Last month, during one of Jennifer Lawrence’s infinity interviews for her infinity movies, she said something peculiar. At the time, Lawrence was defending David O. Russell, saying he “really respects and understands women.” So in what ways does he respect and understand women? From the sound of it, he likes women so much he’s always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re worthy of being thought of like like. And Lawrence is TOTALLY cool and tough and ballsy enough for Russell to forget she’s a stupid woman and, you know, respect her. As she put it back then,
Because I’m not so sensitive, we can really talk, like, man-to-man. Sometimes he accidentally refers to me as he or him.Unfortunately, this was not a one-off comment. In a more recent interview with HitFix, Lawrence trotted out this defense again.
“Oh, David respects me so much that he will literally forget what sex I am,” she laughed. “He sometimes refers to me as a he without realizing it.”Let’s get this straight. This is not respect. This is not valuing women. David O. Russell does not respect Jennifer Lawrence so much that he sees her as a genderless being. He would never “respect” Bradley Cooper to the point he forgot his gender and called him “she” or “ze” or “they.” He likes working with Lawrence, thinks she’s smart or cool or tough or whatever those qualities are, and because he associates those great qualities with men (those beings naturally worthy of his respect), he forgets JLaw is not a man.
It’s beyond insulting to so devalue womanhood that the highest compliment you can pay is to forget she’s a woman. This is not a cute, fun story about how great Russell is, or how cool JLaw is. It is a story about how David O. Russell thinks the greatest thing a woman can do is to rise above her gender.