Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has spearheaded the “Ban Bossy” campaign along with such other leaders as Condoleezza Rice and the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. But on Fox & Friends, phony expert Suzanne Venker portrayed it as some kind of dangerous feminist plot – to make 50% of world leaders women and 50% of households run by men. Oh, the horrors!
In its article about the campaign, ABC News explains how and why Sandberg recruited Rice and GSUSA’s Anna Maria Chávez in an effort to empower girls and women for leadership roles.
I will admit I have my doubts about the usefulness of this campaign. But Fox & Friends addressed the issue in typical “fair and balanced” fashion: by demonizing its proponent and ignoring the substantive issues.
Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck set the tone with her introductory “question”: “Is this just feminist propaganda masked as empowerment?”
Booking Venker as the only guest ensured the answer. She’s an anti-feminist who thinks women should submit to men, who accuses feminists of waging a war on men and who urges women to “let husbands bring home the bulk of the bacon so women can have the balanced lives they seek.”
Not that Venker has any suggestions about raising wages or other strategies to make those “balanced lives” actually affordable. But hey, those details are for the real experts. Venker’s “credentials” consist of being a wife and mother, a middle school English teacher in a “former life,” an author and a regular media personality. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that she’s Phyllis Schlafly’s niece, either.
Yet somehow, nobody told Fox & Friends viewers any of this about Venker. She was introduced by co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck merely as “the founder of Women For Men and the author of the War on Men.”
“If you are a bossy person, then just stop being bossy,” Venker advised with a giggle. Which is so not the point of the campaign.
It was Brian Kilmeade, of all people, who seemed to get it. He pushed back, albeit in the mildest way possible. “I like the fact that you might have a daughter or a sister or somebody in your family that has that leadership tendency and you maybe can hone that a little. I wouldn’t push that away,” he admonished.
Venker had to agree. But rather than follow that path – which could lead straight to endorsing women as leaders - Venker switched to demonizing. And revealing that sinister plot behind Sandberg’s campaign!
People have to understand that these movements… (have) a much greater mission. It’s not as simple as it seems. Her ultimate goal is that – well, there are several things. Number one, she wants 50% of men to run the home and 50% of women to run the countries and the companies. That’s the bigger mission.
Then her argument is, why (aren’t) there more women at the top? Well, obviously, gender stereotypes. It can’t be anything else but that.
…And the reality is, there are sound reasons why there are not more women at the top. And this is just um, a silly way of trying to focus on something that is not a real issue.
I’m all for debating the merits of Sandberg’s campaign or even if there’s “a real issue” as Venker put it. But not one of the three Fox co-hosts fostered that kind of discussion. Their silence here gave Venker an implicit stamp of approval.
I taught for years – I’m not sure that (Sandberg) has – and I can tell you that it is boys who desperately need our attention, not girls. And we do not hear that on any kind of major media. …Why are we not addressing that issue? Why are we focusing on this kind of thing when we should be focusing on boys?
Of course boys need help, too. But Venker, in her agenda-driven focus, failed to consider that helping one sex does not preclude helping the other.
Co-host Clayton Morris wrapped up the segment by saying, “I think she’s one of the most wise women in this country.”
I always thought it was so funny how that old rhymes-with-witch Schlafly was so adamantly opposed to the feminist movement when much of her own life’s choices were exactly aligned with the cause of feminism. Of course, that didn’t mean she wasn’t above making stupid comments (such as the unisex bathroom—I always wanted to know what kind of bathrooms she had in her home, if there was a specific one for the men in the family and one for the women).
And if you want to be really sick, that last part was said by Andrea Tantaros- Who went on to promote the idea on her social media. Yeah, I would have guessed Gurfeld said it before I knew, as well.