tv To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe PBS January 25, 2015 3:00pm-3:31pm EST
>> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: the cornell douglas foundation committed to encouraging stewardship of the environment, land conservation, watershed protection and eliminating harmful chemicals. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation. the wallace genetic foundation the oak foundation. the e. rhodes and leona b. carpenter foundation and the charles a. frueauff foundation. >> this week on "to the contrary" first, is the president paying his female staff fairly? then, new research finds microcredit is not the magic wand it's been touted as to reduce poverty. behind the headlines: are online hackers anonymous helping or
hurting women's causes? >> hello, i'm bonnie erbe. welcome to "to the contrary," a discussion of news and social trends from diverse perspectives. up first, the white house pay gap. does president obama practice what he preaches? former hp president and republican presidential candidate carly fiorina reignited that pay equity debate this week. fiorina confronted obama senior adviser valerie jarrett charging that the president is "not paying women equally, by his own measures in his own white house." jarrett refuted the charge saying white house women staffers are paid equally.
they're both sort of right. according to white house salary data released last july, the average male staffer earns just more than $88,000 per year while the average woman staffer earns just more than $78,000 per year. the reason, as fiorina referenced, is that men are likely to be in more senior positions: reaction to his comments during state of the union, will it ignite a new debate over pay equity? >> bonnie, i think, bring it on. as long as my republican colleagues refuse to pass the very modest update of equal pay act that is 50 years old we need that. >> i think this debate about how women are paid in the white house is sort of useless. we have more constructive way of dealing with the issue. >> i think the debate is going to continue and up to women to make sure that it continues. >> i think if fiorina runs for
president this will be front and center. most people forgot the state of the union at all. [ laughter ] >> are you saying women don't care about equal pay? >> i'm saying that most people probably didn't watch the state of the union. >> forget about the state of the union just the debate over equal pay, which by the way there were figures out i think it was last week maybe this week showing that it's now 82 cents to the dollar up from 77. we should caution it has gone up and down. >> here is a better answer, there are mostly men running for president, i this that most of those men will not bring this issue up during the presidential debate. >> i disagree. >> the republican side. >> i disagree. >> you need the women's vote. republicans need the women's vote and democrats need the women's vote. we as women want to keep this dialogue going we can keep this dialogue going. >> let me add something. i think -- i like her theory
going after the white house is sort of silly, playing politics. reality is she should talk how large the wage gap s. i suspect much smaller that we are talking about. how do we address it. are there things that women can do other things that businesses can do to try to shrink it. i don't think we'll be age to totally close it, women's choices and help's choices are different. that's okay. trying to go after, this is all partisan politics. >> i agree with you. the fact is, for example in the white house they were also talking apples and oranges because women who are in leadership posts of course make as much, women who are not make as much but then the question is why are there more women in leadership posts. >> i think it's legitimate question. of all places the obama -- what is he going to say we couldn't find as many qualified senior women. >> no. >> when you are talking about the gap you point out that 82
cents or whatever. you want to concede that -- this is a very important concession that the difference really comes if you take out all of the factors that the republicans are talking about. much smaller wage gap to be sure. but if you take out yes, you're absolutely right as women are staying at home and preferring to do that, if you take all of those factors out there is still wage gap the difference is, it is much smaller than the 82 cents that we talk about all the tile. >> i agree with you bonnie f. you're going to be a leader you need to look at the make up of the people that are working for you. particularly in the white house. and be conscious of color, of gender, of all kinds of things. you need to have diversity in that white house you need to be as equal as far as possible who is occupying senior level poe glikes to that credit they have
almost as many women in the top posts as men. >> really? >> that's what i learned. >> reports have all been that his inner circle is a whole bunch of men. and valerie jarrett. >> very different from the top post. >> only has three senior advisors one is a woman two are men, one of the men is leaving. i will just say that i think, a little bit hypocritical of this specific white house which pushed this issue so hard to be in this position where they don't have as many women. >> this is where we have to be realistics. i went spoke to group of female chiefs of staff on the hill. listening to them, it's hard, it is very hard to work those long hours and most of them all had children and more on the way. i thought they were struggling with this. this is not the easiest job in washington to have. there are many other opportunities that provide much more flexibility, much higher pay we have to think is it that --
>> they don't get those opportunities unless they get -- serve on the hill. >> right. >> senior positions for awhile. >> you need to serve on those positions for awhile. may not want to end up in the white house. >> pending legislation. if you speak to some providers keep you from telling your colleagues how much you've made. actually -- it's not already illegal that's what the fair pay act is all about. it does don't very much about equal pay for equal work. republicans oppose it. >> you're saying put the issue back on the republicans, in other words for -- >> that's where it is. pending legislation that have very modest i spoke of they won't -- they oppose it even the women on house side oppose it. >> this is why. first of all talk about your
salary, people are allowed to -- >> you may be fired if you do. >> second of all i think that we're much better off talking to women and saying hey if salary is going to be the most important thing that you're going to value let's think what you're doing. do you want to be engineer major or be english major. work full time or part time. you want to start family right away or do you want to delay it those are all things that we can talk about that will of much bigger impact on shrinking that gap. >> i have to say, i don't know how you do that. i think in the perfect world that would be great. when you say start talking to women, you're talking about at the collegiate level better benefits if you go to english than if you go in to engineering, that's not necessarily true. we don't have mandatory lead like we should have for women to not lose their job and places. how do you know that a school is going to give you something better than an engineer company is going to give you. how are you going to know that?
>> i wouldn't tell my daughters to think about salary first i'd tell them to think about what is going to make them happy, what they're going to enjoy that's how you're ultimately the most successful. if they said "mom, all i care about is highest salary i could make" don't be a history maim or like mom that is not going to be best solution for making a lot of money. >> some professions are known to make more money on average than other professions. >> all the women's fault. >> all right. let us know what you think. please follow me on twitter @bonnieerbe. from equal pay to world poverty. microcredit has long been considered key to lifting women and children out of poverty in undeveloped nations. but now studies in six countries have found these small loans to may not work. the loans have been given to impoverished but eager entrepreneurs who have no collateral or credit history to help them start small
businesses. the research finds while small business ownership increases in the short-term, it does not lead to higher incomes long-term, increased investment in children's education or to women's empowerment. microcredit was pioneered by the grameen bank in bangladesh but has recently become popular here in the us. one of the most depressing things about this -- the surveys that came out this week was that one economist was quoted saying, there's not as much difference between the use of these loans and the level of financial education among african -- live out in the bush and the americans of low income. is that why -- >> i found that very startling. >> the small loans don't work for people? >> i found that very startling. i'm very cautious right now about these studies and saying
they're failures, what they talked about they're not living up to the expectation. and when you look at how long we've been giving these loans and credit it's not that long to start seeing results. we've seen with immigrants come in it can take a second generation perhaps a third generation before you see the results of upward mobility. so i'm very cautious 'brought taking this and saying, oh, they're failures. i've been to ethiopia twice seeing women who have taken advantage of this, are starting small businesses they have some more flexibility they have an ability to control their lives more. and i think we can certainly look at this say how to make it better, how can we tweak it. >> are there other opportunities that we can additionally have. but i'm not going to say this is a failure. >> i think that's actually healthy perspective. don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak. something that is coming out there's more that's necessary that is simply the finance.
we need to have country that has private property rights need to have country basic infrastructure, we talk about it here. what we're actually looking at is places that don't have real tons pore takes system need to have some -- >> but bottom to me is -- education. failure on the part of our country to educate our lowest income people. you would think that we could do a better job than under developed or not developed nations. but we're not. my views there is much more that we can put money in to education system we need to give people a real choice. >> they got plenty of choices, you get what it takes to take those choices. i certainly would not say that this is a failure or not. i cooperate agree with you more. long term studies tell us whether or not something is a success or failure. the most -- >> you're talking about here. the studies were long term in
developing countries. >> i wouldn't call those long term. more than ten years. >> 2003 wasn't it? >> what bothered me frankly is the various failures here, of course this is hard to measure but they said there wasn't an increase in power. i would have thought that women who would have had their own businesses, who have taken control of their own lives in that way would have felt more empowered even if they failed. but that bothered me more than the kinds of failures that i was describing simply the kind of economic failures that small businesses have anyway. >> one of the things i was looking at some of these programs are structured, that to me where potentially the failing at in ways some of them are handing out -- not telling people these are the goals you have to meet these are the things that you need to be doing, strategically and financially planning. you can't to go a bank in america did for loan for small business and just say i want the money, i'm not sure what i'm going use it for i'm sure i can
make it work. they should adopt more. not make it harder to get the money but be able to come to the plan say what they're going to do with the money probably have much better chance of meeting -- address outcomes. >> i was just going to say i see what you're saying, this is small amounts of money like $2500. >> even in the u.s. 1800 but up to 50,000. >> which is big. when you look at the examples women have been created gone out there for this price, bring it to their home. selling it out of their homes getting clothes at discount from second hand used store, selling it out of their homes. sending it to relatives in another country to market threat send the money back to them. they're being very creative. i don't know what the criteria would be. when you're looking at women who have never done any business before, that is part of the problem. if you have a plan like this then maybe could you go. >> i agree with you about
business plans. they do give those very important to succeeding don't see much difference. >> one of the challenges when money comes in, very often right away has to be, not used to build assets or build wealth in the business the way when you get to certain -- >> build wealth in a business with 1800? >> you simply can't. >> things like saving and credit are what are most important for somebody who -- >> if you look like looking at examples you were talking about one was people who buy mary kay products then sell those. use that 1800 buy a bunch of products that is all great. you need to have a network at least of women that you could sell that product to. that's what i'm talking abut with a business plan. i have 25 women that i know i can call on, what not, so forth. some people are just buying products saying i'm sure i'll be able to sell it not think through to the end goal.
>> i think one thing that was very interesting was some people are not put can it in their business at all. they are realizing that their credit is a problem, they make such little money that they are putting the money aside then paying off their debt every month. >> to build credit. that is smart. then you can go to a bank for some other lender and get a loan sizable loan. >> all right. we're all agreed we're not prepared to give up on -- >> no. >> we're all agreed. behind the headlines: the hacking group anonymous provokes fear in many. but others see this loose network of people as champions of important social causes. they have been central to many stories lately surrounding sexual assault and police brutality. we spoke with anthropologist gabriella coleman, an expert on anonymous, to find out who is behind those masks and how women are involved. >> anonymous is a little bit hard to define, but currently the name is primarily used to
organize protest action. the name is used by different groups of individuals, some of them geeks, some of them hackers, some of them unknown parties, to organize very diverse forms of collective action. >> gabriella coleman is an anthropologist who has infiltrated anonymous, a secretive hacking group. she has become an unofficial liaison between the group and the general public. the group's current concern is using the internet and hacking to promote specific causes. >> anonymous has been involved in over 300 political operations in the last three years. they have been involved in occupy, the arab spring, quite recently ferguson, involving police brutality, a number of rape cases in north america. they have been involved in many international operations, for example fighting corruption in the peruvian government. >> but, their methods are seen as questionable.
>> the political operations within anonymous take many different forms, but one of the interventions is what's called doxing. that's when a name of an alleged perpetrator is released to the world at large. that could be for example an alleged rapist. >> but this type of behavior is risky. >> the best example of this recently has to do with the police shooting in ferguson, when we didn't know the name of darren wilson. someone within anonymous claimed to have found the correct name of the police officer, released it to the world at large, and it was the wrong name. >> feminist groups and others fighting against sexual assault are ambivalent about assistance from anonymous, which has been credited with bringing national attention to otherwise-ignored rape cases. >> the reaction from feminist and different organizations that work on fighting sexual abuse has been mixed it's been very mixed.
some groups and individuals stand by anonymous for helping to spark a national debate for helping to extend what are often local or regional issues to become national issues. in other cases they think that they do more harm because of the fact that by exposing the names of perpetrators who have yet to be charged as guilty, they are engaging in vigilante justice. >> another source of friction is anonymous's use of offensive language. the group's original purpose before it turned to politics was merely to engage in an intense form of pranking known as "trolling." >> the roots of anonymous lie in the fearsome world of internet trolling. and trolling can span from the lighthearted to the truly gruesome. and it is a culture in which there is a lot of misogyny and racism. >> partly due to this culture and partly the low number of
women studying computer science, the vast majority of the expert hackers within anonymous are men. however, women do play important roles. >> when you go outside of this sphere of just the hacker crews the diversity is more pronounced, and you definitely have quite a few women involved. who took on important organizational roles. so for example, in anonymous twitter is very important. the largest one is called your anonymous news, it currently has over one million followers well, two women at two different times, were incredibly important in building up that >> does anonymous help women or hurt women? it depends on who you ask. >> i find garners different kinds of reaction. some people find them to be really exciting and they're not scared by them at all. and then on the other side of the spectrum people are quite concerned and find them to be kind of like goblins, scary goblins out there who are doing a lot of damage.
>> goblins or crusaders for justice who is it? >> at this table i am probably wrong person to ask that question because as someone who works in the media i obviously think that the media should be the gatekeeper for a lot of the type of information. because people in the media have the opportunity to vet it make sure that it's accurate and true before putting it out there. that's why they continue to be the gatekeeper. >> problem people have with anonymity is accountability. when i think of the analogy frankly the huge contributors are doing when they are ee step shelly destroying our democracy we don't know who they are. only thing i ask if i don't know where the information is coming from, do i know if it's credible do i know how to value it? >> these are such serious issues that we're talking about, rape, police brutality idea that we're sort of going after shock value rather than a substantive investigation and a conversation
about it is very concerning. >> but let's say you want it stopped. how do you stop it? >> you're asking the -- >> i think genie is out of the bottle. >> these are the kind of things to me make the internet sometimes very scary place. >> yeah. i know we're going to discuss how this affects women but just being from st. louis and being there on the ground in the ferguson issue in the case, the person that was identified as the police officer that wasn't the police officer, his life was threatened, it was scary. his credit cards were shut down. he went in to hiding. then they hack in to the -- >> was he ever hurt or -- >> no. there were a lot of threats. of course there's no protection for him. then the court system stopped working, serious things were going on, shutting down trying to hack in. darren wilson's family had to go
in to hiding. eventually the police officer's name would have been released. that's what i'm saying. i'm not saying it shouldn't have been. how you do it, when you do, that you got the facts wrong. >> did the listened up being the ones who released -- accuracy? >> which they had to do faster. >> if they had done it faster. >> i agree. >> as former judge how would you -- >> you'll get me in trouble. >> the anonymous part of it. is there a way to sue the group? to criminalize the group somehow? >> i was thinking about that, i think it would be very difficult to criminalize them. some of them have been prosecuted. >> they have? >> been able to find them when they were hacking under federal guidelines getting in -- >> are any of the -- just curious i think are they in jail, any of them?
>> in the process. i don't think anybody has been convicted yet. i think there are charges. >> this is another reason why the white house and federal government are pursuing better cybersecurity legislation to stop the hacking from occurring which would stop the problem that we're talking about. >> my problem with women how this -- going towards race alleged -- >> women have been -- women got in to gaming and there have been the most horrendous incidents reported where they were not just hacked they were threatened with their lives because many anonymous people happened to be men and happened to be misogynists. there's no screening for crazy either right? >> no. very true. so then you have to wonder, going to be a backlash on what we're trying to do on women reporting credibility issues. are people going to go, you know what accusations are flying about that, you start to be
desensitized feel like they're not valid. >> i don't know how that is going to happen but i think something worth watching >> that's it for this edition. please follow me on twitter and visit our website, pbs.org/tothecontrary. whether you agree or think, to the contrary, see you next week. >> funding for "to the contrary"
provided by: the cornell douglas foundation committed to encouraging stewardship of the environment land conservation, watershed protection and eliminating harmful chemicals. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation. the wallace genetic foundation the oak foundation. the e. rhodes and leona b. carpenter foundation and the charles a. frueauff foundation. for a transcript or to see an online version of this episode of "to the contrary" please visit our pbs website at www.pbs.org/tothecontrary.
♪ from washington, "the mclaughlin group." the american original. for over three decades the sharpest minds, best sources hardest talk. >> issue one. hail to the chief. ♪ >> america, for all that we've endured, for all the grit and hard work required to come back, for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this -- the shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong. [applause] with a growing economy