Another Sexist Cable News Host: Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld

On January 12, Greg Gutfeld, host of Fox News’ The Five, made some remarks about Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The one that stood out to us was a nickname: “Frizzilla.” Also of note was the nickname “Wooly Windbag.”

These nicknames use Schultz’s appearance to demean and mock her, a strategy mostly reserved for women, especially women in power. Gutfeld has no problem attacking politicians for their beliefs and political affiliations, so why does he feel the need to degrade female politicians by focusing on physical appearance?

We used our twitter account @nameitchangeit to appeal to Gutfeld (you can read the whole Twitter conversation here):

Gutfeld’s response?

Name it. Change it. asked:

.@greggutfeld So commenting on a female politician’s attractiveness is not #sexism to you? Do you really believe that?

Here’s the dialogue that followed:

From Gutfeld:

@nameitchangeit if you feel u must defend women, not men - then you are truly must apologize for your subtle, toxic sexism.

From Name it. Change it.

.@greggutfeld We’re looking forward to hearing what you think is #sexist if putting women in power down for their appearance isn’t.

From Gutfeld:

@nameitchangeit wed, i cited ron paul’s eyebrows and david gregory’s hair. why were u silent? Do women need kid gloves? Sexist.

@nameitchangeit sexism is treating 1 sex better than the other. U do that. i don’t. How does it feel to be sexist? How do u sleep at night?

When we asked others to weigh in on what they thought about this exchange:

(There’s more to the exchange which you can read here).

Gutfeld’s sexist commentary on Schultz’s physical appearance—rather than on her politics—is a clear demonstration of misogyny in mainstream media, not to mention his attempt to invoke a reverse-sexism defense, which inherently lacks any understanding of oppression and discrimination at the institutional level. His refusal to accept responsibility for his sexism and consequent failure to identify any sexism in his behavior is a powerful indicator of how much further we still have to go before gender equity in the media is a reality.


Published by support on 01/13/2012

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