Thursday, April 13, 2006

Someone sent me an e-mail asking what I think about Katie Couric being named the anchor of the CBS Evening News. Apparently I come off to this reader (and perhaps others) as someone who doesn't think women are as competent as men, and given that perceived bias of mine, she wondered what I thought about Couric's appointment.

First, I don't think she's right about my bias. I think the women who work at the firm, for the most part, are just as competent as the men, and in many cases considerably more competent, since in order to get as far as they've gotten, they've had to overcome some amount of gender bias inherent in the system. There are partners here, and I'm not one of them, who do think women are mostly useless. So the women who thrive have to be good, to overcome these attitudes. I fear the reader is confusing my contempt for Anonymous Wife with a more general contempt for women. I can understand the mistake, and I forgive it. This of course excludes women who get pregnant, or the ones who spend all day thinking about the possibility of getting pregnant to such an extent that it distracts them from working, or the ones who merely retain the ability of becoming pregnant, even if they're currently choosing not to exercise that option. Those women are obviously a liability to the firm.

Second, I don't have an opinion about Katie Couric, because the evening news is on television in the middle of the day, and anyone who watches it is probably unemployed. I find it very difficult to have an opinion about someone whose job is to read the news off a teleprompter at 6:30 in the afternoon. I don't care if it's Katie Couric or Brian Williams or Mr. Ed. I think Katie Couric is a perfectly pleasant newsreader. But I think her job is pretty useless. When I was growing up, we watched the evening news. But with cable news networks and the Internet, network news has outlived its usefulness. Just like women who've passed childbearing age.

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