Megyn Kelly Shuts Down the Trump Men's Sexist Remarks With Just One Word

megyn kellyDonald Trump recently said that if his daughter was ever sexually harassed at her job, he would "like to think" that she would "find another career" or "find another company." His son Eric Trump then agreed that Ivanka is too "strong" to "allow" herself to be harassed at all. And that was when women the world over heaved a collective sigh -- but none so publicly or perfectly as Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, whose single-word tweet quite literally echoed that widespread frustration: "Sigh."


While succinct, Kelly's tweet is significant -- not only because she is responding to Trump (a man with whom she's had many public spats), but because it is the first time she's made any sort of on-the-record "comment" regarding blatant sexism since the former Fox New CEO Roger Ailes sexual harassment controversy. Kelly herself was reportedly one of Ailes's many targets, but she has yet to confirm this. (It's worth noting that Trump is an associate of Ailes who defended him to the press as a "very talented person" when the scandal broke.) So when Kelly shared a tweet linking to Eric Trump's unbelievably oblivious and insensitive quote about his sister, the world was paying attention:

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Kelly said so much without really saying anything at all (one wonders if she's contractually prevented from elaborating?). Meanwhile, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson -- the first to publicly accuse Ailes of sexual harassment -- was a bit more blunt in her own commentary on the Trump men's joint insult to women everywhere:

It is sad. (Or "Sad!" as the Donald might tweet.) It's beyond sad. It's unconscionable, actually, that a presidential candidate is promoting the already too prevalent culture of victim blaming and shaming that makes sexual harassment in the workplace such a massive problem in the first place. It's also alarming (but when it comes to Trump, what isn't alarming?) that these very, very powerful men are too blind to realize -- or, more likely, too stubborn to admit -- that simply switching careers isn't a possibility for most women, who actually rely on their jobs to support their families. And why should the victim, not the perpetrator, be the one to leave? Because the idea of powerful men being held accountable for their actions is so ridiculous, clearly.

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For his part, Eric Trump sort of tried to clarify his comments later in the most minimum-effort way possible on Twitter by saying that "sexual harassment is a 'no go' and should be addressed by human resources," but again, this statement completely trivializes the fact that many women are too afraid of losing their jobs (and with good reason, too!) to report harassment at all. 

And what of Ivanka herself, this woman who is supposedly so strong and successful that she's above such pedestrian matters? Well, interestingly, it turns out she actually does have experience as a victim of workplace sexual harassment -- she even wrote about being whistled at by workers at her father's construction sites in her book, The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life. (Apparently the workers were "apologetic" when they found out who she was -- no surprise there. Also apparently neither her father nor her brother actually read that book.) 

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In an interview on Tuesday with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News' On the Record, Ivanka seemed ready to put an end to the current drama:

"I think harassment in general, regardless, sexual or otherwise, is totally inexcusable and if it transpires it needs to be reported and it needs to be dealt with on a company level."

She added, "We have a very strong HR team at the Trump Organization, who is equipped to deal with these issues if they arise, and you hope they never arise, you hope you have a culture in which they don't arise, but when they do it needs to be dealt with swiftly." 

Okay, well, sure. That's fine. We obviously all agree with Ivanka that harassment is inexcusable, but this sure would have been a great opportunity for her to step up and speak out on behalf of women everywhere. This sure would have been a perfect time for her to redeem herself as a human being and break away from her family's ridiculous rhetoric for a moment to show some common sense. And who knows, she might still. But for now, her silence speaks volumes ... and not in a good way, either.


Image via Felipe Ramales/Splash News

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