News host Tucker Carlson is afraid. Very afraid. And his feelings are hurt. Why? Because women are empowered. Scary. You see, sometimes women are in high-earning positions. And when they are, according to Mr. Carlson, makes them less desirable to men looking for partners. In Mr. Carlson’s version of reality, the biggest problem in the US (and probably the world) is the disintegration of the family. And career women are part of the problem because, of course.
Mr. Carlson goes on to postulate that when women out-earn their male counterparts, the decline of the middle-class American family ensues. Women become less marriageable. Drug and alcohol abuse rises. Incarceration rates increase. (I should note here that the crawl on the bottom of the screen during this screed read, “MEN IN DECLINE.”)
The “evidence” to support this argument? Well, it’s clear, isn’t it? The male-dominated manufacturing industry that drove the middle-class economy in the Rust Belt and in rural areas declined. (Probably because of some mean women, but he doesn’t get into that.) Sadly, all that was left were schools and hospitals, places where, you know, it’s all women’s work. Thus began the phenomenon of women being higher earners than men, and with it, “all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow.”
However, it’s not only the women that get the blame here. In this amazing use of pretzel logic, Ol’ Tuck places most of the blame squarely on the “ruling class.” Now, as far as I know, most of the folks in the “ruling class,” at least the ones making the decisions and running the show, are men. Not one to be swayed by inconvenient things like facts or reason, Mr. Carlson nearly turns green with envy when he opines that it’s only this “ruling class” that still lives the American dream, because “they’re living like it’s 1965.”
Ah, yes. The good old 1960s, when women could not have credit in their own names and were barred from attending many elite universities. Want a no-fault divorce? Sorry, sweetheart. You’re pregnant? You’re fired! No doubt Mr. Carlson’s romanticized vision of 1960s America excludes the more uncomfortable events of the decade, such as the Civil Rights Movement, the lie-based war in Vietnam, and of course, second-wave feminism.
Mr. Carlson is but one voice, but how many does he represent? There’s no real way to quantify this, but surely his misogynistic rhetoric resonates with a core group of followers. Are they in the “ruling class”? I don’t know. But I would bet an ovary that they are primarily men. And that is why we have workplace discrimination, a glass ceiling, and a wage gap. And that is why I will keep talking about this and keep fighting.