Couric Implies Rampant Sex Discrimination In US, Touts Misleading Feminist Talking Point

February 13th, 2007 4:51 PM

On Monday’s "Evening News" on CBS, anchor Katie Couric asserted a common talking point among feminists and that is that women make 76 cents for every dollar a man does, which is a misleading statistic. In a series entitled "The American Spirit," Couric profiled Janet Hanson, the founder of a women’s networking group called 85 Broads, which is dedicated to helping women get ahead, as Hanson doesn't seem to believe a woman can make it on her own:

Katie Couric: "Women earn only 76 cents for every dollar a man earns, and that really hasn’t changed much over the last 30 years. Why?"

Janet Hanson: "Women have to learn how to become better negotiators for themselves, which is hard to do. So they need to see other women doing that successfully, and the whole mission behind this network is that women cannot succeed if they don’t leverage each other’s intellectual firepower."

Yet, an article on CNN Money, written by a woman, argues why the 76 cent statistic is misleading:

But all the wage-gap ratio reflects is a comparison of the median earnings of all working women and men who log at least 35 hours a week on the job, any job. That's it."

It doesn't compare those with equal work, equal training, equal education or equal tenure. Nor does it take into account the hours of overtime worked.

But these key points were not discussed by Couric, leading to the impression that women are discriminated against when it comes to salaries. Yet, there are many factors that lead to disparity in pay. According to the same CNN article cited above:

"Factors may include: more women choose lower-paying professions than men; they move in and out of the workforce more frequently; and they work fewer paid hours on average."

Given these additional facts,  it is irresponsible for a news agency to portray the differences in wages as discrimination, and ignoring these other factors that contribute to the "76 cents for every dollar" statistic.  For a series called the "American Spirit" which is supposed to profile what is right with America, Couric seems to be doing her best to portray America as being full of rampant sex discrimination in the work place.