Ah, Media Matters is getting under the skin at Fox News again. Fox has been really hammering at young, single women in recent months, pushing the idea—rather unsubtly—that they’re a bunch of no-count sluts who will bring this country down because they’re too busy fucking and not busy being brought to heel with a nice, woman-taming marriage, preferably with oodles of babies to keep your feminine hands from getting idle and then getting into the devil’s work. Media Matters flagged a particularly egregious example, here:
GUILFOYLE: Right, that’s the thing, but when you’re young like that you think – the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea – they don’t get it. They’re not in that same like, life experience of paying the bills, doing the mortgage, kids, community, crime, education, health care. They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world.
BECKEL: They’ve got every right in the world to be – what do you mean they shouldn’t be on jury duty? They’ve got every right in the world.
GUILFOYLE: I didn’t say they shouldn’t be, I just thank and excuse them so they can go back on Tinder or Match.com.
Really, it was the complete package: Accusing single women of being dumb, implying that they’re bad people because they have too much sex, and recommending marriage and babies as a way to bring them to heel. The only thing she forgot was cats. Bimbo or beleaguered housewives: On Fox News, those are the only two things a woman can be.
The excuse that the team on The Five brought after getting called out for this nonsense was that it was all taken out of context. This is a lie. Or, if you want to be generous, if by “out of context” you mean that they reported that Guilfoyle was saying they aren’t fit to sit juries without noting that she was making a larger point about how they’re not fit to vote, either, okay. But all the coverage I saw understood that she generally was suggesting single women should self-exclude from civic duties altogether.
I have a feeling that single women aren’t really a good demographic for Fox News, so this can’t really be understood as a direct attempt to discourage women from voting. (It would probably backfire anyway.) It’s more trying to encourage their older, more likely to be married audience to see single women as the enemy. Basically, you provoke a sexist anxiety in your audience—those hot young women are running around having fun while poor oppressed you has a mortgage to pay—and then offer a way to show those bitches what’s what, by voting Republican. Never mind that the percentage of single women who really are “running around without a care in the world” was reduced to a zero after Kim Kardashian got married. Single women are a diverse group, to say the least, coming in all ages and income levels (except the very richest, which tends to be male-centric). Some are mothers, some aren’t.
But even if you are a relatively privileged young woman who has lots of free time and money for Tinder dating, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a care in the world. Odds are you’re still underpaid and you likely live in an expensive city where meeting your financial obligations is no walk in the park. You’re probably saddled with student debt and you may be dependent on Obamacare to get health care if you’re part of the freelance generation. On top of that, you still have all the same old worries that plague a lot of women, simply by being women: Subtle sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, even domestic and sexual violence.
Also, for those people who forget, dating, even with Tinder, is no walk in the park. It’s just there’s no real political solution for that, so it’s something of a non sequitur anyway.