O, the humanity!
Leave it to the ace investigative reporting staff at CNN to expose the slimy underbelly of yet another long-standing barbaric practice intended to keep women chained to the bedroom or kitchen when they could be out making meaningful contributions to society.
The article begins anecdotally with a salute to Tammie Jo Shults, who guided Southwest Flight 1380 into Philadelphia after the plane lost an engine over southeast Pennsylvania this past week.
“Not only is she one of the nation’s first female Navy fighter pilots,” writes CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin, “but as a pilot for a US airline, she is one of fewer than 7,000 women in her profession.”
The exposé that follows is peppered with graphs and statistics, all pointing to the same inexorable and troubling conclusion — that a shabby 4% of all commercial pilots in the U.S. are women:
The number of women flying in other commercial capacities is also low — 6,267 of 98,161 last year — and that number is down since 2008, perhaps as part of a general decline in commercial pilots during that time frame. Still, the percentage has basically been static for the past decade.
So are there any encouraging signs? A few. More women, we are told, are learning to fly. “While only a small fraction of these women will go on to fly for airlines, the number of female students has more than doubled in the past decade.”
In addition, not all airlines are equally misogynistic. United Air Lines boasts 934 pilots — more than 7% of its roster of pilots, and 285 of those are captains!
So exactly how many women who want to be pilots are actually turned away by flight schools and/or the airlines? Er … McLaughlin doesn’t say. Mentioning that women aren’t really barred from pursuing this career path but rather simply choose not to would defeat the premise.
Can’t have that happening when you’re a network whose motto is “Facts first.”