Last week the equal-pay movement gained an unlikely supporter in Pope Francis, who called the pay gap between men and women “a pure scandal.” The Pope used his weekly address to urge Christians to demand equal pay for equal work, saying, “Why is it expected that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights.”
You could knock us over with a Communion wafer—that’s stuff we never thought we’d hear the head of the Catholic Church say! (And, yeah, some are pointing out that women aren’t exactly equal in the Pope’s workplace, but it’s still pretty amazing that he voiced support for equal pay at all.)
Meanwhile, Stacey Dash could use a little papal enlightenment. In an interview with Meredith Vieira, the Clueless actress (pun intended) called gender inequality in the workplace “an excuse,” telling women: “Stop making excuses. If there are opportunities, seize them…if you have to be extraordinary, then be extraordinary.”
Luckily, Meredith was on her game and pointed out that systems are what really need to change. “I feel like we’re fighting an uphill battle,” she said, citing the familiar statistic that women make 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. “There’s something wrong, something clearly wrong. I don’t know that it’s just us not taking responsibility.” They went back and forth a few more times, with Dash claiming that “there is a law passed that we get equal pay,” and Vieira countering, “Except we don’t. But…we don’t.” Somewhere, Patricia Arquette was cheering.