Diane Dimond: A silent sisterhood hurts the cause
Say, ladies, can we talk?
What is it with women’s groups in America today? They link arms and proclaim they stand for the empowerment of women of all races, creeds and religions. They demand justice and equality for the female gender. They vow to stand up for the rights and respect of women everywhere.
Then where the heck have they been as presidential candidate Donald Trump tramps all over the reputation of Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly? Not a word of support for Kelly from any of the major women’s groups. Crickets. Why the silence from organizations built on standing up for women?
“She’s a lightweight … zippo. … I have no respect for her,” Trump said of Kelly after their withering confrontation at the first Republican presidential debate. The whiny candidate proclaimed Kelly’s questions to him were “unprofessional” and “mean.”
Really? Let’s examine what the Fox News debate moderator said that ticked off The Donald. And remember, Kelly was part of a trio of journalists tasked with helping America understand the character of the candidates.
“Mr. Trump,” Kelly asked, “You’ve called women you don’t like, ‘fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals’ … How will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who (is) likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?”
Seems like a perfectly professional and spot-on question for a journalist to ask someone who aspires to the nation’s highest office. Journalists have been tossing candidates’ own words back at them since before the dawn of television.
Trump tried to laugh off the question saying he’d only used those awful terms while talking about his favorite female punching bag, comedian Rosie O’Donnell. They’ve been feuding — or more accurately, the bloviating billionaire has been picking on O’Donnell — for about a decade now.
Kelly, being the experienced journalist (and attorney) she is, had her facts ready and quickly corrected the record. She made it clear Trump has trashed other women as well including at least one he worked with on the NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice.”
In a post-debate interview with CNN the man who can’t stop bragging about himself said, when Kelly questioned him, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever.” Everyone with an ounce of sense gasped at the obviously tasteless and sexist comment.
I’m not a shill for Megyn Kelly, but this is a woman of observable substance. Time magazine included her on their 2014 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She is an educated law school graduate, a mother of three and a highly visible television personality — just the kind of success story we all wish for our daughters. She deserves respect.
Yet a check of the National Organization for Women’s website shows nary a word in support of their “sister” who fights for equal treatment for women on the national stage.
I couldn’t find any comments of support for Kelly on The Feminist Majority Foundation website. Not a word from the Association for Women in Communications or any other journalism-based groups that I could find.
So, we are left to assume these groups only feel comfortable championing those women who are not affiliated
with a conservative television network. If there’s even a hint the woman might not vote the democratic ticket, she gets ignored. Is that it?
I’ve got news for you, sisters. That strategy puts you straight on the road to extinction. If groups can only stand up for those with similar political views, they leave a sizable portion of their gender base outside looking in. It adds to today’s schism mentality of “us versus them.” It leaves everyone weaker.
Democratic presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton knows this to be true. It took her a few days to formulate her political response, but she called Kelly’s debate performance “incredibly impressive.” A woman giving another woman her due, despite their political differences. Classy.
Staying silent while professing to demand equality and justice for all women isn’t just shortsighted and hypocritical — it is stupid.