Americans already understand the awful effect the Trump presidency has had on racism in this country, exacerbating it to the point of almost no return — people with literal Nazi flags march in our streets, and the mainstream news media is so “both sides” about it all that they’re terrified to even cover it.
But there’s an -ism that is far more nefarious in the way it spreads than even racism, since racism is so overt: Sexism.
One might think that in the era of “#MeToo” activism and heightened awareness of inappropriate behavior that after decades of the feminist movement making advances we would be seeing a sort of critical mass take shape — waves of realization and atonement. Instead, old men who still dictate not just the political environment but largely what we’re exposed to in entertainment and media have become entrenched in their ways, terrified that they might have to change in some small way that would force them to be good people and perhaps not act on every horrible impulse they have.
If that all seems like a pretty intricate setup for an article about a segment on a cable news program, it’s because you should be seeing the microaggressions of men in our still-male-dominated society for what they are: Fear.
Only when we demystify this behavior can we unpack it, lay it on the table, and start throwing out the bent forks that need to go to the thrift shop.
The tarnished flatware on this occasion is Evan Siegfried, a Republican strategist — meaning, it should be part of his job to figure out better ways to speak to people — who was a panelist on Sunday’s “AM Joy” with guest host Jonathan Capehart.
As the panel discussed what might be considered journalists “blurring the lines” of reporting facts and spouting opinions, journalist Maria Hinojosa was making the point that even accurately describing Donald Trump’s various untrue statements as lies is often treated by those on the right as “opinion” jabs at the President — despite being factual.
Siegfried, who had already been speaking extensively as everyone else sat respectfully and listened, just couldn’t contain himself, and talked directly over the top of her in approximately the most “well, actually” tone anyone’s ever heard:
The administration lying isn’t news, the problem is how we got there, and if I could just explain it —”
As Hinojosa attempted to conclude her thought, Siegfried interrupted her over and over, to the point that she actually had to put a finger up and tell him “hang on,” and when he finally succeeded in making enough noise that she stopped talking, he laid his sexism on the table:
I think you’re missing the point here … There are instances where conservatives have felt more and more slighted, to the point that they say ‘You know what? When you as a journalist speak, I’m not gonna listen to you because I think you’re lying.'”
Then he gave the example he was just dying to give:
With Mitt Romney and the ‘binders full of women.’ That was not an offensive, sexist, anti-woman comment. That was a factual statement … It’s more crying wolf.”
Watch, and see if you can spot the absolute disregard Siegfried has even for the idea that Maria should be allowed to finish her comments before he tells her why she’s wrong.
Featured image via screen capture