The internet’s all up in a tizzy about the possibility of a Jennifer Lawrence backlash. Since I wrote my fear mongering piece yesterday two more have popped up. One on Jezebel and one on Salon. I would by lying if I didn’t say that we’re all feeding off each other here. One person says backlash and ten bloggers say WHERE? LET ME AT IT! I HAVE AN OPINION TOO! But alas, that’s what happening. And dare I say it, we may cause the backlash we all fear so much all by ourselves.
But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Mostly because the conversation about Jennifer Lawrence backlash evolved into another one yesterday in the comments. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love our smart and insightful commenters?!) A few people brought up the fact that men never face this kind of backlash. Sure we fall in and out of love with them — remember Ryan Phillipe anyone? — but it’s not the same. There aren’t think pieces written about their horribleness in places like The New York Times. Nor do we, the internet, turn against them in the way we turned against Anne Hathaway last year.
I suppose part of the reason for that has to do with something sociological. Like the fact that women are the best at tearing other women down. We start doing it almost as soon as start socializing and we never really stop. While our mean girl comments might get more sophisticated and more subtle, they’re still always there. Why we’re so intimated by successful women isn’t quite clear. Perhaps it’s as simple as jealously. Unlike men, we have to work harder to get what we want. So when a woman gets there, we applaud her — and then shortly after we start finding faults in some misguided attempt to convince ourselves that it could’ve been us. Because hey, if she has faults and can make it, so can we! I don’t know, I’m far from an expert when it comes to this stuff. (But please, ask me anything about Justin Bieber!) Most of what I say is based on observation and a sociology class I took freshman year of college.