I feel bad for female Republicans. I really do. In order to fully embrace the “thought leaders” in their party (and I use the term “thought” loosely), they often have to put up with a whole lot of anti-woman rhetoric, drivel about “legitimate rape” and a woman’s body “shutting that whole thing down,” or comments calling maternity leave “a racket.”
Then Fox anchor Megyn Kelly called out Donald Trump for his offensive remarks about women (he famously tweeted that Rosie O’Donnell is a “fat pig,” although that’s far from the end of it). Even liberal publications ran gushing pieces about how the mighty Megyn might finally be the blowhard Trump’s undoing. People hailed her as a welcome feminist voice in what is otherwise a woman-hating wasteland.
Umm, not so fast.
For starters, Ms. Kelly herself has said she would not call herself a feminist. That’s fine and it’s her right. But in so doing, she’s given others the opportunity (right on her show), to malign those working for equal rights for women. In a segment about Beyonce’s performance at the VMAs, Kelly called the singer’s lyrics “skanky,” and suggested that future performances might include sexual acts (Gloria Steinem she definitely is not).
Megyn’s chops as a feminist got a lot of play when she vociferously defended her maternity leave against the doofus who had called it “a racket.” She even defended the right to paternity leave in that same segment. But she’d previously ridiculed the notion of paternity leave. And she’s hardly gone out of her way to support any other woman’s right to maternity leave since then, or to highlight the plight of women who don’t have access to it. It’s not terribly impressive when you become aware of a need only when it applies to you.
As a result of Trump’s disgusting reaction to Ms. Kelly’s treatment of him at the debate, he’s been disinvited from speaking at the Red State Gathering. (Trump said you could see “blood coming out of her wherever” during the debate. Way to keep it classy, Mr. President).
Who has been invited in his place? Megyn Kelly. But that is hardly a feminist victory.