So now that Hillary Clinton has lost her bid to be the first woman to win a major party’s nomination for president, Katie Couric has decided to speak out. My my. What a profile in courage.
“One of the great lessons of [Hillary Clinton’s] campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media….It isn’t just Hillary Clinton who needs to learn a lesson from this primary season — it’s all the people who crossed the line, and all the women and men who let them get away with it,” says Katie. Well, yeahhhhh!
Not that I don’t appreciate her speaking truth to power now–I really do–but where was she six months ago? It’s not like the rampant and unchecked media sexism was just discovered. In fact, Katie herself has experienced more than a little of it. And now Keith Olberman has dubbed her the “Worst Person in the World” for her report. I hope she has the strength to stand up to abuse like this, now that she has at last started the conversation we should have had a long time ago.
She’s being helped by several new reports and organizing efforts, including the Women’s Media Center and Media Matters’ new campaign Sexism May Sell, but We’re not Buying It. You can Watch the video on my “On Media” page to learn more. And NOW has it’s own Media Hall of Shame.
As the dust settles and America moves forward toward the general election, there is hardly a question that Barack Obama has an enormous opportunity to lead a national conversation on sexism as he has started to do on racism. For the two isms are joined at the head, and it is highly likely that (sad perhaps but nevertheless true) many people will be more inclined to listen when the initiator is a man, especially one with two young daughters.
GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The Lead. People has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”
As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.