Mila Kunis thinks “change isn’t coming fast enough” when it comes to sexism at work.
On Wednesday, the 33-year-old actress published a powerful essay on A Plus detailing the sexism she’s faced throughout her career. Kunis described multiple times her talent has been blatantly undermined by producers and other people in the industry simply because she’s a woman.
Kunis wrote about the first time she confronted workplace sexism. During a photoshoot for a men’s magazine, for which she refused to pose half-naked for the shoot, the producer told her she’d “never work in this town again.”
“What this producer may never realize is that he spoke aloud the exact fear every woman feels when confronted with gender bias in the workplace,” Kunis wrote on A Plus (which is owned by Kunis’ husband Ashton Kutcher). “It’s what we are conditioned to believe ― that if we speak up, our livelihoods will be threatened; that standing our ground will lead to our demise. We don’t want to be kicked out of the sandbox for being a ‘bitch.’”
Kunis said she’s experienced sexism so many times and in so many different ways, but she’s finally realizing that she doesn’t need to play by the rules of Hollywood’s “boy’s club.”
Throughout my career, there have been moments when I have been insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished based on my gender. And always, I tried to give people the benefit of the doubt; maybe they knew more, maybe they had more experience, maybe there was something I was missing. I taught myself that to succeed as a woman in this industry I had to play by the rules of the boy’s club. But the older I got and the longer I worked in this industry, the more I realized that it’s bullshit! And, worse, that I was complicit in allowing it to happen.
It’s not only the blatant moments of sexism that are detrimental, Kunis added. Small comments and seemingly harmless jokes also add to workplace sexism.
“It’s these very [small] comments that women deal with day in and day out in offices, on calls, and in emails ― microaggressions that devalue the contributions and worth of hard-working women,” Kunis wrote.
Kunis wrote that she’s done letting sexist bullshit slide. From now on she’s going to speak up when these microaggressions occur.
“I’m done compromising; even more so, I’m done with being compromised,” Kunis wrote. “So from this point forward, when I am confronted with one of these comments, subtle or overt, I will address them head on; I will stop in the moment and do my best to educate.”
We’re with you, Mila.
Head over to A Plus to read the rest of Kunis’ essay.