Sienna Miller has talked about why it’s problematic that she felt a need to use the “mindset of being male” to get the equal pay she deserved.
Sienna Miller has put up with a lot of crap throughout her career. But, over recent years, the star has talked loudly and honestly about the reality of being constantly referred to as “Jude Law’s girlfriend”, taking the tabloids to court over that hacking scandal, and being offered lower salaries than her male co-stars. She’s also become a prominent voice in supporting the #MeToo movement.
In her most recent interview, the actor continued to make a couple of vital points about issues that women face in their careers.
Miller chatted to the Guardian ahead of her upcoming role in new film, Wander Darkly. Speaking about her response to the controversial Framing Britney documentary, Miller says she related to the “abuse” that Britney Spears has been through.
“I was definitely a victim of that, and I couldn’t handle it,” she revealed. “It was assault. And I think the reaction from a lot of women under that kind of scrutiny at the time was to just lose it a little bit. You’re in a perpetual state of anxiety. You’re living this video-game existence, being hunted relentlessly. Watching the documentary, I could really relate to those moments where she cracks because it’s unmanageable. It is aggressive and terrifying and you lose control. That’s their intention.”
Miller also admitted that she has used the “mindset of being male” when negotiating jobs, explaining why it’s a problem that women still feel the need to do this in order to progress.
She referred to the time she asked to be paid the same as her male co-star in a 2015 Broadway production: “I spoke to my agents and my lawyer, who are all women, and I said: ‘OK, I’m going to go in and negotiate as if I’m a man. I had to get myself into the mindset of being male to even have those discussions. That’s another product of the patriarchy we’ve grown up in. It’s depressing that we accepted that, along with all the advances and the misogyny. We took it because that’s what we were raised in.”
However, Miller insists that “the world is changing” and things are getting better.
This comes months after Miller revealed that her former co-star, the late Chadwick Boseman, paid her some of his salary for their film, 29 Bridges.
“I was hesitant to go back to work and my daughter was starting school and it was an inconvenient time, I said, ‘I’ll do it if I’m compensated in the right way,’” she told Empire. “And Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid.”
It just goes to show that even some of the biggest names in Hollywood are still having to make noise about equal pay rights – and it affects every industry.
Because the facts are that the most recent report from the Office for National Statistics showed the pay gap stood at 15.5% in the year ending April 2020 (a drop of 1.9% compared to the previous year), but some experts predict that the pandemic could reverse this small yet promising progress. Analysis of HMRC data by the Women’s Budget Group also revealed that women were more likely to be furloughed than men between March and August 2020, resulting in a 20% reduction in income. And a poll published by Fawcett Society in November has found that over a third (35%) of working mothers said they had lost work or hours due to a lack of childcare during the pandemic.
Although we agree with Miller that things have been slowly but surely changing, it’s clear there’s still a long way to go before we don’t feel any need to “do what a man would do” in order to get what we deserve.