Stacey Dash & Meredith Vieira Argue Over The Wage Gap & Illuminate The Need For Women To Speak Out Against It — VIDEO

Stacey Dash is always outspoken, but when she voiced her views on political and economic issues on The Meredith Vieira Show, it led to a pretty tense debate. The issue that sparked the debate was the timely and relevant problem of wage inequality between men and women. Dash has made clear in the past that she does not like female celebrities discussing that issue, and Vieira questioned why she had an opposition to the discussion. This led to a pretty uncomfortable situation where Stacey Dash and Meredith Vieira argued over the gender wage gap, on how big a role it plays for women moving forward in the workplace, and whether it is still a problem. And if there's anything we can take away from this debate, it's that it illuminates the need for women to not only acknowledge the gap, but do their part to speak out against it.

In the interview, airing on April 29, Dash insisted that the pay inequality was an "excuse," similar to race, and said, "If there are opportunities, seize them and be prepared for them, and be the best, if that's what it takes. If you have to be extraordinary, then be extraordinary." But Vieira responded, "I feel like we're fighting an uphill battle. When you look at just the numbers, we make 78 cents for every dollar that a man makes. At the rate we're going, my daughter, who's 22, will be 65 when there's finally pay equality. There's something wrong, something clearly wrong." Dash said, "I don't know if that's true." To which Vieira said, "That's true, that's documented."

The talk show host later explained that it took her a long time to become successful, and that for a while she was not being paid the same as her male colleagues. Dash countered that there is a law passed where women get equal pay, to which Vieira said, "Except we don't."

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As Vieira notes, even though the law has been passed for equal pay, it is still an issue. Just because something is forbidden on paper does not necessarily mean that it goes away entirely. Of course, this is not a problem that can be fixed overnight. After all, we're talking years of much more severe gender inequality where women were not even allowed to work the occupation of their choice, much less demand equal pay for said work. But as Vieira also points out, the estimation that women will not receive equal pay until her 22-year-old daughter turns 65, is absolutely mind-blowing in the worst way possible. It is ridiculous that women would have to wait that long. And we shouldn't have to.

And since we shouldn't have to wait, we shouldn't shut up about it. Talking about the problem is a great first step. Not only can it raise awareness of the issue, it can potentially lead to conversations about how much each individual woman is getting paid at her respective job, and how it measures up in comparison to her male peers. Discrepancies are much easier to track in an open environment. It could also potentially put pressure on higher-ups to more closely monitor pay rates among men and women and see how they compare. But if nothing else, people would approach the problem with a more open mind, and that can really only be a positive thing. Check out the video of the debate below, and see what you think.

The Meredith Vieira Show on YouTube

Image: Getty Images