The Difference Between Men and Women Becoming Successful

Jennifer Lopez joined Kerry Washington, Sarah Paulson, Julianna Margulies, Constance Zimmer and Kirsten Dunst for a candid chat to address her “diva” label in new roundtable interview for The Hollywood Reporter.

It’s no secret that the seemingly ageless singer and actress has been labelled a “diva” in Hollywood for decades. In the video, Lopez says that she works too hard to be a diva and speaks about the double standard that persists between the sexes.

“I’ve always been fascinated by how much more well behaved we have to be than men,” said Lopez. “I got a moniker of being ‘the diva’, which I never felt I deserved — which I don’t deserve — because I’ve always been a hard worker, on time, doing what I’m supposed to do, and getting that label because you reach a certain amount of success.”

She addresses the stigma that still exists when it comes to a woman having a strong voice and opinion: “Sometimes I felt crippled to voice my opinion. Especially because certain directors and the boys’ club that they form can make you feel like, ‘Oh, I can’t say anything.'”

Sadly, the sentiment probably sounds familiar to many pavement-pounding females.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to gain a diva reputation in both professional and social circles. I’ve seen it happen since my days as a greener than green intern. When a woman becomes successful, and subsequently achieves a degree of confidence to assert her opinion and demands, whispers begin that she’s “difficult,” a “diva,” or, frankly, a bitch.

I’m not suggesting one’s degree of success is an excuse to treat people without respect. The reality is, the more that you’re exposed to in life, you naturally gain an increasing lack of acceptance (and, likely, level of patience) in everything from sub-par service in a supposedly five-star restaurant to incompetency in the workplace and mistreatment. Your expectations increase along with the demands you put on yourself.

As they should – for both men and women (as long as they don’t come with an accompanying sense of entitlement).

A female’s opinionated behaviour stands out in one’s mind because we almost expect men to be more assertive, abrasive or rude; therefore a commonality.

Lopez referenced instances when men were given preferential treatment over women. “I was always fascinated by how I could see [a man] being late or being belligerent to a crew and it being totally acceptable,” she said. “Meanwhile, I’d show up 15 minutes late and be berated. And you watch this happen over and over and over again. Like, we’re not allowed to have certain opinions or even be passionate about something, or they’ll be like, ‘God, she’s really difficult.’ It’s like, ‘Am I? Am I difficult because I care?'”

I was even asked not to be “difficult” recently in a restaurant when the server brought me the wrong order. Once I was happily mowing down on my modified brunch, he said, “well, you’re certainly not afraid to speak your mind.” Refreshingly, it was with a hint of admiration. And I’m not.

With the strides we’re making, there are going to be a lot more “difficult” females in the world. Not to be a “diva,” but deal with it.