May 1 2015
The Meredith Vieira Show is a daytime syndicated talk show that’s ostensibly aimed at a largely female audience. So when a guest challenged a commonly-held belief about gender wage inequality, the audience — and the host — took umbrage.
Yesterday, actress Stacey Dash responded to a question by Vieira on that topic by saying:
“I feel like [wage inequality] an excuse. It’s the same thing with race, you know. It’s an excuse. Stop making excuses. You know, if there are opportunities, seize them and be prepared for them and be the best, if that’s what it takes.”
Not surprisingly, Dash was pilloried in the press and on social media about her comments.
@REALStaceyDash just sounds ignorant. Easy to be blind when your net worth is $8 mill. Harder to face reality I guess. #'s don't lie lady.— Courtney Gano (@CGano8) April 30, 2015
— Entrepreneur's World (@THE_SHE_SHARK) April 30, 2015
In many similar cases where celebrities have taken flack for their statements, they have quickly followed up with an apology.
Dash did just the opposite. Today, she posted on Twitter:
The 77 cents vs a dollar is based on B.S. statistics. STOP USING IT. CELEBRATE that EDUCATED women in their 20's now make more than men!— Stacey Dash (@REALStaceyDash) April 30, 2015
I DON'T CARE IF I AM THE LONE VOICE IN THE WOODS, I WILL NOT LET THE GOVERNMENT MAKE WOMEN AN ENTITLEMENT CLASS. #HOLDINGTHELINE— Stacey Dash (@REALStaceyDash) April 30, 2015
Here’s the thing: Dash has a point. The Independent Women’s Forum has an explanation about this misconception1:
“The 77-cent statistic (now sometimes noted as 78-cents) is a “comparison of averages.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics compares full-time working women to full-time working men and finds that women make about 82-cents, in fact, for every dollar a man makes.
But when you control for any number of factors that go into determining someone’s remuneration – college major, job title, time spent in the workplace, time spent in the office each day – this pay gap shrinks significantly, and we are left with about a 4-6 cent disparity…”
The IWF even made a video about it: