Fox News host Megyn Kelly took no prisoners when colleague Lou Dobbs and RedState editor and blogger Erick Erickson appeared on her show to discuss women in the workplace and how women are increasingly becoming the primary breadwinners.
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that in 40 percent of households with children, the mother is the primary breadwinner. Some of those households are headed by single mothers, but a growing number are families where the mother is earning more income than the father. The study also suggests that the trend is “all but irreversible,” meaning that number will either remain steady or continue to increase.
During a Lou Dobbs Tonight panel Thursday, Erickson, along with Juan Williams and Dobbs himself, essentially attributed the downfall of society to women becoming the primary breadwinners. Erickson said that three-quarters of the people surveyed recognized that women being the primary breadwinner is bad for kids and marriage, “and reality shows us that’s the truth.” He also talked about how, in the “natural world,” the male is typically in the dominant role and the female is in a “complementary” role.
It was this sentiment that caused Kelly to immediately come out swinging when she asked Erickson, “What makes you dominant and me submissive and who died and made you scientist-in-chief?” Erickson said that his comment was worded poorly but, if you look at biology, “the roles of a male and a female in society, and other animals, the male typically is the dominant role.”
Erickson then went on to say that, while there is nothing wrong with women becoming breadwinners, when they’ve been forced into that role, “that’s not a good healthy thing for society.”
Kelly countered by pointing out a paragraph in a post Erickson wrote in response to the criticism he has been receiving for his comments yesterday. The passage reads,
“In modern society we are not supposed to point out that children in a two-parent heterosexual nuclear household have a better chance at long term success in life than others. In modern society, we are supposed to applaud feminists who teach women they can have it all — that there is no gender identifying role and women can fulfill the role of husbands and fathers just as men do.”
Kelly argued that there is data that shows that children raised by gay parents fare no worse than those raised by heterosexual parents. The two went back and forth for a while before Kelly completely ripped Erickson a new one.
“I didn’t like what you wrote one bit. To me you sound like somebody who’s judging and then wants to come out and say ‘I’m not, I’m not, I’m not, and now let me judge judge judge, and by the way it’s science it’s science it’s science it’s fact fact fact fact,” Kelly said. “Well, I have a whole list of studies saying your science is wrong and your facts are wrong.”
If this were any other channel, most wouldn’t think twice about Kelly’s outrage. But her stance is one that isn’t common at Fox News, and it’s refreshing to see a host — and a female host, at that — so adamantly fight back against an outdated way of thinking and supporting her argument with facts. Kelly pointed out a 2010 study by the American Psychological Association, which analyzed 69 different studies over 50 years and found, “Children whose mothers work are no more likely to have problems than children whose mothers stay at home.” She also threw in a bit of historical context, saying how in the ’50s and ’60s, the children of interracial couples were considered biologically inferior.
“Tell that to Barack Obama,” she said. (GASP! A Fox News host saying something positive about Obama? Truly the end is nigh.)
But back to Kelly, Dobbs, and Erickson. What makes Kelly’s utter shreddage of the two men even more delicious is the fact that she brought it all back to one simple argument: Who, or what, says that a working mother and a stay-at-home father — or even a working father making less than his wife — can’t produce a loving and stable environment for their child or children? Challenging the patriarchal norms of our society is often an unpopular and losing battle, and for Kelly to fight so hard for her belief, all under the watchful eye of Fox News’ own patriarch, is really something to be admired.
Megyn Kelly may not be the most likely champion of gender equality, but in this case, she was Ali to Dobbs and Erickson’s Frazier and Foreman. You can watch her tear them down in the video below.