Robin Wright negotiating for equal pay on the Netflix original series "House of Cards" does not surprise me at all. She is as fierce as Claire Underwood and knows what she wants and how to get it. Perhaps women can look to Robin Wright and others who have proved successful in negotiating for equal pay in a society that conditions women to believe they are not able to earn, and are not even worth, an equal salary. The glass ceiling will not hold out for long my friends, it has to break at some point.
In the first season, we see Frank as the majority whip in the Senate as he plans to be nominated for Vice President. When this plan falls through, he forces his way into power with help from his wife Claire. As the first season continues, Frank and Claire work together as a team to tackle any and all scandals, issues or people that attempt to prevent them from taking over the White House.
Claire is the elegant, brave and soft spoken counterpart to Frank, but of course, is not afraid to be cold when necessary. Voters love Claire, and a large amount of Frank's supporters love Claire just as much, if not more than him. She is a powerful leader throughout the show, and matches her husband's ruthless and seemingly outrageous behavior to get what she wants. In a sense, the Underwoods are equal in their thirst for power. Right from the start, Claire was an integral part of Frank's plan to be nominated for Vice President by President Walker. And as his plans for more power continue, we now realize that Claire is an essential part of Frank's political campaign and career, and Frank knows that too.
Therefore, she is just as important of a character as Frank, so why in the world would she be earning any less as an actress? Well, that is a question with complicated answers, but we do know she did not settle for earning any less than her co-star.
And, while it is portrayed in the media as surprising and seems to be a milestone for female actresses and women, it does not seem so "revolutionary" to me. Yes, Robin's negotiation for equal pay is indeed a move towards progress, but I would not call it a milestone because all women can do what she did -- to some extent.
Robin explained she learned both characters were "equally popular with viewers," and used this fact as leverage to threaten to go public about pay inequality.
"I was like, 'You better pay me or I'm going to go public.' And they did."
So, if Robin Wright can use evidence of unequal pay as leverage, couldn't more women do the same? If we do not stand up for our right to equal pay for equal work, then who will?
Robin Wright rules because she is a great example of a powerful, clever and fierce leader. Sound familiar?