Stephanie Ruhle is speaking out about a sexist comment made by a guest on her Bloomberg TV show yesterday. AQR Capital founder Cliff Asness, who was guest co-hosting Ruhle’s show, said to her, “You’re giving me the look that I get when I talk to women about quant stuff.”
Ruhle immediately stopped the conversation and said good-naturedly, “Are you hitting me with a sexist line right there? Let me have a time out. I’m like ringing a foul ball bell here.” The comment came two minutes into the two-hour show that Asness was guest-hosting with Ruhle.
In a post on The Daily Beast today, Ruhle explains why she chose to defuse the moment with humor:
I happen to know Cliff, and the truth is he just made a dumb joke at a moment when his mouth and brain weren’t connecting. Which means the relevant issue isn’t the damage done, but the proper response. For me, in the moment, it was to stop the interview and call him out, with as much humor as possible, for a comment even the most ancient chauvinist knows is out of date. And to his credit, Cliff apologized and blushed and made all the proper gestures and noises a moral person should make when they’ve done something stupid. In the end, we both laughed.
I’m quite sure Cliff wasn’t trying to insult me specifically, or women in general. But it’s on everyone—men and women—to knock down stereotypes and outdated assumptions, even when they’re just proffered to fill a little air-time. We don’t need to respond with rage. But we still haven’t come far enough to let such things go unacknowledged.
Video is after the jump.