people say about you, but they will remember what you do … So my strategy — and I’ve always been like this. When a teacher would come and tell me that I couldn’t do something, I would get so much satisfaction proving them wrong. I’d be like, OK, all right, oh, you don’t think I’m going to do X, Y and Z, well, I’m going to be the best X, Y, Z you can imagine.”

Summing up Obama’s strategy on ignoring any haters — “The best revenge is success… and good work. You don’t have to say anything to the haters. You don’t have to acknowledge them at all. You just wake up every morning and be the best you you can be. And that tends to shut them up.”


To watch Obama and Winfrey’s complete discussion, click here.