Like many women, Megyn Kelly of Fox News gets more sexist comments than she should. It seems that a woman in the public eye will always draw some jerks who don’t like a confident woman, Donald Trump has shown himself to be one of those men.
Last August Donald Trump decided that Kelly was a big meanie, she called him out on his previous sexist statements about women during the first presidential debate. He then started a sustained war, belittling her, referencing her period in a “veiled” comment, and re-tweeted angry posts calling the well-known woman a “bimbo.” While I often disagree with the Fox News spin, I must admit she stayed classy and dealt with it.
Trump has no problem, at all, attacking people and seems to have a serious issue with women. He belittles them, labels them by looks, and even referred to his daughter’s looks in disgustingly confusing ways. But Megyn Kelly, like Rosie O’Donnell, made the mistake of actually standing up to him like an adult. That he can’t handle — we have seen how he responds, comments like “blood coming out of her whatever.”
Resorting to sexist and/or petulant tactics instead of dealing with the situation at hand and owning up to his weaknesses seems to be par for the course for Trump, though. And stirring up the angry troglodytes that are his voting base is very, very easy if these tweets are any indication. Racism, sexism, and using inappropriate slurs seem to be their go-to scripts.
How much difference has the “Trump Effect” made in the life of Megyn Kelly? Well, more than any woman should have to deal with, for sure.
She was already a very well-known name in the news but now deals with DAILY sexist slurs from “whore” to “skank” to “bitch,” but “bimbo” is among the favorites. That is until Trump mentions her — then she deals with literally thousands of nasty, sexist, ridiculously baseless attacks on her because she is female and Trump doesn’t like her.
Vocativ did an analysis of just the words “bitch” and “bimbo” directed to Megyn, before the August attack and after. The results may blow your mind:
Here is the same data presented in a different scale:
One must give credit where credit is due: Kelly’s calm, cool, and strong response to Trump, and his army of hate-slingers, is a credit to her. She and I will never see eye to eye on many things, but on this, woman to woman, she nailed this and almost made it look easy.
She made him look like a buffoon, and never sank to his level — unlike all his opponents so far — to attack him in the gutter. Her handling of this situation has earned her a place among strong women role models. You can hate her politics but she has guts of pure brass. Her adroit handling of this single issue has seen ever-growing fame, because she earned it.
Of course, Trump supporters have found a way to frame her growing popularity in a very twisted way, literally trying to make it seem like she should be grateful for all their hateful, sexist, and just plain stupid attacks. You know, just another one of those “hidden benefits of sexism.”
But despite the verbal abuse, Kelly’s Twitter audience continues to skyrocket. She gains an average of 2,770 new followers every day, according to Vocativ’s analysis of data from February 2016. Some Trump supporters have dismissed what appears to be her growing influence as a new trend caused by negative attention from the wealthy Republican front-runner, playing into the classic myth that women benefit from sexism in ways that counteract the negative impacts.
Trump himself has taken credit for her success, continuing his pattern of dismissive, misogynistic behavior. Kelly has been headlining a top-rated primetime TV show since October of 2013, but Trump asked in January:
Who had even heard of her before the last debate?
Trump seems to have a negative effect on everything he touches, he inspires racism and sexism. This is NOT the kind of person we want as our president.
Featured image via Getty Images/Jemal Countess