Her answer is comprehensible English, so give her a fair shot, people. Oh, and if you don’t know what’s being discussed here, watch the original video here.
Yes, I am somewhat joking in the video in my highly charitable interpretation, but in all reality, I do believe that people are being overly harsh (at the very least) to her. I can’t put it better than this NPR article which points out that the question asked of her was actually extremely loaded and confusing:
Not to put too fine a point on it, what kind of a simultaneously (1) dumb and (2) impossible to answer question is that? First of all, it’s three questions rolled into one — what does it say that in 40 percent of homes, women are the primary earners, or what does it say that women earn less than men, or what does it say that we allow these two facts to coexist?
If you have a better answer, put it in the comments, but I guarantee you won’t come up with something much more enlightening on the spot, even if you don’t necessarily stumble through it like she did.
In the spirt of fair comparison, I tried to answer the question and absolutely couldn’t.
At first glance, you might want to say that it’s a good thing that 40% of women are now primary earners in their home. This certainly seems to bode well in terms of women’s empowerment, but there’s so many conflating factors it’s hard to tell– especially in light of the second prong of this gnarly question: that women make less than men. So wait, if women make less than men as a whole, yet 40% of women are the primary income for their families (with children), then clearly men with kids are just making less money than men without kids?! What? Or is it just that the income spread is distributed weirdly, and that the men who do make more than their wives, make significantly more than the women who make more than their husbands?! I feel like the answer to this question is more apropos to a doctoral thesis than a Miss America contest.
Some will defend Miss Utah on the basis of her stumbling through her question, but in such an environment, what could you expect? She can’t just stand there and think it through, letting time pass.
The Twitter Hate Rolls In
Not sure if this one is misogynistic or just assuming that the world is that misogynistic.
"@albz: After watching Miss Utah, I wouldn't be surprised if women also lost the right to vote." Wow. Sad.
— tifferooni (@tiffanymay45) June 17, 2013
This guy obviously has a Master’s degree in Economics.
you guys need to watch the trending video of Miss Utah on YouTube. You can't get dumber than that. Smh ahaha
— Mosawer Amarkhail (@Mo5awer) June 17, 2013
Yikes. Is it so hard for people to consider that she may have just made a mistake? Nope, clearly she has to fit a stereotype now.
I'm sure Miss Utah is a nice girl, who will make a lovely housewife someday: http://t.co/qXU4a2L7Ok
— VF Castro (@VFdoesFootball) June 17, 2013
Wow, a tweet that’s actually sexist to everyone.He’s basically saying: “men just want women for sex, and women only want to be sexually desired.” Leave Earth, dude.
Don't worry, Miss Utah. We all still would sleep with you. #MissUSA2013
— Mike Metz (@mbmetz) June 17, 2013
And you’re only a pathetic relic of the 1950s.
I think people are being too hard on Miss Utah. Keep in mind, she's only a broad.
— Cigarsandscotch (@cigarsNscotch) June 17, 2013
Oh, don’t worry, guys, Miss Utah is just proof that the wage gap is a good thing. Disgusting, pig.
In a way, Miss Utah kinda answered the question. It wasn't what she meant to do, but she stated her case on why we should pay her less.
— Mike Mulloy (@fakemikemulloy) June 17, 2013
The Real Embarrassment
The real embarrassment is these awful people who will see a woman making a completely understandable mistake as an excuse to roll out their sexist, misogynistic hate agenda. Miss Utah, you may have made a blunder, but no fair person has any right to think you were anything but flustered. In fact, the real idiots are people who think that such a question was easily answerable in a convenient soundbite and everyone who won’t even take a single second to ask themselves what the answer is.