Mila Kunis had that most clichéd of lines spoken to her when she refused to pose semi-naked on a men's magazine cover: "You'll never work in this town again," the producer of the film she would have been promoting told her. She held firm, and "I did work in this town again, and again, and again," she writes on hubby Ashton Kutcher's aplus.com. Though not all women are in the entertainment industry, the line the producer gave her is what they all fear when gender bias in the workplace rears its ugly head, Kunis writes. Women are conditioned to believe "that if we speak up, our livelihoods will be threatened." That leads to women who don't want to be labeled a "bitch" simply resigning themselves to the status quo with the hope that, eventually, things will change.
"But change is not coming fast enough to help my friends, my peers, or even our children," she writes, and it's time for women to stop being "complicit" by allowing themselves to be treated differently than men. In her case, she started a production company with three other women. They recently opted to pull out of a show they were pitching when the male producer, in one email, "reduced my value to nothing more than my relationship to a successful man and my ability to bear children," Kunis writes. He had called her "soon to be Ashton's wife and baby momma." This may seem like no big deal, but it's these types of "microaggressions" and instances of "subtle gender bias" that women have to deal with every day, and shouldn't. Kunis is going to call them out now when she's faced with them. "I will work in this town again," she concludes, "but I will not work with you." Click for her full column.