A Three-Minute Demonstration of What Infantilizing a Grown Woman Looks like

On a Morning Joe broadcast from 2007, Mika Brzezinski became indignant when her producer tried to have her to lead the news with a story about Paris Hilton getting out of prison, as opposed to talking about the Iraq war, among other things. (There is also something worth saying here about why Paris Hilton is taken to be especially unfit and undeserving of attention in the news, and why an anchorwomen is pissed to be covering such a story.)


You can watch a few clips edited together here  of her two co-anchors then telling her to “take control” of her job, to not use her producer’s commands as a cop out, and to make her own lead…and then proceed to ignore her commands, physically control her actions, and make light of her indignation over lax journalistic standards.  The editing may be making the interactions look more disrespectful than they actually were, since there is usually is a lot of bantering on the show.  But even granting that, grabbing a lighter from someone’s hand belies your insistence that they should take charge.  Even if Brzezinski didn’t feel disrespected by her colleagues, their actions have such a weird patronizing undercurrent to them. (I’m sure someone somewhere can describe this with more exact philosophy-speak.)


Here’s an article written shortly after the newscast aired. And here’s a previous Fem Phil post from 2012  about another incidence where Scarborough claims that he respects Brezinski while his actions cast doubt on that point.


3 thoughts on “A Three-Minute Demonstration of What Infantilizing a Grown Woman Looks like

  1. Thanks for bringing this up here. Despite the publicity around the incident, it is important enough to keep showing these clips and its story to remind everyone of the shameful condition our news and information culture has remained in ……..and how it continues to self-destruct.

    It’s also a reminder of what career women still and always put up with and how hard we have to keep struggling to retain any power anywhere……and a reminder of how much shameless, bullying male misogynist behavior we tolerate daily everywhere.

    Despite how obviously bullying the men were to her, she stood her ground with dignity and tenacity……..an important example to all women of what hard work we still have ahead to heal some of the badly distorted culture that contaminates our lives.

  2. Her co anchors behaviour was absolutely appalling! I can’t believe he physically handled her that way and he was a guest. Obviously not an equal environment for them to think its ok to behave that way.

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