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Katie Couric Claims Sexism More Common that Racism

Girl Power? Couric Claims Sexism More Common Than Racism

In the fight for girl power, three women have jumped into the ring in the past 24 hours with very different viewpoints. Katie Couric, in Israel covering Obama's world tour made this striking proclamation:

I find myself in the last bastion of male dominance, and realizing what Hillary Clinton might have realized not long ago: that sexism in the American society is more common than racism, and certainly more acceptable or forgivable.

Sexism trumps racism? So what's a girl to do? Oh! I know! We'll ask Brooke Hogan (of the dubiously-named Brooke Knows Best) what the role for women should be! Here's her take:

I think it's kind of crazy that a woman is running because I think that women deal with a lot of emotions and menopause and PMS and stuff. Like, I'm so moody all the time, I know I couldn't be able to run a country, because I would be crying one day and yelling at people the next day, you know?

Surely a gal has to be Wonder Woman to exist in both realms, fighting for a world where woman can and should be allowed to do it all, amid the utterings of a generation of Brooke Hogans who glimpsed the dream of equality and said, "nah." That superhero fighting could be the very element that's undoing feminism. To see how,


This Townhall column, taking on last weekend's NOW National Conference said the leaping-tall-buildings motif is exactly where the so-called fight for women's rights gets it wrong:

The superhero analogy demonstrates the destructive attitude dominating feminism today. It is the attitude that everyone is against women, out to get them. To feminists, women must take on the entire world. They must save everyone, even sometimes from themselves. Like Superwoman, these feminists are constantly fearful that they will find an enemy, like sexism, around every corner.

Are feminists fighting just for the sake of fighting? Katie Couric may be right, studies are still being released showing the prominence of gender discrimination — but how should the battle be fought? If sexism is a foe bigger than racism, comments like Hogan's do nothing to advance the cause. At the same time, perhaps Hogan's comments exist precisely because so much progress has been made. Those who aren't oppressed, don't feel the need to fight against it. And then there's the question of the fight. Is calling attention to inequity, simply creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? Do women now, or will they ever have equal rights? Should they?

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Join The Conversation
I wouldn't say more common as much as more stated. If you say something racist you get crucified by the press and everyone around you. Say something sexist, not a thing, no big deal. Make a statement about a woman shouldn't have a job, that her husband should be the breadwinner while she stays at home with the children, cleans house, and makes dinner, and it's absolutely accepted, and often times expected!
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 9 years
She sucks at the evening news. How's that for gender discrimination.
Alesse Alesse 9 years
I believe one of the problems with sexism, and one of the reasons it's so 'accepted' is that women have been been considered second to men since the dawn of civilization, across almost all cultures. The concept of women being equal to men has only existed in human history for a relatively short time. And even today, in certain cultures it still isn't the norm. It's sad, but that type of thinking will take a long time to change, especially with it being so ingrained in our history.
ohjeeze ohjeeze 9 years
frogandprince you nailed it on the head. Unfortunately in our society we have become so comfortable with sexism that we don't think of it as serious, sometimes even when it is happening we don't realize it is.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Sorry, I only hit post once! Computer on the fritz. I also wanted to point out that women have typically gained rights after blacks have (e.g. the right to vote, right to own land) and reached new milestones behind them as well. I don't know if that means we're more sexist, but it's interesting. Also, it is way more acceptable to be sexist than racist, but I don't know that means sexism necessarily causes more harm. In our country's history, for example, being a woman means you had to wait to vote. Being black meant you were a slave. Neither is desirable, but I would rather be deprived of the vote than be deprived of freedom.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
'I wonder how one measures the amount of discrimination there is? Do people actually follow around bigots with a counter to see how many times they abuse women or minorities? I think that would actually be a fun job.' Especially if you got to blast a buzzer at every offense.
gitsie123 gitsie123 9 years
gitsie123 gitsie123 9 years
I agree frogandprince, sexism is definitely more accepted in our society. People are bombarded with sexist images everyday. You can't really compare the two but I think people are more likely to dismiss a comment that objectifies woman than one that makes fun of a minority.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Let me clarify: Those numbers were Larry Elder's, not mine. I was making an observation about the degree of Couric's victimhood. Something that gradually penetrated my thick skull about feminism: the genders are equivalent, but not equal. They are and will always be different from one another. And that's a good thing. There's a wide range of individual differentiation, but overall we have different skills and aptitudes. I wish we could all just recognize and celebrate that.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
wadewifey, there are some flaws in your mother's argument. The primary flaw (as I see it) in your mother's argument is that gender and sex aren't the only distinguishing factors between Obama and Hillary. It would be like saying that ageism is more prevalent in American than racism if they pick Obama over McCain. That statement ignores the human differences and policy differences of the candidates. The second flaw is that she's making a broad generalization based on one situation. Even if we sexism trumps racism in one instance, does that mean it does so in ALL instances? Hardly. For example, based on Lain's post above, one could conclude that men were discriminated against because Katie Couric's salary is much higher. Yet, we are smart enough to see that as an isolated instance and not as "the way things are." To really make a claim about sexism vs racism, you'd first have to establish criteria that defined what each entailed, and then you'd have to go about measuring it. I don't see anyone ever even coming to a consensus about what constitutes each "ism", let alone doing a good job measuring it.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Also, I don't know of many women who would want their husband to stay at home, while they went to work, if they had the choice. My wife basically told me to go to work...
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
what was the line from office space? I can't remember exactly, but it was something like "what would you do if you had a million dollars?" and the answer was "absolutely nothing." well, there's no reason a woman can't do "absolutely nothing!" if you're happy, and financially stable, do nothing. If that's what makes you happy, so be it. You don't have to prove anything to anyone.
frogandprince frogandprince 9 years
I think she's sort of right. I don't know if it's really more common, but I do think that people are more comfortable with it, and more open in being sexist than racist. Everyone knows you can't say the n-word on television, and that if a television star makes a racist comment, his career is toast. But sexism is so ingrained in our society that most people don't even recognize it. For instance, insulting a woman who gave up custody of her children but not finding a man who gave up custody out of the ordinary; calling a girl who doesn't get married an old hag but a man who doesn't a bachelor; paying women much less than a man for the same work. It's still weird for a man to stay at home and take care of the children. The sexes aren't equal and people want to keep it that way, and I think that's sexist.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Your break down on the big three anchors financials is a good point Lainetm but that's just about one person. What about women in general? If we lived in a world where those who do not fit in the point can not make the point as you may be suggesting about Katie Couric than in my opinion too many points would go unnoticed.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I meant to address the whole "working mothers" thing. I'm a double offender because I worked and went to school a couple of evenings a week. Kids are resilient. They need parenting, but you have to sure they're fed and clothed, too. However, I do wish I had more time to spend doing things like volunteering at school. I would really like to have more time to monitory my son's homework! I think the schools have suffered from having fewer volunteers available to assist and be involved, too. I also kind of resent what the women's movement has become. It started out as "you can do anything," then it became "you can do everything," now it's "you have to do everything, or you're not fully optimized as a human being." Seriously: trying to do everything means that very little of it will be done well. I do have to shower and sleep, y'know?
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
My mom said that because Obama won that the country is more sexist than racist. Well I'm not sure if I agree with that, but it would be a cool study.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
haha well never mind that, you get the idea. Mad props to lain. haha
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
ahh should have been :truestory:
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
"truestory: Way to go lain! I have met Katie Couric before and she's very nice, however I think there were/are more deserving women who should have been an evening anchor before her.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
Can't we just wish Brooke Hogan away?
syako syako 9 years
:highfive: lain!
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I am sick to death of all the competition about who's the bigger victim. Katie Couric is the last person who should be complaining. As reported by (black) radio talk show host Larry Elder, who broke down the numbers in a January 25, 2007 commentary at Although Couric sits in last place in the ratings of the Big Three, she earns a reported $15 million a year. [ABC's Charles] Gibson, in second place, clocks in at a reported $7 million. NBC's [Brian] Williams, who sits atop the ratings, reportedly makes $4 million per year. Do the math. For the week of Jan. 15, [2007] Williams attracted 10.25 million viewers, which comes out to a salary of $.39 per set of eyeballs. Gibson, in second place with 9.5 million viewers that week, earns $.74 per viewer. And Ms. Couric, who had a whopping 2.45 million fewer viewers than the first-place Williams? At her $15 million per year salary, with her 7.8 million viewers, CBS pays her $1.92 per viewer! This means the third-place Couric gets five times the amount of money per viewer than does the first-place Williams. (Memo to Brian: Fire your agent.)
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I fail to understand why some idiot starlet's verbal diarrhea is worth analyzing. I would say that the demographic of d-list spoiled young white girls is small enough that it's okay to ignore. As for Couric's claim about racism vs. sexism - how do you quantify this? And when did she become an expert on racism? How can she even know? So annoying. Whining never helps any cause.
girlgreen girlgreen 9 years
i am black and i am a woman, and i would definitely say that i have felt the effects of racism much more than i have felt the effects of sexism. it bothers me that couric could make such a claim without having experienced both types of discrimation. as zora neale hurston said, "the black woman is the mule of the world," or something like that... i agree with Hypno. and KathleenxXCouture, i hear what you're saying, i do think people are hypersensitive about being pc regarding race issues, but i think that shows that sexism is simply more tolerated, not necessarily more common. not that being more tolerated is a good thing.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I think sexism and racism are equally bad. The bottom line is that there is ignorance in both lines of thinking and large scale efforts to repress whole groups of people from achieving their full potential. Acts involving racism are often more emotionally charged, but sexism can be just as violent. I do count some acts of rape, because what else can you call "if she dresses a certain way, then she's asking for it" but sexism? Race crimes aren't always violent either. It's also not giving a black man a promotion, when there's a good enough white man running. Even so, just because sexism isn't announced with an act of violence as often, that could be due to a number of things like: Perhaps women aren't considered threatening enough to deem violence necessary? Perhaps the "I will never hit a woman" comes into play? Or they are concerned about revenge from an angry, protective husband? Just because racism is more blatant and violent, that doesn't mean it's more common. Regardless, I don't think it's important which is more common. They are both extremely detrimental and should be taken seriously.
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