Monday, December 16, 2013

Et tu, NPR?

Take this pie and shove it!
(Image by ayndroid via morgueFiles)


Why would NPR fall back in time with their headline “GM Gives A Woman The KeysTo Drive Its Future.”  Gives?  Gives? 

Okay, I have to bring this around to an argument about teaching now.  Years ago, I talked to another English professor.  He used to laugh when students talked about their grades.  If they failed, they often said that their instructor “gave” them an F.  If they passed, they said they “earned” an A.  He would laugh at them and point out that they earned the F the same way they earned the A.

Which brings us back to the article’s headline.  Did they “give” it to her?  It is just tokenism and a way to pad their numbers?  Or did she legitimately earn it?  I don’t hazard a guess; I’m not big on tracking what GM is doing and what their execs are like.  But I do know that if she honestly earned the position, as we would expect any male candidate to do, then we shouldn’t belittle her accomplishment by putting out headlines that imply that women only achieve things through being “given” them.

One of their points in the article is that “Even now in Saudi Arabia, women risk violence or arrest for just sitting behind the wheel of a car.”  How is that even relevant?  What does that have to do with any of this?  We’re not living in Saudi.  We’re not following their laws.  Is the author trying to show that we’re more advanced? That we actually “let” and “give” our women these things?

I suppose this wouldn’t be that bad, but it was a woman who wrote the article!  Marilyn Geewax.  Golly gee, Geewax, maybe next time you can go ahead and write a wonderful article about a man who gets an executive position, and you can go ahead and put the same information in about him.  Talk about how he was “given” the position, and point out something about circumcision, maybe.  Make sure to mention that he has kids (“a mother of two” is so cleverly slipped into the article…)

When are we going to stop looking at boobs and start looking at resumes?  When are we going to go ahead and report things fairly and equally instead of picking terminology that denigrates? 

Sorry, NPR, but you really fouled this one up.