The star-studded Democratic National Convention was well underway when Republican nominee Donald J. Trump held a press conference that left many political journalists with more questions than answers. In one particularly memorable line, Trump encouraged Russia to "find the 30,000 emails that are missing" in a reference to Hillary Clinton's deleted emails, essentially inviting the country, commentators suggested, to meddle in American politics.
Reporters in the room were taken aback at the astounding remark, which was later the subject of bipartisan backlash. Among them was NBC News' Katy Tur, who asked Trump whether he had "any qualms about asking a foreign government, Russia, China, anybody, to hack into a system of anybody's in this country."
Trump's roundabout response didn't do it for Tur, who kept pressing on. "Does that not give you pause?" she asked.
"No... Hey, you know what gives me more pause, that a person in our government, crooked Hillary Clinton — here's what gives me more pause," Trump said, drowning out Tur's attempt at follow-ups. "Be quiet, I know you want to, you know — save her."
In a press conference ripe with disquieting statements, Trump asking a female journalist to "be quiet" is not so much shocking as it is distasteful. The man, after all, has a long record of making misogynistic comments about women.
For many professional women, being talked down to is sadly not unfamiliar. Female scientists have experienced it. Female editors have seen it. Even Serena Williams has been at the receiving end of sexist remarks about her success.
In light of yet another example of blatant sexism from a male public figure, we've reached out to a diverse group of women working in media to respond to Trump's request by explaining why they, like Tur, are decidedly refusing to be quiet.
1. "Because the hard questions need to be asked, even if you're afraid to answer them."
2. "Because well-behaved women seldom make history."
3. "Because I will not silence parts of myself so you can feel comfortable."
4. "Because women are a driving force for change in societies around the world and deserve to be heard and respected."
5. "Because for generations before us, female journalists have fought for the right to have their voices heard and be taken seriously, and it would be an insult to those women to remain silent."
6. "Because I'm looking out for people."
7. "Because women didn't always have a right to shape the narratives that matter in our country — I'm not about to waste mine."
8. "Because the only way to combat Trump's hateful propaganda is by spreading the truth."
9. "Because too many women still live in a world that doesn't allow their voices to be heard. I will speak up for the silenced women who came before me."
10. "I refuse to be quiet because I have the intelligence, experience and talent to educate and create positive change."
11. "Because my voice is powerful, loud, and able to change the world (or at least one person's mind)."
12. "Because women in this industry are still (STILL!!!) underrepresented. A recent study from Women’s Media Center found that men account for 62 percent of bylines and other credits in print, internet, TV, and wire news, so if anything, we need to be even louder to make sure our voices are heard."
13. "Because diversity of thought matters."
14. "Because our voices are our most powerful assets to elicit change."
15. "Because it's the female perspective — from years of societal expectations to be a mother, wife and wage earner who is expected to do it all, do it well and without much support and less pay — that can raise different questions that many men could and would never think of."
16. "Because my voice contributes to the diversity and the beauty of America, not tear it apart with hatred."
Jihye Lee, Freelance Journalist
17. "Because speaking up is what got me here."
18. "Because I'm not some meek little girl holding a big camera. I can outshoot, produce and edit any man. Nothing will stop me from getting the story."
19. "Because as a new mom, I want to show my daughter and all the other little girls out there that they DO have a voice and that they too should refuse to be quiet."
Mr. Trump, we hope you're listening.