Why It Matters How the NYTimes Fired Jill Abramson

The New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta kept digging, and it seems that Jill Abramson was being paid less than her male peers:

As executive editor, Abramson’s starting salary in 2011 was $475,000, compared to Keller’s salary that year, $559,000. Her salary was raised to $503,000, and—only after she protested—was raised again to $525,000. She learned that her salary as managing editor, $398,000, was less than that of the male managing editor for news operations, John Geddes. She also learned that her salary as Washington bureau chief, from 2000 to 2003, was a hundred thousand dollars less than that of her successor in that position…

It’s important to keep in mind that, in the realm of “too old for contemporary memory, too new for the history books“, the NYTimes has a history of under- paying the too few women they hire, including a rather famous federal sex discrimination suit filed against the current Sulzberger’s father in 1974. (And, yes, that history was brought up again when Abramson was hired promoted in 2011.)

Sexism is real, has been real, will probably go on being real for the foresee- able future. Saying “well, not everything is about sexism” feels, to a lot of us women, like saying “well, not everything is about racism” when the GOP goes collectively nuts over President Obama — sure, it’s not just about racism (they’d hate any Democrat, it’s a campaign tactic, maybe the President might even have made a less-than-brilliant choice on one or another issue), but the -ism is so linked into the very molecular structure that pretending it doesn’t exist falls somewhere between willfully naive and deliberately hostile. It’s not everything, but it’s never not there.

Amanda Marcotte, at TPM:

[W]hat happens when women follow all this advice to lean in, hold their heads high, make demands, and fake it ‘til they make it? Well, a lot of women rightfully fear that they’ll be considered bitchy shrews. Women know that the very qualities that cause so many to see men as “powerful” look like, well, pushiness when they manifest in women. In fact, research confirms this fear: Following all that advice to act like a man can backfire and cause your boss to apply misogynist stereotypes to you that you will never get past. So the lame advice women get is to be pushy and confident sometimes and demure and retreating at others. How to tell the difference? Sorry, no one can help you there. You just have to know. Good luck, ladies.

And that’s why the Jill Abramson firing is having ripple effects outside of the immediate circles of media people talking about themselves and rich people gossiping about the lives of other rich people. This story, particularly in its current state of more- guessing-than-knowing, speaks to the deep, immoveable, and totally realistic fear many women have that there’s nothing they can do to overcome sexism in the workplace. … Women worry that the single word “pushy” can destroy everything they’ve worked for. Abramson’s story suggests that they may not be paranoid to think it.

Ann Friedman, at NYMag‘s ladyblog, The Cut:

In real time, it’s hard to be sure what’s sexism and what’s you. Abramson exhibited this tension: She was unapologetic about her power and firm about her decisions, but she was also working with a coach to improve her management skills — presumably in response to complaints, such as those aired anonymously in Politico last year, that she was unpopular, unapproachable, condescending, brusque. Even though she and many outsiders recognized the double standards in the article, she later told Newsweek it made her cry.

I’m sure those quotes stung on a personal level, but they were also a grave professional threat… [F]or most women, and anyone else who faces scrutiny as the “only one” in the room, not caring is not an option. This is not because all women necessarily have a deep personal need to be liked by their colleagues; it’s because those colleagues’ gut-level opinions matter greatly when it comes to evaluating a woman’s job performance. Women are sometimes advised to keep a low profile and let their work “speak for itself.” But in Abramson’s case, eight Pulitzers did not speak loudly enough. Revenue growth did not speak loudly enough. Successful new digital products did not speak loudly enough….

Abramson’s experience suggests that, for many women, the confidence gap is not that they have less faith in their abilities than men. It’s that (unlike men) they’re expected to downplay their confidence in order to seem nonthreatening and likable — or face professional consequences. This emotional labor is the unwritten responsibility in every woman’s job description…

147 replies
  1. 1
    JGabriel says:

    Anne Laurie:

    And, yes, that history was brought up again when Abramson was hired in 2011.

    Minor correction: hired should be promoted. Abramson started working at the Times in 1997; she was promoted to executive editor in 2011.

  2. 2
    Anne Laurie says:

    @JGabriel: Thanks.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    Seems to me this should be “That” not “How”.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Rhoda says:

    See, when you attempt to compare the dehumanizing results of racism and the loss of privilege of sexism you lose me from jump street.

    I don’t care.

    I particularly don’t want to hear boo after so many went after the brother the Nytimes hired.

    Ms. Abramson could very well have been a lousy person with skills, at some point the skills cease to mater when you push people away. At the very same time she may have been unjustly screwed.

    All I know is this, being a white woman in America is some good quality shit. If you want to talk emotional labor, go talk to some black and brown and yellow and red folk. If .20¢ on the dollar is your greatest struggle….

    The wage gap is lower for black and Hispanic women in part because wages for people of color tend to be lower overall. This gap occurs within racial/ethnic groups as well. In 2010, according to the Census Bureau, African Americans earned only 58.7 percent of what whites earned, while Hispanics earned only 69.1 percent of what whites earned

  6. 6
    raven says:

    Mornin Joe is on this!

    eta He and his crew, including Eugene Robinson, agree with AL.

  7. 7
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    *LARGE ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR AL FOR THIS RIGHTEOUS AND REFERENCED RANT*

  8. 8

    Completely off the topic:
    For the first time since 1984, a single party has won the majority of seats in an Indian election. Finally there is an alternative for the Congress, but I am not sure that it is necessarily a good thing.

  9. 9
    JGabriel says:

    @Anne Laurie: Wilkommen.

  10. 10
    geg6 says:

    Yes, this. All the mansplaining in the comments to Cole’s post had me so pissed that I couldn’t read BJ the rest of the day.

  11. 11

    @geg6: I missed that thread, what were people saying?

  12. 12
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: nothing good. don’t bother. all the same shit.

  13. 13

    @TheMightyTrowel: I need something to take my mind of the gloating of Modi’s supporters.

  14. 14
    raven says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Oh boy, you are in for it.

  15. 15
    JGabriel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    For the first time since 1984, a single party has won the majority of seats in an Indian election.

    BJP. Hindu nationalists/Social Consevatives:

    The BJP designates its official ideology and central philosophy to be “integral humanism”, based upon a 1965 book by Deendayal Upadhyaya. Labelled as right-wing and “Hindu nationalist”, the party advocates social conservatism, self-reliance as outlined by the Swadeshi movement, and a foreign policy centred on nationalist principles. Key issues for the BJP include the abrogation of the special constitutional status to Jammu and Kashmir …

    Great. How long before nukes start flying between India and Pakistan? And maybe China if the PRC decides to step in on Pakistan’s side.

  16. 16

    My stomach is upset and I miss my kittehs and the heat is relentless.

  17. 17
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Hear, hear!

    @Rhoda: Injustice matters, and you should care. I’ve read wingnut rants in which the writer says people of color living in US should STFU since most black and brown folks here don’t literally starve to death. You’re making a similar misguided argument.

  18. 18
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    My eyes are sore, I think it’s related to the ‘black rain’ we had last night.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Any party that has its base of support in the far right is troubling. We’ll see, I guess.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: When do you return? The sexist NYTimes has an article on the elections, which I plan on reading later.

  21. 21
    Exurban Mom says:

    Thank you, Anne Laurie, for writing the piece I was writing in my head yesterday. Sexism at high levels in places like the New York Times will be difficult to ever overcome with attitudes like those on display right now, here and elsewhere. It’s exhausting to live through. I personally got accused of “weakness” in a public role many times, simply because I was female and treating people with deference and respect instead of being an asshole. Mind you, that’s not any reason to be angry with her successor–he needs to be judged on his own merits as time goes on–but I can certainly join the crowd who believes the administrative team at NYT treated Abramson inappropriately, just for asking for what was due to her in that role.

  22. 22

    @JPL: In two weeks time. I am going out in a little bit. Going to get my watches fixed.

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Speaking of misogyny…

    My step daughter came over for din din last night and engaged in some 1st class slut shaming while conversing with her mother about an upcoming wedding she is in. As a man, I try to stay out of their conversations about “wimmen stuff”. As a stepfather there is a fine almost invisible line I can not cross.

    As usual, I could not keep my mouth shut. Happily, I did not cross that fine line. Unhappily, because I watched out for that line, the point I wanted to make went right over her head. Be it ever so, ever so…

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    Every time I see Abramson’s name, I flash back to her many appearances on C-SPAN, fawning over Brian Lamb, intoning “Bri-i-i-i-an” in her fingernails on the blackboard, put Fran Drescher to shame New Yawk twang.

    Be that as it may, it seems a little strange to draw a comparison of Keller’s (and he was no prize by any stretch of the imagination) ending salary to her beginning salary. Plus, word that has come out from Those In A Position To Know is that salary was the least of the frictions, and had but minor bearing on her termination.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Gene in Princeton says:

    I read Auletta’s update, and it’s pretty weaselly on the compensation part. He knows that you can’t use salary per se as a substitute for total comp, something he didn’t acknowledge in his original “scoop”. Now, with a glancing acknowledgement to Sulzberger’s statement that she made 10% more than Keller, he tries to delegitimize her superior compensation and preserve his original thesis:

    “This distinction appears to be the basis of Sulzberger’s comment that Abramson was not earning “significantly less.” But it is hard to know how to parse this without more numbers from the Times. For instance, did Abramson’s compensation pass Keller’s because the Times’ stock price rose? Because her bonuses came in up years and his in down years? Because she received a lump-sum long-term payment and he didn’t?”

    Who cares? She made more. That’s what counts when people start counting inches and comparing what they get paid to what their peers get paid.

  27. 27
    currants says:

    @Rhoda: That you’re not wrong doesn’t make AL’s post not right.

  28. 28
    NotMax says:

    @schrodinger’s cat

    Will a hoary (and far from great) joke do?

    What’s the best thing about marrying a dry cleaner in India?

    Love means never having to weigh your sari.

  29. 29
    currants says:

    @NotMax:

    Be that as it may, it seems a little strange to draw a comparison of Keller’s (and he was no prize by any stretch of the imagination) ending salary to her beginning salary. Plus, word that has come out from Those In A Position To Know is that salary was the least of the frictions, and had but minor bearing on her termination.

    errrmmmm might read the whole of AL’s post again? both points in your ‘graph are addressed. In full.

  30. 30
    sparrow says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Is she an adult? If so, I think you may want to re-evaluate those lines. Imagine she (or any adult friend of yours) was going into a racist rant. Would you feel content to just hang out giving subtle hints that her opinions are racist? Once a child becomes an adult, I think you need to treat them like one. Let her hear your opinion loud and clear. It might make her think.

  31. 31
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    Just as an aside, this story shows the importance of knowing what other people’s salaries are vs your own. Secrecy enables discrimination.

    I speak as a public employee whose salary was available online.

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    @currants

    errrmmmm, not quite (emphais added).

    As executive editor, Abramson’s starting salary in 2011 was $475,000, compared to Keller’s salary that year, $559,000.

    Keller became executive editor in 2003. What his starting salary was when he began was less than his final salary eight years later.

  33. 33
    sparrow says:

    @Rhoda: So if I read your words correctly, sexism isn’t dehumanizing? Really? I guess you’ve never been on the other end of it, being treated like a piece of meat to sate someone’s sexual needs. Or sitting in a meeting with men having everyone ignore you. Or having your supervisor explain some computer code that YOU FIXED for him, as if you are a child or someone of very low IQ.

    I’d say sexism and racism have a lot in common, both are dehumanizing. Pitting them against each other in some battle of “I’ve got it worse” is just so wrong-headed I don’t even know where to start.

  34. 34
    MomSense says:

    @geg6:

    It was darn discouraging.

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    @NotMax: This! It might be true that she was underpaid because she was a female, but we need more information. imo
    We still do not know why she was fired.

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    @sparrow:

    Yes, this. I can keep two ideas in my head at the same time, just as I can deplore two injustices and neither is diminished.

  37. 37
    NorthLeft12 says:

    In my job as an Engineer at a Chemical Plant, I have dotted line [not direct] reporting duties to two operating managers. One male and the second female. I complained to my wife at home about the female manager, until my wife began to refer to the female manager as my nemesis or enemy. She was only half joking. This and other public incidents and some experiences my two adult daughters and wife have faced in the workplace have caused me to re-evaluate my thinking. What I used to call pushy, I now recognize as assertiveness, especially when it comes to protecting her areas of responsibilities. She is not technically strong, but that is more about her background compared to the male managers who are mostly [like me] Engineers.
    I still think she is too bureaucratic, but anymore what manager can afford not to be?

    NOTE: I was always careful to work professionally with the female manager, and defended her in discussions with other male workers at the plant. I would say you would be surprised at what gets said about her, but you probably would not.

    She is not the best manager I have worked with, but she is nowhere near the worst.

    I think it will still be awhile before the workplace is a level playing field for all. As a white male, I can see that I have enjoyed a fairly significant advantage.

  38. 38
    geg6 says:

    @MomSense:

    Yeah, the women of SDS many years ago noted that many liberal men are just as blind to sexism as the worst right wingers.

  39. 39
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Yes, I remember one of my first jobs, I got handed my first pay check by my boss and was told very forcefully that “we do not discuss our renumeration here”.

    Needless to say, pay was significantly different among similarly skilled, performing, and responsible jobs. I left after two years. And we did talk about our salaries….just not at the work site.

  40. 40
    MomSense says:

    @geg6:

    It can present in different ways, but I would agree with you.

  41. 41

    @Rhoda if you don’t think sexism dehumanizes and degrades women then you have blinders on. And btw, some poc *are* women, don’t you know – they often get a double-dose of dehumanization.

    And Betty is right, injustice everywhere needs to be attacked.

    @annielaurie thanks for your posts. This one really strikes a nerve. A couple of decades I was an editor on a computer magazine. we would have editorial meetings where everyone would push and defend their ideas for articles. All the other editors were male, and somehow I was the only one deemed pushy enough to be deemed in need of a class on “communication and teamwork.”

    btw, it’s another story, but the people I met in what I called “charm school” turned out to be great. All the misfits…

  42. 42
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NorthLeft12: Good people are capable of recognizing when they’re wrong or biased and working to overcome it. You sound like a good person to me.

  43. 43

    @geg – You did the early, heavy lifting in the comments to John’s initial (atypically clueless) post, and I’m grateful for that.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    @NorthLeft12

    There certainly are circumstances when male or female is irrelevant.

    Back in the early 80s, when I was working at a big ad agency in NYC, there was an older woman just slightly above my position with whom I butted heads constantly, if not daily.

    But she was simply a supremely crappy person. Everyone – everyone – in the department, from the high muckety-mucks to the greenest secretary, agreed that she was just that and expressed gleeful anticipation of the day she would retire.

    Had I won the lottery, would have had no qualms whatsoever about sending her a dozen black roses every single day to represent my disgust with her as a human being.

  45. 45
    raven says:

    @Hillary Rettig: atypically clueless

    hahahahaha

  46. 46
    Dexter says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Tell me about it. Took a look at my facebook feed and looks like I have to avoid it for a few days or may be months. The gloating is already close to annoying.

    So, Indians have decided that the future lies with a right wing party and a leader who has blood of 2000-odd fellow coutrymen on his hands. The corporate India is joyous because they feel that can do whatever they like. Great!!

    Is it too early to start drinking?

  47. 47
    Schlemizel says:

    I can easily believe she was a victim of discrimination, but the problem is can she prove it in court? Given the obtuse rules of corporate pay it may well be impossible. Since there is only one DC bureau chief and one executive editor at the times there is a very small number of comparisons. Add to that the start/end issue already mentioned and then toss in a good lawyer explaining the differences in experience and background etc. and you end up with a case that may not be possible to make. Its one of many frustrating parts of fighting pay discrimination.

    When I started my previous job I discovered I was making 20% more than the other two guys there. Given my age and experience it would have been easy for them to justify it but the real truth is I came in from higher paid positions that those guys came from & the companies goal is to hire the cheapest help they can. One of those two guys was black and on the fact of it he could have claimed discrimination but there was another white guy & they were making about the same (plus he had the least experience between the three of us).

    I’m afraid that unless they can find paperwork with people planning or commenting on paying her less she is not going to win and now she is “a known trouble maker”.

  48. 48
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Ummmmm…. don’t you WANT your executive editor be pushy?

  49. 49
    debbie says:

    @geg6:

    I just read through that thread and good on you. It always comes down to “The chick just didn’t know her place.”

    I never made it to the C-Suite myself, but when I read a couple years ago that up there, women made just 49 cents on the dollar, I knew there would never be justice.

  50. 50
    Suffern ACE says:

    @JGabriel: India is a rather violent place by our standards. I think the test for Modi will be what he does in the East rather than the west. The religious and ethnic violence in the east has been constant for years now. Congress hasn’t been able to do much about that and because it doesn’t involve a separatist movement, it doesn’t get a lot of play outside the country. But everybody is trying to drive everybody else out of the region and the process hasn’t seemed to simmer down. We’ll see if the new party can start settling those issues without siding with one side.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sparrow:

    Is she an adult?

    Yes she is, and once she said something truly racist (she is not overly racist (whatever that means, kinda like being a little pregnant), but she is conservative and somewhat religious and since marrying into a conservative and very religious family… well, the combination) and I said something that brought the whole room to a dead silence. She tried to take it back and say she really meant something just as racist and I called her out on that too. If possible, the room got even quieter. It was my house, I will not tolerate that sh!t in it, and said as much to my wife when she later asked me to be… “gentler”. But after thinking about it, I have to try not using the 2×4 quite so liberally. The line does not go away at a certain magical age. My wife is still protective of her daughter.

    In this case, it was about a girl who broke up with her long time boyfriend and has been… sampling the menu. She wants to bring the flavor of the month to the wedding. I wanted to say, “What do you care what she does with her vagina?” but settled for, “I know plenty of men who do just exactly that.” Thinking about it now, I could have added, “and nobody ever complains about it.” or something. I am open to ideas, but…

    It is hard to know when I am crossing the line. Stepparents can never forget that it is there and my wife is one of the best at allowing me leeway with it. A buddy of mine can say nothing derogatory or involve himself in any way shape or form with the rules and regulations concerning his junkie 30 yr old stepdaughter. No matter how much money she begs, borrows, or steals.

  52. 52
    Cheap Jim, formerly Cheap Jim says:

    I skimmed the Auletta article, and he seems to only have one source he cares to name, and that’s the Times spokesperson who denies the claims made elsewhere. That doesn’t mean the report is untrue, although it is flimsy journalism.

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemizel:

    now she is “a known trouble maker”.

    Great! When can she start?***

    ***my way of saying, just my type.

  54. 54
    jayackroyd says:

    @NorthLeft12: when half of the barely competent nimrods sitting in middle management subtracting value are female, then we’ll have equality.

  55. 55
    Schlemizel says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    You would be the exception as an employer. My experience is that they don’t want ‘trouble makers’ of any kind. Its one of the big dangers of being a whistle blower or someone who brings suit for any reason. You will have a very hard time finding a new job and they can keep you tied up in court a long time. I always feel bad for people who step up like this and hope they understand and can deal with the world of shit that is heading their way. An exec making $500k a year for the last few year probably has more tools to do that than some poor woman making $28k as a Walmart manager but it is risky and a brave thing to do.

  56. 56
    John says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    The BJP is scary, as is the enthusiasm of many people I know who should know better. I hear “we need a strong leader” too many times with too few caveats. The Muslims I know are very nervous.

  57. 57
    Schlemizel says:

    @Cheap Jim, formerly Cheap Jim:
    Flimsy journalism! OH NOES! That never happens. The sad part is I no longer surprised, disappointed or outraged. This is just the state of the craft.

  58. 58
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    On the other hand the NY Times just boosted their sales among conservative readers,…

  59. 59
    Botsplainer says:

    OT, but interesting nonetheless. The police commissioner of Wolfeboro NH was overheard loudly pronouncing his dislike for PBO, calling him the N word. When the deed became publicized, the 82 year old doubled down on it.

    You know who has one of his vacation compounds at Lake Winnepesaukee, at Wolfeboro?

    Mitt Romney.

    Things which make you go “hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..”

  60. 60
    geg6 says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    Nope. Only women are “pushy” and that is always bad. Men are “hard-charging” and that is always good.

  61. 61
    Schlemizel says:

    @John:
    Good thing there is no history of religious violence in India.

    This could go really badly. If things turn to shit, particularly if it involves Muslim Indians I would not expect Pakistan to stand around & watch it happen. Even short of a nuclear exchange this would be a disaster for both countries and the region. That China has some ancient grievances with India is not encouraging either.

  62. 62
    Schlemizel says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    Conservatives don’t read papers, particularly not the “even the librule NT Times”

  63. 63
    Cheap Jim, formerly Cheap Jim says:

    @Schlemizel: I didn’t say it was surprising.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    @Rhoda:

    Tell the truth, Rhoda.

    Tell it.

    Who are the biggest beneficiaries of Affirmative Action from school spots to jobs to contracts for ‘minorities’.

    White women.

    So, spare me that I should give a shyt that a woman took 3 years to realize she was being paid less. Must have not been on top of her game. I don’t believe she didn’t know. I think she took the job fully knowing it, and now wants to whine about it.

  65. 65
    satby says:

    @Dexter: me too, looks like many of my friends in India are Modi supporters. I’m pretty sure they voted on economic issues; why oh why do right wingers always seem to ride that to victory when history shows they seldom deliver on the promises?

  66. 66
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: talking about compensation is a firing offense at most corporations. How would anyone find out what other people make?
    And the devaluation of white women does affect women of color, because they’re women too. Doubly devalued.

  67. 67
    Schlemizel says:

    @Cheap Jim, formerly Cheap Jim: Understood – I was agreeing with you and amplifying your comment

  68. 68
    Marc says:

    @rikyrah:

    I don’t believe she didn’t know. I think she took the job fully knowing it, and now wants to whine about it.

    The Jill Abramson who exists only in your imagination sounds like a real asshole.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    MomSense says:

    @rikyrah:

    I know that my grandmother had it much worse than I do – both women, different skin color. I think we would be allies in trying to make it better for all of us.

  71. 71
    Rob in CT says:

    @rikyrah:

    Ok, this women is privileged. Most of us have at least *some* privilege (do I have more or less than her? Well, our whiteness cancels out. She’s got more money, but I’m a guy. Hmm. What’s the point again?). That doesn’t mean what happened here was right. This is a potential teaching moment that might wake up some other privileged people (which is important, because what we need is for people in leadership positions – who are by definition privileged – to alter their behavior).

    Nobody is asking you to weep for this woman, or care about her, specifically, in any way. She’ll be fine. None of us have ever met her, nor will we ever meet her. It’s not really about HER. It’s about sexism in the workplace.

  72. 72
    negative 1 says:

    @Gene in Princeton: People should care, though. I worked in compensation planning for a Fortune 15 bank for a while (while I did, incidentally, I didn’t show up in photographs and cast no reflection). There are two things that I can’t help but think in these cases 1: past a certain point on the corporate ladder, and I have no idea whether Jill Abramson was there or not, stock/bonuses becomes the lion’s share of compensation. There are all sorts of weird types of ways to deliver the money for tax purposes (options! synthetic stock! no-pay loans!) and depending on when the compensation was given or cashed depends on what the deals were quoted. For example, our CEO one year had a salary of $750K or so, but made well over 2 mil on total compensation, but probably saw very little of that in cash, and what the value of the stock was that day determined what went on her taxes.
    So what did make the largest difference in pay amongst people in the same position level? Whether or not you were promoted from within or whether we had to go headhunt you. This makes sense, intrinsically — you have to pay people more to leave a job because they ostensibly have job security, they take a risk by moving to a new company. Meanwhile if we promoted someone, all we had to do was beat their old salary.
    Also, I agree with the commentator above about comparing salaries. I’ve never met anyone who wouldn’t get fired for that.
    The reason this matters to me is twofold: yes, I think that though any attempts at defeating sexism are welcome, if this isn’t sexism it gives the other side ammo for the argument that any time something bad happens to a woman it becomes a sexism witch hunt. The second is that I have little to no sympathy for CEOs in general, they generally don’t mind firing everyone in the world to cut costs, so reap what you sow. It cheapens real sex-based discrimination, which happens all the time, but usually takes the form of deciding every female candidate ‘just so happens’ to not meet the qualifications for promotion or employment.

  73. 73
    gogol's wife says:

    I still don’t know why Abramson was fired. I probably will never know. Self-serving gossipy accounts put out by her personal friends are not, in my view, the gospel truth. All I know is that the New York Times, which I read every day, became worse under her editorship in almost every way. But she’s now the great feminist hero, so I’m seen as a traitor to my gender.

    The paper got worse under Keller, it got worse under Abramson, and it will probably continue to get worse under Baquet, because the decline is undoubtedly a product of factors beyond the control of any single editor. But I’m willing to give Baquet a chance and not call him a “token,” just as I did not think of Abramson as a “token” when she was promoted. I had hopes for her. They were not realized. I’m interested to see now whether the decline will be reversed.

    It feels as if much of the commentary here is by people who do not regularly read the Times.

  74. 74
    Belafon says:

    @Rhoda:
    @rikyrah:

    I’ve seen this pattern before, here on this site even: Women and blacks fighting against each other. This is the very thing the other side hopes for, that it can divide the two groups and pit them against each other while they sweep in and take all the cookies. Be angry at the correct people: Those who underpay women and minorities and deny them equal access and pay for the same positions as white men.

  75. 75
    gogol's wife says:

    @Belafon:

    You must have missed the original post on this issue that called Baquet a token. The “pitting against” was there from the start.

    I really have to go to work now, sorry to miss the rest of the discussion.

  76. 76
    gene108 says:

    @JGabriel:

    How long before nukes start flying between India and Pakistan?

    Probably a long time, unless Pakistan attacks first. The last time the BJP was in power they did try to foster peaceful relationships with Pakistan, with a bus service between Delhi and Lahore.

    Pakistan decided to encamp militants into the Kargil pass, which sparked a serious military engagement and then have a nut job run into Parliament House and start shooting it up and about ten years later send a bunch of gun toting maniacs through Mumbai.

    In short, the hostility between India and Pakistan is pretty much one sided, with India being on the receiving end of Pakistani terrorism.

    If Pakistan would crack down on its terrorists, you would see peaceful relations between India and Pakistan take root.

    Key issues for the BJP include the abrogation of the special constitutional status to Jammu and Kashmir …

    There’s a provision in the Indian Constitution that effectively forbids non-Kashmiri’s from moving into Jammu and Kashmir.

    I don’t know the pro’s and con’s of changing the constitution with regards to this, but it is there and I assume has had its benefits and problems.

  77. 77
    Belafon says:

    @gogol’s wife: I can’t seem to find it, though I am only looking for the word “token”. John’s original post was really short, so I didn’t see him saying that.

  78. 78
    gogol's wife says:

    @Belafon:

    I mean Anne Laurie’s post, which I believe was the first one.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....grey-lady/

  79. 79
    Belafon says:

    @gogol’s wife: OK. Here’s the quote:

    Sulzberger Junior: Fortunately, we have a Fungible Minority Token(tm) to throw into that gaping hole in our credibility! One assumes Mr. Basquet has hired top-quality legal assistance to examine his own contract with the NYTimes.

    It looks to me like Anne was speaking in Sulzberger’s voice, which is the point of the colon and the italics. Part of it does have the smell of doing the same thing the RNC did by putting Michael Steele as its head.

  80. 80
    Morzer says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    We’ll see if the new party can start settling those issues without siding with one side.

    Er.. the whole point of the BJP is that they are violently, murderously, viciously devoted to one side. They have been involved in pogroms against the latest enemy to the pure and perfect Hindus from the moment their party began. Their whole raison d’etre is a set of “grievances” that they have exploited to whip up mob violence and murder. If you think for one moment that they are going to suddenly become reasonable and compassionate, I fear you have a nasty awakening just around the corner.

  81. 81
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    The paper got worse under Keller, it got worse under Abramson, and it will probably continue to get worse under Baquet

    And every generation of kids is more spoiled and selfish than the last.

    Although it was led by Sulzberger’s boy, the “digital innovation” report is both insightful and makes for pretty depressing reading, because it shows how parasitic the modern media world is. The NYT could produce nothing but Pulitzer-level journalism and the pageviews would go to HuffPo and Buzzfeed’s “You Won’t Believe…” summaries with cat pictures.

    Which is to say that the NYT’s only hope is to… “get worse”. It has to become its own best parasite: a small core that does journalism, and a big group surrounding it to produce explainers and video shit and slideshows and cat pictures for the tl;dr masses.

  82. 82
    The Pale Scot says:

    Take note of Scott Lemieux’s piece of about the Times hiring BBC CEO and friend of paedophiles Mark Thompson,

  83. 83
    gene108 says:

    @satby:

    me too, looks like many of my friends in India are Modi supporters. I’m pretty sure they voted on economic issues; why oh why do right wingers always seem to ride that to victory when history shows they seldom deliver on the promises?

    Right-wing in India is different than right-wing in the U.S. The last time the BJP was in power they did not change the economic reforms started by Congress in 1991.

    What basically happened is PM Singh was not a strong leader. Sonia Gandhi still maintained control of the Congress Party, while Singh should have been in charge of the Party as the head of government. So the person in Parliament, who should have been able to keep the Congress Party in-line, the Prime Minister, was religated to more of a figurehead than an actual leader.

    The vote for the BJP is more of a “throw the bums out” move than an endorsement of RSS/VHP ideology.

    The big test for the BJP is if they are going to address the needs of rural India, which has been ignored with more investments going to cities.

    If Modi continues favoring cities over rural investment, he will run into problems.

    I think a microcosm of this was the rule of Chandra Naidu Babu in Andhra Pradesh. The English language media haled him for his economic ideas and how Hyderabad was turning into a tech center and modernizing. The end result of his rule was a backlash by rural areas about being neglected, which has resulted in the split of Andra Pradesh into two states – the new state of Telangana carved from western Andrah Pradesh.

  84. 84
    TooManyJens says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I missed that thread, what were people saying?

    It kind of boiled down to telling the women who saw sexism in Abramson’s case, “you can’t be objective about sexism, so let us [guys] decide when it’s OK to say there was sexism here.”

  85. 85
    sparrow says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Fair enough. I’m admittedly not a step-parent! I’m sure it’s not something you want to do if it upsets her mother. But ugh. I’m just not good at keeping my mouth shut either.

  86. 86
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Sexism in the workplace is a pervasive and pernicious wrong that is harmful to employers (Though they rarely realize it) and dispiriting to its victims. I was fortunate enough to work in areas of technology where all that mattered were your technical chops, gender was not even a consideration. Most others aren’t as fortunate.

    That said, I find it impossible to give a crap about Abramson. So she made slightly less that half a million a year while her male predecessor made slightly more than half a million. That fact does not tug at my heartstrings. Post the story of an underpaid woman struggling to support her family and I’ll join in wrathfully. Abramson is a part of the 1%. Fuck them all.

  87. 87
    kc says:

    @Rhoda:

    I particularly don’t want to hear boo after so many went after the brother the Nytimes hired.

    What are you talking about? I missed this.

  88. 88
    TooManyJens says:

    @Rob in CT:

    It’s not really about HER. It’s about sexism in the workplace.

    This. I don’t really care if a rich person is being paid slightly less than another rich person, or if people don’t like her personality, except to the extent that it illustrates problems that lots of NOT-rich women have to deal with.

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    I was fortunate enough to work in areas of technology where all that mattered were your technical chops, gender was not even a consideration.

    I’m extremely curious as to what areas of tech these were. They all claim that all that matters are your technical chops, but I’d be interested in knowing if there are areas where this is actually true.

  89. 89
    kc says:

    @rikyrah:

    You can believe whatever fuels your righteous indignation that makes you feel so good, but the facts say otherwise.

  90. 90
    kc says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    Thompson was unhappy that Abramson was pursuing that story.

  91. 91
    kc says:

    @Belafon:

    I’ve never seen Rhoda here before. Rikyrah has previously made known his thoughts that white women are the root of all evil.

    I’m kind of fed up with that shit, myself.

  92. 92
    MomSense says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    And “pushy” Abramson thought it wise to investigate to see if he was covering up for child sex abuse.

  93. 93
    sparrow says:

    @rikyrah:

    I don’t see how your arguments are any different than a white male complaining that “his spot” was taken by a woman, or a minority. I’m not surprised that white women make up the largest fraction of affirmative action hires since they dominate the demographics if you take the union of minorities + women. Shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. But easier to hate on a soft target, right?

  94. 94
    gogol's wife says:

    @kc:

    Rhoda has commented here many times before. Rikyrah is a woman, I believe.

  95. 95
    MomSense says:

    @kc:

    Actually what I was noticing on the earlier thread were a lot of justifications for sexism because Baquet is better. I was trying to point out that we can be concerned about sexism and pleased for Baquet and that this discussion doesn’t need to devolve to Abramson v. Baquet.

  96. 96
    TooManyJens says:

    @MomSense: Yes, by all accounts Baquet is very well qualified, and he went to bat for his workers when he was at the L.A. Times. Being mad about sexism against Abramson doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, have anything to do with being anti-Baquet.

  97. 97
    planetjanet says:

    Thank you Annie, for giving this the attention it deserves.

  98. 98
    Samuel Knight says:

    Have to agree with the people above who side with the sexism might be murky, but sure looks to me she was pushed out for investigating covering up of a child sex scandal. Times has a huge amount of talent – but always has a problem with being too darn condescending. And ounger Sulzberger seems to have an almost unerring ability to call it wrong on some of the big stuff. Keller was a pompous fool, Iraq reporting was a disaster and most columnist suck.

    And not saying why you fired your editor basically just announces to the whole world that you didn’t have a good reason to do it.

  99. 99
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @sparrow:

    Saying “well, not everything is about sexism” feels, to a lot of us women, like saying “well, not everything is about racism”

    You should tell that to Anne Laurie too then.

    @ Anne Laurie @ Top

    Saying “well, not everything is about sexism” feels, to a lot of us women, like saying “well, not everything is about racism”

  100. 100
    Eric U. says:

    @TooManyJens: yes, I hope Baquet does well, hopefully better than Abramson. But they would not have fired a man this way, that much is clear to me. And they wouldn’t have tried to hide the fact that they were paying a man less. In fact, evidence seems to show that they would not have paid a man less.

  101. 101
    Dopug says:

    @NotMax: It’s true that a simple comparison of her starting salary to Keller’s salary when he finsihed is not a great one. But the story also says “her salary as managing editor, $398,000, was less than that of the male managing editor for news operations, John Geddes. She also learned that her salary as Washington bureau chief, from 2000 to 2003, was a hundred thousand dollars less than that of her successor in that position…”

  102. 102
    The Pale Scot says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: nothing wrong with using a cluex4, especially if the subject is relying on the tenets of superstition make their case.

  103. 103
    Mandalay says:

    @geg6:

    many liberal men are just as blind to sexism as the worst right wingers

    Yep, and it is regularly on display on this board. Recent comments from BJ posters on Vivian Stiviano provide a great example.

    Racism and homophobia are slammed here, but sexism….not so much. And I think it is primarily due to blindness, as you suggest. Some folks simply can’t see what is staring them in the face.

  104. 104
    skerry says:

    F**K you people who can’t see the sexism here. Or think it is secondary to other known social problems. Can’t you carry more than one thought in your head at a time?

    As a female engineer in her 50s, I can tell you that there is definitely a perception difference between “pushy” and “assertive”. Recently, there have been some books written to tell women to “know their worth” and “competent vs confident”, “lean in”, etc. Bullshit.

    I know when I recently confronted my manager and told him that I knew that as 1 of 20 Chief Engineers in a mid-sized company that I was making significantly less than my male counterparts I was told that I was “paid enough”. (I found out about the pay discrepancy when a less-senior man left his paycheck on the copier.)

    I know that I was told to “tone it down” when I protested a given design decision. No one told any of the men that agreed with me to “tone it down”.

    I know that when I had my first child, I was told I had to make a choice between being an engineer and a mother. Any man even told to choose between parenting and a career?

    I know that when I was an undergrad, I was told I was taking a man’s seat in the classroom.

    I have lots of these stories.

    And now some of you are telling me to ignore this sexism because a white woman can’t understand how hard black men have it. STFU.

  105. 105
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @TooManyJens: @TooManyJens:

    I’m extremely curious as to what areas of tech these were. They all claim that all that matters are your technical chops, but I’d be interested in knowing if there are areas where this is actually true.

    I worked for ISPs. I was over on the ops side; software dev, network engineering, network management. I was a senior manager and my hiring preference was to identify underutilized talent in the company and to bring those people into my group whenever possible. Part of that process was reviewing their compensation at the time I was considering adding them to my reports so I did know exactly what they were being paid. In formal and informal meetings with other senior managers and directors we would occasionally discuss our philosophy regarding compensation. I never detected a whiff of gender bias, even after we’d had a few drinks. Moreover, the female employees on our side of things were the people whom I heard praised the most. We had some very sharp women working for us and UNIX doesn’t know the gender of the person inputting through vi.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kc:

    I think you’re mixing rikyrah up with a different (male) commenter who used to post here who would constantly challenge black women for their bona fides if they didn’t agree with him.

    Rikyrah’s been posting here at least as long as I have (2008) and I’ve never gotten the sense that she blames white women for much of anything. She does get exasperated at white people’s obtuseness sometimes, but that’s not the same thing.

  107. 107
    rikyrah says:

    @kc:

    I am a woman.

    A Black woman in the professional world.

    So, spare me all these folks caping for this White woman.

    I just don’t have the patience to even pretend that I care.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    You don’t necessarily have to care specifically about Jill Abramson, but note that all of the arguments about how it totally couldn’t have been sexism are extremely similar to the arguments we’ve seen here time and time again about how the venom directed at the president totally can’t be racism, because there are other reasons people don’t like him and blah blah blah.

    Black women are affected by sexism, too, so it’s worth at least keeping an eye on it when it happens to white women. Non-white women get paid less because of both racism and sexism. Black women get paid less than white women, but they also get paid less than black men.

    (And Asian-American women have less of a pay gap with white men than white women do … but more of a pay gap when compared with Asian-American men. Is that sexism, racism, or a nasty cocktail of both?)

  109. 109
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    @Rhoda if you don’t think sexism dehumanizes and degrades women then you have blinders on. And btw, some poc *are* women, don’t you know – they often get a double-dose of dehumanization.

    @Belafon:

    I’ve seen this pattern before, here on this site even: Women and blacks fighting against each other.

    I may be wrong, but I think Rikyrah has lady parts, and I’m pretty sure Rhoda does.

    ETA: In case the point is too subtle, it’s really not cool to lecture either one of them on how “Hey! Black women are women, too!” Pretty sure they know that.

  110. 110
    rikyrah says:

    And BTW, when I say caping for this White woman,

    it’s the same thing that I see with regards to Hillary Clinton.

    I’ve seen our First Lady, Michelle Obama, disrespected in all sorts of ways..

    and the same folks who jumped on Karl Rove, who admittedly is the Spawn Of Satan, haven’t said shyt in defense of Michelle Obama since, well, forever.

    And, before you say, ‘Well, Hillary Clinton was attacked too when she was First Lady’..yeah, I already know that.

    But, those that, for the most part, have kept their mouths silent while Michelle Obama has been attacked, now want to turn around and cape for Hillary Clinton and think that the rest of us should come along too.

    no, I don’t think so.

    I don’t believe in White Feminism. It has never, in any way, shape or form, meant anything to me.

    Work balance issues…shyt….like that’s something new.

    Black women have been working and ‘ balancing family’ since we were brought over in the hulls of those ships.

    In the scheme of things, as a Black Professional Woman, the Abramson thing doesn’t phase me one bit, and count me amongst those that could care less.

  111. 111
    TooManyJens says:

    Folks, I’m pretty sure women of color are well aware of how sexism and racism both affect them, so let’s not tell them like it’s never occurred to them before.

  112. 112
    sparrow says:

    @rikyrah: So, you show yourself to be narrow-minded and closed. Like a lot of white folks I know who think blacks should just “get over it” already. You’re basically saying you don’t care about this (possible) injustice because of her skin color. How is that not racist on its face?

    If this story were about a black woman, I would still care, possibly even more because of the “double injustice” aspect. But mainly because I have the ability to extrapolate, and feel for other humans that don’t look exactly like me. And see injustice for what it is.

    Injustice is injustice is injustice.

    Bigotry in all forms should be fought. If you only fight for your little corner, if you think only YOU suffer in this world, then you have a lot to learn about empathy.

    But sure, hold on to the anger against “others” if you prefer it that way.

  113. 113
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Non-white women get paid less because of both racism and sexism. Black women get paid less than white women, but they also get paid less than black men

    And black and Hispanic men earn less than white women.

    Where white women earn about 80 cents to the dollar for white men, black men earn 74.5 cents and Hispanic men a mere 65.9 cents.

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    In the scheme of things, as a Black Professional Woman, the Abramson thing doesn’t phase me one bit, and count me amongst those that could care less.

    So you know that you get paid the same as your Black male colleagues, or Black men in the same field? For sure? Because statistics say that’s pretty unlikely.

    Again, you don’t have to care specifically about Jill Abramson, but you’re sticking your head in the sand if you think your pay is not being affected by your gender in addition to your race.

  115. 115
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    And black and Hispanic men earn less than white women.

    And black and Hispanic women make earn less than all three. Why is it okay to pay black and Hispanic women less as long as we make sure to pay black and Hispanic men poorly first?

    The gender gap persists even when race is taken into account. That’s a fact, backed up by years of statistics.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TooManyJens:

    I’m not trying to lecture rikyrah about things I’m sure she knows. I’m just trying to point out the parallels between the denials of sexism we’ve seen in the past few days and the denials of racism where people make pretty much the exact same excuses (with the same wording sometimes, even!)

    So, no, rikyrah and Rhoda don’t have to give a shit specifically about Jill Abramson. But it might be handy to have examples of how both racism and sexism get the same excuses made for them, in the same way, using the same language. It’s been pretty fascinating to watch, I have to say.

  117. 117
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The gender gap persists even when race is taken into account. That’s a fact, backed up by years of statistics.

    Yet whiteness remains the primary factor driving the wage gap…

    A fact that a majority of white women seem to be fine with, given their 56% support of Willard M. Romney in 2012.

  118. 118
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @TooManyJens: This.

  119. 119
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @rikyrah:

    Well said. I’m a white male whose father spent most of my childhood on a ship somewhere out on the Pacific. Mom, my brother and sister and I spent those times being either poor or dead broke. The plight of someone who’s never lost a wink of sleep over a flat tire or the need to see a dentist affects me nearly as much as the temperature on the surface of the moon.

  120. 120
    Rob in CT says:

    Eh, the point’s been made. Rikyrah read and rejected. Let it go. I guess we won’t be firing up a drum circle.

    We can probably still avoid a circular firing squad, though.

  121. 121
    rikyrah says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m saying that going in, you know what you’re being offered, in terms of pay.

    Now, in a perfect world, you want all things equal, but you know damn well that’s not how it is.

    Now, you can accept the job or reject the job.

    But, don’t take the job, and then come up whining 3 years later about the ‘disparity in pay’.

    She is not a spring chicken. She’s been around the block.

    And it stretches my common sense to believe that she didn’t know. At THAT LEVEL? Are you serious?

    She’s not some 22 year old just out of college happy to get a job.

    Maybe they can sell that ‘ she only found out about the salary disparity’ to you, but I’ve been Black longer than 3 days, and a Black professional woman longer than 3 days.

  122. 122
    Rob in CT says:

    @Cacti:

    A fact that a majority of white women seem to be fine with, given their 56% support of Willard M. Romney in 2012.

    I’ve been meaning to check up on how this breaks down regionally. I have my suspicions…

    edit: from the Atlantic:

    Obama won a remarkable 68 percent of the women’s vote in New York State, where the electorate in general is younger and more diverse. But he won only 50 percent of the women’s vote in Arizona, where there are a lot of Hispanics, but also a lot of older white voters. In Indiana, where the electorate is also older and less diverse, Obama actually lost the women’s vote—he won only 48 percent of it.

    It all matters. Race. Region. Gender. Money. Marriage. Religion. And on and on.

  123. 123
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well said.

  124. 124
    WereBear says:

    As an advocate for kitty cats, I’m used to my “pet cause” being dismissed because someone else’s means more to them. And this applies to everything.

    And it’s stupid.

    It’s not a ranking exercise, because NOBODY WINS. We don’t need charities or causes or societal injustices to be dropped into a pit to fight each other. Many causes enter, one cause leaves.

    I know people on the left love to whine about who is the most oppressed, but in the meantime, EVERYONE IS OPPRESSED.

    When good-hearted people fight each other instead of the Enemy, the Enemy wins. So cut it out.

    Fight for what you YOU believe in. But don’t denigrate someone else for what they believe in. This obscures the fact that we all want justice.

    We all want justice for everyone, don’t we?

  125. 125
    Bitter and Deluded Lurker says:

    @rikyrah: She knew what she was being offered. Did she know what her male colleagues made?

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    I’m saying that going in, you know what you’re being offered, in terms of pay.

    You know how much you’re being offered, but that doesn’t mean you know how much the other people were getting for doing the same job. If I found out after the fact that the person who had the job before me was getting paid a lot more because of their gender or race, I would be pretty pissed off.

    I’m not asking you to cry any tears for Jill Abramson, but one of the reasons this story is hitting a nerve with a lot of (white) women is that a lot of them have experienced it.

    And, like I said, the similarities between the excuses made for racism that I’ve seen online before and the excuses that are being made for sexism in this case are really striking to me. Like, Huh, there really is something to this “intersectionality” thing!

    ETA: Shorter me — this is your opportunity to say “I told you so” to all of the people who were saying these same clueless things about race.

  127. 127
    geg6 says:

    @Cacti:

    WTF? You and others seem to think that if you fight sexism that, somehow, you can’t fight against racial bigotry, too. I care just as much about the low pay of minority women and men without a college degree as I do about the pay and power gap between men and women. It’s all the same fight to me. I want equal opportunity for everyone.

    But instead, here we liberals are, pitted against one another and huddled in our little identity groups, screaming and demeaning one another and forgetting about the real fight.

    I hate being a liberal some days and the last two days have pretty much proven that.

  128. 128
    sparrow says:

    @Rob in CT: This argument that 56% of white women voted for Romney, therefore FUCK EM is just as ridiculous as people who like to say “give Texas back to Mexico!” because republicans (OTHER TRIBE) win by similar margins there. You know what? As a white woman who lived in Texas for ten years and always voted for dems, FUCK ALL OF YOU.

    White women are not a monolith, just as black people aren’t and jewish people aren’t and every other group isn’t. I’m sick of this shit.

  129. 129
    TooManyJens says:

    @sparrow: What that 56% does mean, though, is that women of color are justified in not assuming that a white woman is on their side just because she’s a woman. Meanwhile, on the flip side, white women do have a tendency to expect women of color to be on their side because “we’re all women!” So I can’t say I’m surprised or upset that sometimes women of color decide to skip rallying to a white woman’s cause. Tell people (implicitly, if not explicitly) that they’re on their own enough times and that’ll happen.

    tl;dr White women who want our feminism to be intersectional would do best to aim our persuasive efforts at fellow white women.

  130. 130
    rikyrah says:

    the whole, ‘ Oh she was just so innocent…she didn’t know the pay scale’,

    I call BULLSHYT to that.

    Seriously?

    I’m supposed to believe that?

    See, for me, that’s the whole bullshiggedy of this entire back and forth, and stretches all limits of credulity.

  131. 131
    sparrow says:

    @TooManyJens: Sure, not assuming they are on your side is one thing, but deciding that certain injustices don’t mean anything to you because some people of that race/ethnicity/religion/gender are “not on your side” is so wrong, and so MISSING THE BASIC LESSON about the harms of assumptions, racism, stereotypes, that I’m really shocked I would have to argue about it to someone commenting on a liberal blog! How am I as one person responsible for all other white women? I’m not, no more than a man is responsible for other male Romney voters.

    Rikyrah assumes that because I’m a white woman, I don’t care about people of color. That’s just not true. I have read what people say about Michelle Obama and I get so mad I start shaking with anger. I am legitimately concerned with pretty much all forms of bigotry and injustice, not just those that affect me personally. And I’m absolutely sure that in aggregate, black women get the worst of all of it. But she has made it abundantly clear that she couldn’t care less about me, or people like me. That’s a slap in the face, frankly. I’m still obviously against racism in all forms. But if I were to follow Rikyrah’s logic, I shouldn’t be, because Rikyrah’s “not with me”.

  132. 132
    slag says:

    @rikyrah: You’re free to think whatever you want, of course, but you should know that you’re making a very conservative argument here.

    Go check out the ironically-named Reason and you’ll see lots of comments about apparent wage discrimination that look exactly like yours.

  133. 133
    geg6 says:

    @rikyrah:

    You do realize that an executive editor’s salary really isn’t based on some sort of pay grade scale, don’t you? And, even if it was (which they aren’t), that the gap between the bottom of the scale can be pretty far away from the top?

    For instance, the pay rate for my grade level (just got a promotion this year to “I” level here) shows a $40,000 difference between the bottom and top level. Since I get paid next to nothing commensurate with my education and experience because I’m a staffer in academia, that’s a pretty big difference.

  134. 134
    rikyrah says:

    @geg6:

    You do realize that an executive editor’s salary really isn’t based on some sort of pay grade scale, don’t you?

    no….really…seriously…..

    I guess I missed that

    sigh.

    I’ll say it again.

    I don’t believe she didn’t know.

    Have I, in my years of work, taken jobs where I KNOW that I was being paid less than the White man I replaced?

    Yes. As an adult, in the REAL WORLD, you weigh the back and forths, and either take the job, or your don’t.

    Have I then, turned around, and at the next ‘ raise’ point, brought this up, along with what I had done as an employee?

    Yes.

    Did it work out for me.

    Sometimes.

    Did I get called ‘ Uppity’ in so many words and be fired.

    Sometimes.

    You roll the dice like that. But, when you go in, you know that could possibly happen.

    But, the whole ‘ she didn’t know the compensation thing’ does not ring true for me.

    Believe it if you want.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    I don’t believe she didn’t know.

    I bet she suspected, which is why she hired a lawyer to dig in and see what the numbers really were. I’m guessing that, like a lot of educated, upper-class white women, she thought it wouldn’t happen to her because she was smarter than that, a better negotiator, One of Them, etc. etc. For people like that, it’s always a hard fall to discover that you’ve been fooling yourself.

    On the plus side, it definitely gives Mr. Baquet a leg up in his salary negotiations to have all of this out in public. At an absolute minimum, they’re going to have to pay him what Ms. Abramson was getting, and they’ll probably give him more in an effort to “prove” that it totally wasn’t sexism that they paid her less. So in addition to (apparently) being a good editor, he’ll get a better salary than she did, too.

    (I don’t know anything about Mr. Baquet, but I do like the accounts of him standing up to the owners of the LA Times and stopping further staff cuts, so that’s definitely a point in his favor.)

  136. 136
    texasdoc says:

    @skerry: I am a female physician, and couldn’t agree with you more. When I was working at an academic medical center, my division offered a job to a recent fellow–at a considerably higher salary than I was making after several years. When I asked why, I was told that “he needs to support a family” . A few years after that, the Women’s Faculty Association did a salary survey and discovered that women were being paid, on average, $50,000 per year less than men for equivalent responsibilities, level of training, etc. Salary adjustments were made, in lieu of a lawsuit, but there were still no high level women administrators (there were a couple of female division heads–but in Pediatrics, which is “appropriate” for women).

  137. 137
    rikyrah says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    if folks wanna cling to the hill of ‘ she didn’t know’, ok. fine.

    on that level of rarefied air that she was breathing, she didn’t know which way was up.

    uh huh

  138. 138
    geg6 says:

    @rikyrah:

    I have no idea what my male counterparts at other campuses of my university make. Not even a bit. I don’t even know what salary grade level they are.

  139. 139
    taylormattd says:

    Thank you for this Anne.

  140. 140
    MomSense says:

    But instead, here we liberals are, pitted against one another and huddled in our little identity groups, screaming and demeaning one another and forgetting about the real fight.

    And this is how they keep all of us fighting for the scraps. The minimum-wage worker is told to resent the union worker or teacher instead of working with the unions to improve wages and benefits for everyone.

  141. 141
    kc says:

    @rikyrah:

    So, spare me all these folks caping for this White woman.

    I just don’t have the patience to even pretend that I care.

    If you don’t like people criticizing discriminatory employment practices, or “caping,” as you dismissively put it, on a liberal blog, the problem is yours.

  142. 142
    kc says:

    @rikyrah:

    n the scheme of things, as a Black Professional Woman, the Abramson thing doesn’t phase me one bit, and count me amongst those that could care less.

    I’ll count you among those who don’t mind trolling the shit out of a thread to tell us how much you don’t care.

  143. 143
    kc says:

    @geg6:

    Somebody slept through the whole Lily Ledbetter thing. Of course, Ledbetter is white, so I expect Rikyrah doesn’t give a shit about that either.

  144. 144
    kc says:

    @rikyrah:

    But, the whole ‘ she didn’t know the compensation thing’ does not ring true for me.

    Believe it if you want.

    Jesus, no one at the freaking NYT even disputes that.

    This is pure-T trollery.

  145. 145
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    That’s one of the nice things about being white and upper-class, though: you can pretend that none of this applies to you. Which is why it’s even more of a shock to discover that, yes, the employers that you thought were your peers thought of you as inferior the whole time.

    It’s a lesson many white people never have to learn because they’ve been sheltered from it their whole lives. I would not be surprised at all to find out that this is the first time Abramson has run into it, or at least the first time in a couple of decades that she’s run into it.

    ETA: And, again, you don’t have to feel sorry for her. But I find it all too plausible that a white, upper-class woman would be oblivious to discrimination until the inequality was shoved in her face.

  146. 146
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: She’s a 60-year-old woman in a male-dominated profession. I doubt very much this was the first time Abramson faced discrimination.

  147. 147
    My Truth Hurts says:

    It’s no wonder most of the people in media are out of touch with regular Americans if those salary numbers are typical of the industry. They are making literally 10 times as much money as I do and I would say my job is a lot more valuable than those that protect the status quo.

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