Everyday sexism strikes again. On the Today show last week, Matt Lauer hosted an exclusive interview with General Motors CEO, Mary Barra.
The interview mainly covered the controversy over the late ignition switch recall, and if the interview stopped after those three minutes, it would have been great; however, Lauer asked two more questions that, by God, were so stereotypically sexist that I could not believe someone had not stopped him from going forward with them.
In the video above, Lauer asks the following two questions:
1. “Some people are speculating that you also got this job…because people within General Motors knew this company was in for a very tough time and as a woman and a mom you could present a softer image and softer face for this company as it goes through this horrible episode. Does it make sense or does it make you bristle?”
2. “You’re a mom, I mentioned, two kids. You said in an interview not long ago that your kids told you they’re going to hold you accountable for one job and that is being a mom…. Given the pressures of this job at General Motors, can you do both well?”
I kid you not. Thankfully, the Internet reacted quickly to shut down this thinly-veiled sexism. Women Media Center’s President Julie Burton fired back, tweeting, “#MattLauer – – Have you ever asked a major corp CEO – – who is male – – if he can be a good father and CEO at the same time?”
Even large news outlets, such as TIME, covered the sexist questioning – and for good reason. If we don’t call out these totally unequal methods of representing women in power, our society will never escape this ridiculous notion that women are “less than.”
Get with it, Lauer. I know stereotyping can make for some pretty easy interview questions, but didn’t you think the first three minutes was enough?
Images via General Motors, Perezhilton.com