We realize this is a bit late, but given the subject, its important’s still merits publication.
Did you watch Meet the Press on April 30, 2012? If you did, you probably saw a stunning exchange between Rachel Maddow and two Republicans–strategist Alex Castellanos and Rep. McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). Basically, Castellanos and McMorris Rodgers argued that women are not paid less than men–despite numerous studies showing that we are. Then Castellanos even argued that women are paid less because we don’t work as hard.1
It was really sad to see an exchange like this go down on what many people see as the single most revered political news show in history.
MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow, did not let them get away with it.Despite the fact that Castellanos was shouting her down and constantly interrupting her, she presented the facts, called out their hypocrisy on the issue and laid bare their sexist views. It was energizing and inspiring to see her speak out so forcefully about the truth and take on two people who’re dangerously misrepresenting the plight of women today.
When women fearlessly speak truth to power, it’s important to get their backs. Especially when political shows are dominated by men, and so few women are given an opportunity to appear. If enough of us take action and get her back, we can not only encourage her to keep speaking out–we also can show NBC that viewers everywhere want to see more strong women fighting for fairness and equality on TV.
Encouraging women who speak out is important–more often than not, they are attacked and denigrated for doing so, take for example, Sandra Fluke.
And a new report from Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting shows that political talk shows are a particularly hostile environment for women. FAIR found that in an eight-month period, “men overwhelmingly dominated one-on-one interviews, at 86 percent: 228 male guests compared to 36 women. Meet the Press featured the fewest women, with just six female interviewees–three of whom were Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), the presidential candidate.”2
Speaking out to support Maddow is important to show her we support her–but also to send a strong message to the producers of news shows like this.
And here’s a great excerpt of Maddow taking on Castellanos from Sunday’s Meet the Press:3
Maddow: “The interruption is important, I think, because now we know, at least from both of your [Castellanos and McMorris Rodgers] perspectives, that women are not faring worse than men in the economy, that women aren’t getting paid less for equal work. I think that’s a serious difference in factual understanding of the world. But given that, some of us believe that women are getting paid less than men for doing the same work, there’s something called the Fair Pay Act. There was a court ruling that said the statute of limitations, if you’re getting paid less than a man, if you’re subject to discrimination, starts before you know that discrimination is happening, effectively cutting off your recourse to the courts. You didn’t know you were being discriminated against, you can’t go.
“The first law passed by this administration is the Fair Pay Act to remedy that court ruling. The Mitt Romney campaign put you [McMorris Rodgers] out as a surrogate to talk — to shore up people’s feelings about this issue after they could not say whether or not Mitt Romney would’ve signed that bill. You’re supposed to make us feel better about it. You voted against the Fair Pay Act. It’s not about whether or not you have a female surrogate. It’s about policy and whether or not you want to fix some of the structural discrimination that women really do face that Republicans don’t believe is happening.”
If you did miss this episode of Meet the Press, click on the link below, it’s well worth watching!
-Written by: Nita and Shaunna, UltraViolet
-Submitted by: Carol Council
-V. Jones, Editor