Megyn Kelly slams Erickson: ‘Just because people agree with you doesn’t mean it’s not offensive’

By Kay Steiger
Friday, May 31, 2013 15:17 EDT
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Megyn Kelly challenges Erick Erickson
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Fox News host Megyn Kelly challenged Red State blogger Erick Erickson on Friday over his recent remarks asserting that women needed to be subservient to men, saying she was “no liberal” and she found his remarks offensive.

“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science,” Erickson said in a Fox Business News interview with Lou Dobbs on Wednesday. “But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role.”

On Fox News on Friday, Kelly invited Erickson and Dobbs on her program to discuss their reactions. “What makes you dominant and me submissive, and who died and made you scientist in chief?”

“Oh it doesn’t have anything to do with submissiveness per se and it was certainly poorly constructed how I said it. What I meant is, look, throughout society, look at other animals, the male of the species choose to be the protector,” Erickson began. “We’ve gotten to a point in this country where the feminists think that the male and female roles are completely interchangeable, that there is no need for a man to support his family. You’ve got women becoming single mothers, not by their choice. A lot of people think that this is a lifestyle choice. This isn’t healthy for society when we think that roles of gender can be completely interchangeable.”

“I never said that women can’t be or even shouldn’t be the primary breadwinner, but we’ve forced ourselves into this place in society where they have to be and that’s not a good, healthy thing for society,” he continued.

“That’s not exactly what you have been saying the last couple of days,” Kelly responded, pointing out that Erickson defended his remarks in a post at Red State. She refuted Ericson’s claim that heterosexual couples with a mom at home had the best outcome, saying that science refutes the idea that same sex couples have children who are worse off and pointed to evidence that supports the idea that outcomes for children of working moms are just as good as those of stay-at-home moms.

“I tend to dispute that data just because it’s so self-selective,” Erickson responded. “When you have a mom who’s working 12 hours a day and you also have a dad who’s working 12 hours a day and they come home and they’re both trying to be good parents, you can’t have it all. They’re making compromises. I’m not judging them, and no one should, but it’s just a reality.”

“You are,” Kelly said. “You are because you’re very clearly coming out and saying that women who choose to work instead of staying at home to nurture their children and instead have the father do that are imposing a worse future on their children than woman who make a different choice. The choice you and your wife have made.”

“Megyn, I don’t view this as judging. I view it as a statement of fact,” Erickson said. “I think three-quarters of the American public agree that …”

“Just because you have people who agree with you doesn’t mean it’s not offensive,” Kelly shot back. “I don’t think I’m an ‘emo liberal’ and I don’t consider myself a feminist but I will tell you I was offended by your piece nonetheless. I didn’t like what you wrote one bit and I do think you are judging people.”

Kelly held up a piece of paper. “This is a list of studies saying your science is wrong and your facts are wrong. Lou, do you agree with this? Because you certainly sounded like you agreed with him when he was on your show.”

“Erick is wrong about nature itself,” Dobbs said. “It is time to look at what the impact here is,” and pivoted to explaining that the jobs that have been lost among male-dominated professions like factory work and construction.

“Why are you attributing that to women in the workforce?” Kelly asked.

“Excuse me,” Dobbs said, “if I might finish what I was saying, oh dominant one.”

“Excuse me?” Kelly said in disbelief. Dobbs said that children of single parents are more susceptible to mental illness.

“That’s not what this debate was about,” Kelly said. “You’re getting out of bounds on the safer territory.” She went on to cite a list of research that refuted the idea that the children of working mothers had worse outcomes. She compared Erickson’s insistence to those who opposed interracial marriage in the mid-20th century. “They said it was science, that it was fact that if you had a black father and a white mother, or vice versa, you were inferior. You were not set up for success. Tell that to Barack Obama.”

Watch the video, snipped by Mediaite on May 31.

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
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