It is, apparently, only women standing together with their female colleagues who aren’t allowed to comment, while men can carry on making those same women the butt of their jokesby Sian Norris / January 12, 2018 / Leave a comment
Have you heard the one about the woman who was paid less than her male colleagues for doing the same job?
That’s the joke according to Radio 4’s Today show presenter John Humphrys, who found himself in hot water on Thursday night after a conversation between him and Jon Sopel was leaked to the Times. In the leaked recording, he makes light of the pay gap and recent revelations by former China editor Carrie Gracie that the BBC was paying her less than her male counterparts. In what he’s defended as “light-hearted” and “sarcastic” comments, Humphrys asked Sopel “how much of your salary are you prepared to hand over?”—and then claimed that he had himself “handed over already more than you fucking earn.”
He went on to say, “Oh dear God she’s actually suggested you should lose money,” referencing the fact that Gracie had said she didn’t think she required a pay increase, but believed the four regional editors should be on equal pay. (Jon Sopel is North America Editor.)
Like dozens of men caught in the sexist act before him, Humphrys has defended his comments as “banter” between two friends who were “taking the mickey out of each other.” But it feels less like he was taking the mickey out of Sopel or himself. The butt of the joke is, once again, the women who are fighting for equal pay for equal work.