Comments about ‘Miss Utah USA gets second chance at question on 'The Today Show'’

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Published: Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:45 a.m. MDT

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Gregory Hill
Richboro, PA

Nicely done, Ms. Powell. And with grace.

Orem, UT

"A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?"

Correct answer: Absolutely nothing! It is so easy to lie with statistics, that this whole question is meaningless. It says NOTHING about a woman with the exact same education, experience, work ethic, schedule, and commitment as a man, getting paid less for the same job simply because she is a woman and he is a man.

Women as a group do get paid less than men as a group, but there are a thousand factors that contribute to this (type of job, flexible work schedule, time off to care for children, etc, etc..). Sure, there are people who will pay based on gender for the same job (and sometimes it favors women), but I don't think that it necessarily means the society as a whole needs to change.

Scottsdale, AZ

What a hot mamma!

She would have won if she hadn't botched the question. Perhaps it's better that she didn't win because now she has free time to do other things and if she does things right, she can spin her 15 minutes of fame into some good bankroll.

Columbus, OH

She still didn't answer the question. The question is asking her to expound on why women get paid less than men, not to judge whether it's OK or not.

Joe...of course there are a lot of factors that go into it. That does not mean, however, that there are not some societal problems contributing to the pay disparity. Many studies have found that women in the same jobs within the same company often get paid less. Possible reasons might include the "Mary Kay" effect where bosses perceive men as primary breadwinners, and believe they need a higher wage to support their families. Others point to women being less effective in negotiating salary, which begs the question, what societal values are being taught to women to keep them from fighting for what they're worth.

sandy, ut

She misunderstood the question. So what. At least she didn't misspell potato(e) in a spelling bee.

Peter Coyotl
West Jordan, UT

For an in depth analysis of today's issues I do not look at the Miss USA pageant for my information. It is a beauty pageant. It is not an academic debate.

She did not sound smart at that moment. She did not seem poised at the moment. So what? Karl Malone lost the ball in game six of the 1998 finals during the final seconds of the game, and with the Jazz holding a tenuous one point lead. No one remembers that. Everyone remembers the next play when Jordan pushes off of Russell to create space for what turned out to be the game winning shot.

If Malone does not get stripped, and the Jazz score there is most likely a game seven.

Stockton had a chance to win the game after Jordan's shot, but he missed. Even the greatest players in the history of the game sometimes fail when all is on the line. Give the woman a break. Yes,she flubbed with the game on the line. It is just a beauty pageant.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

I work for a fortune 50 company as an engineer. Almost 100% of female engineers are hired right out of college. Far fewer male engineers land jobs in this economy. Females comprise less than 10% of the engineers in my company, mostly due to the relatively few women who major in any engineering discipline, yet women occupy over 50% of the engineering management positions.

Women make good managers, they are good with people and detail oriented. Many of them make excellent project managers (let's face it most women have to do that as stay at home moms).

Many men also possess these qualities. I have seen many men passed over for promotion and less qualified women have been given the management jobs.

Feminists paint a bleak picture that just ain't so.

When you compare male and female workers based on years of experience women actually have a slight edge. Based on age, not so much. Women take time off to have babies and raise children.

Figures don't lie but liars sure do figure.

Give Me A Break
Pullman, WA

What does this question say about those who compose the questions for Beauty Pageant contestants? It's a ditzy question.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA


Just so you know, Dan Quail was given a cue card with with potato spelled with an e on the end. He was set up. Potato can be spelled either way.

I don't suppose that you have ever misspelled a word.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Medical Lake, Washington

As I read over the half a dozen responses given up until this point, I thought they were fairly well stated.

What concerns me the most is not the specific dollar amounts but that we as a society seem to be geared towards complaining. Many seem to feel that life is unfair and that someone needs to pay for that disparity. As Peter Falk declared in the movie 'The Princess Bride', Who said life is fair? Where is that written anywhere.

We can spend millions on research and still come up with inequality in society. Our energies and resources might be better spent taking what we have and building it into more rather than trying to continuously legislate and litigate ourselves into a better life style. I think everyone should be treated fairly, but so far that has happened for me in my life and it seems to do more harm than good to continuously sit around complaining about it. We make due with what we have and work hard to make our lives better.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

My two cents now,

There were really three questions buried in Marissa Powell's Gotcha question Sunday night. First, 40 Percent of women are the primary breadwinners. If you readers and Marissa Powell have been following the news the last week or two. That 40 percent statistic also includes Single/Divorced Mothers solely supporting their families.It also includes those women who earn more than than their unemployed or lesser paid hubbys. Second, Because women often sacrifice their careers to become mother's or family caregivers they are penalized financially from stepping off the career track. Third, Society, for better or worse, rewards those men and women who sacrifice family for career. IMHO, Ms Powell still only partially answered the question. Realistically, with the exception of Hillery Clinton or Condi Rice at that age, 21. How many other women could have smoothly answered this ambush cocktail party question?

American Fork, UT

Shouldn't we be more atwist about the sexist, unholy, racy, raunchy, exploitative debacle that is a beauty pageant? Or is it OK to tune in for the swimwear competition again?

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

A good place to begin is to stop the objectification of women. Beauty pageants, by their very nature, devalue women.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I really don't know too many professions where women and men doing the same exact job with the same exact conditions get different pay. Joe Capitalist is correct, there are a variety of factors that might lead to women getting lower pay ranging from the fact that the job responsibilities are similar but not the same for a variety of reasons. The employees where I work are on the same pay scale regardless of gender, race or ethnicity.


Someone should ask a question about the politicization of beauty contests.

South Jordan, UT

Who cares about that question? Couldn't take our eyes off that modest, designed in her great aunt's back room,dress.

Just an Observer
Salt Lake City, UT

A related question that could well be asked--but never will be at a beauty pageant--is why companies will pay different salaries to different people for the same job, regardless of gender. The answer is: Because they can! The truth is that they pay what they need to pay a specific person to do a job. If that person was making more than another to begin with, or the company had to hire that person from outside, that person will make more than another doing the same job. It isn't fair in the least. But there are unfortunately very few companies that are concerned foremost with treating their employees fairly, regardless of gender. What does that say about society? Nothing that we don't already know.

AZ Blue & Red
Gilbert, AZ

Obviously not ditzy as many would like to paint her as. I thought she was lovely and did a great job on this interview. She took it in stride and took responsibility. So I was impressed. I did not see the pageant but I am sure she would have done better if she could have done a bit better on the question. But I have not been in front of millions and asked a really dumb question.

I think I read that she does or did go to BYU? As for her clothes I understand the reasons for the pageant (may not agree) but on the show she did have a wider choice. I will leave it at that.

Congrats to her anyway. She really is a lovely young lady.

Bountiful, UT

A lot of the fun watching a beauty contest is listening to the contestants answer the questions. they tend to say the corniest things and Miss Utah didn't disappoint.

Naval Vet
Philadelphia, PA

When I was in the Navy, men and women received equal pay. Pay was determined by (1) rank, and (2) time in service. Additional bonuses were provided for specific ratings upon reenlisting, but were not based on gender. Military pay is set. There's no negotiating salaries.

That said, despite the "equal pay" they received, the women did NOT do equal work, had disproportionately higher "sick call" reportings, were granted more limited duty, and provided with easier PRT (phyical readiness test) standards. On our advancement exams, women were also granted a different (re: lower) QT score requirement than the men. Yet you never hear the feminists complaining about THAT!

Feminists are in favor of "equal rights". They're only in favor of "equal rights...FOR WOMEN"!

And for what it's worth, at MY company, pay is set by (1) education, (2) experience, (3) job description, and (4) performance incentive bonuses. And the women here aren't getting paid less for equal work.

And finally, in pretty much every job I'd ever had after college, the HR dept. had been dominated by women. So if there's ANY inequality in wage...they're in on it!

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