Matt Lauer had an opportunity to hit the CEO of a company in the midst of a major scandal with some hard questions this week. So what did the Today show anchor do when he got GM CEO Mary Barra in the hot seat on the morning show? Why, go the tired old sexist pig route, of course!
Lauer, who has three children and still manages to get up and go to work every day, asked Barra if she can really expect to be a good mom what with all that doing a job thing. Yes. Really.
Here's the breakdown of the part of the interview that will make you smack your hand to your face in agony:
LAUER: 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.
BARRA: Correct. (smiling)
LAUER: Given the pressures of this job at General Motors, can you do both well?
BARRA: You know, I think I can. I have a great team, we’re on the right path ... I have a wonderful family, a supportive husband, and I’m pretty proud of the way my kids are supporting me in this.
Good for Barra for not taking the bait.
But Matt, really? In 2014?
There are some folks who are defending Matt today, and he has come out to claim he'd ask a dad the same thing. We'll believe that when we see it.
But the fact remains that asking a woman if she can be a good mom and a good worker isn't just outdated and ignorant.
It's damaging to the psyches of other mothers. Because what is it you hear when that question is asked? It's not just a question for Barra (or any other woman being interviewed); it's one that goes right to your own guts.
The fact is most working moms struggle with a sort of guilt. Even when we're doing rather well at both, there remains a niggling doubt in the back of our minds, a switch ready to be flipped. Perhaps it's the letter home from the school that will do it -- the one requesting Fun Day volunteers on a day when you are giving a big presentation. The other moms will be there, your kid tells you. You will be in a boardroom.
More From The Stir: 7 Things Never to Say to a Working Mom
Maybe it's the summertime request from a friend throwing a pool party for the kids. It's a pool party your kiddo will have to miss because they'll be in daycare. You will be answering phones.
Maybe it's another mom talking about the sacrifices she makes because SHE loves her kids (whether she really means that you don't or not is all a matter of perception ... but it's what you hear).
Or maybe it's watching a man who has three children and a successful job ask a woman if she can really expect to be good at parenting when she has a career.
At the end of the day, when one woman's ability to do both is in question, EVERY woman's ability to do both is in question.
Skip to the 3:45 mark to hear the question that has everyone talking:
What do you think of the Lauer interview?
Image via Fortunata/Splash News