It has been just a week since Fox News premiered its latest show, â€œOutnumbered,â€ and already the program is raising eyebrows for continuing to perpetuate the same types of sexist narratives for which the cable network has become know.
The premise of the show is beyond absurd.
As described by Fox, one male hostâ€”who the show requests you call #OneLuckyGuy on Twitterâ€”is pitted against four female co-hosts, which Fox describes as â€œoutspoken, outrageous, out of the box and outstandingly smart.â€
You can see where it’s going. Despite the â€œfemale-centricâ€ format of the show, critics have lambasted the program, like Amanda Marcotte of Slate who said that the â€œthe male point of view is still so central that it gives the show its title.â€
In the first episode, that #OneLuckyGuy was Fox Newsâ€™ Tucker Carlson, who let loose a flood of offensive commentary, including asserting that a 17-year-old high school student who was â€œfondledâ€ during a lap dance from his teacher in front of the class was not a â€œvictim.â€
Throughout the segment, viewers are treated to statements like these from Carlson:
- â€œThis is the dream of 15-year-old boys.â€
- â€œI think legitimate opinion divides whether this was appropriate for the classroom or not.â€
- â€œSheâ€™s obviously a very enthusiastic teacher.â€
Despite pushback from Carlsonâ€™s female co-hosts, he continues to advance the idea that sexual harassment is not a crime if youâ€™re a young boy. When pressed on how he would react if a male teacher behaved in the same way toward his young daughter, Carlson said itâ€™d be wrong.
Why? Because, â€œgirls react differently to this kind of thingâ€”itâ€™s just reality.â€
Watch the clip below, via Media Matters:
While Carlsonâ€™s remarks implying that young men cannot be victims of sexual harassment are offensive, theyâ€™re also wrong.
Men and boys can, of course, be sexually assaulted or raped. The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network reports that about 1 in 10 victims of sexual assault are male, but male victims have historically been less likely to report a being assaulted for various reasons from self-blame to concerns that it will make him seem less manly.
Whatâ€™s incredibly troubling about this exchange is that it came the day before the White House released a major report on how to address sexual assault on college campuses. Yet, Fox News literally devoted zero minutes to covering the major new nationwide initiative on April 29, when the White House hosted a large event with Vice President Joe Biden and unveiled the website NotAlone.gov as part of the initiative.
Carlsonâ€™s unpleasant commentary is just one example of how â€œOutnumberedâ€ is promoting misogynistic viewpoints.
In Carlsonâ€™s episode, a conversation on female politicians devolved into discussion about their physical looks. Another segment on Happy Meal toys resulted in the argument that â€œgirls like pretty ponies, and boys like toy trucks,â€ with one host calling herself â€œoddâ€ for not wanting to play with Barbies as a child.