Megyn Kelly Hits Back at Liberal Feminists for their Double Standard in Treatment of Conservatives

During a fascinating and wide-ranging interview on the Wednesday edition of Charlie Rose’s PBS show, Fox News Channel (FNC) host Megyn Kelly pushed back at liberal feminists and the very label for their complete double standard in the treatment of conservative and pro-life women (and specifically Sarah Palin). 

The issue came up when Rose asked Kelly if she was an advocate like many of his personal friends in that they’re “constantly making us and helping us remember how much we need to do with respect to women and equal pay.”

To Rose’s astonishment, Kelly shot back that she’s “not really an issues advocate when it comes to women or anything else” because “it's not appropriate given my role” as a journalist. She argued that, instead: “I'll let other people take those position because I have to cover those stories, I have to cover them objectively and fairly and I shouldn't weigh in on that on a personal matter.”

Kelly did add caveat by suggesting that she’s “all for female empowerment” but “not at the expense of men” due to the fact that: “I don't like the women who stand up for the empowerment of women at the expense of men. They try to demonize men and try to suggest men all want to keep us down, which is one of the reasons why I don't like that label feminist.”

The Kelly File host then went onto call out liberal feminists like Gloria Steinem for their intolerance when it comes to conservative women and particularly those who are pro-life:

Just in covering the news, I see somebody like – Gloria Steinem who you're only a feminist had in her world if you believe what she believes everything she believes. If you are against abortion, on demand, through the third trimester, you are not a feminist. You know, if you don't stand for all of her principles, look at what she did and what many on the far left did in the feminist cause to somebody like Sarah Palin[.]

After a few chuckles from liberal Rose at the very mention of the Palin’s name, Kelly continued by railing against Steinem and the National Organization for Women (NOW) for their inability to rally to Palin’s defense when questions arose in the 2008 presidential campaign about whether she could be a mother and vice president:

[S]he's running for president and where were they when they were asking Sarah Palin whether she could be both – she was running for vice president, whether she could be both vice president and a mother to her children. Nobody – no one asked that of Barack Obama. That was a sexist question. If that had ever been asked of Hillary when she was younger and raising Chelsea, NOW would have been up and arms, Steinem, the others would have been Marching on Washington saying this has got to stop. 

Speaking more broadly about the massive double standard, Kelly pointed out that there’s “[c]rickets when it happen[s] to a conservative woman” and eviscerated the liberal constituency for trying “to take your womanhood away from you if you are – if you don't walk in lock step with their beliefs.”

Before Rose changed subjects to who was the biggest influence in Kelly’s life (which is her mother), Kelly hinted that feminists should be more open to women who don’t completely agree with them if they want to improve the state of women: “That is what I mean by the feminism that I reject and I think those feminists would be well served to be a little more open minded when it comes to left and right in this country so they could get more women into the fold.”

The relevant portion of the transcript from PBS’s Charlie Rose on October 7 can be found below.

PBS’s Charlie Rose
October 7, 2015
11:39 p.m. Eastern

CHARLIE ROSE: You are seen as a strong woman, a woman whose very good at her craft. Do you like that idea that young women are looking at Megyn Kelly and saying that's who I would like to be? She's respected. She's strong. She has a remarkable presence. She loves what she does. 

MEGYN KELLY: Yes. 

ROSE: But it does not transcend, I mean, a sense when I have lots of friends who are also strong women, and they want to be constantly making us and helping us remember how much we need to do with respect to women and equal pay and you saw what happened at the Academy Awards. 

KELLY: Right, right. 

ROSE: Where are you on that frontier?

KELLY: I am not really an issues advocate when it comes to women or anything else. 

ROSE: Even pay in – 

KELLY: No, no, it's not appropriate given my role. It’s really not. I don't speak out on those things. I'll let other people take those position because I have to cover those stories, I have to cover them objectively and fairly and I shouldn't weigh in on that on a personal matter, but having said that, I'm all for female empowerment and not at the expense of men. I don't – I don't like the women who stand up for the empowerment of women at the expense of men. They try to demonize men and try to suggest men all want to keep us down, which is one of the reasons why I don't like that label feminist. So my friend Sheryl Sandberg keeps telling me I am a feminist and I keep rejecting the label because I have had a bad experience with it. But I am all – . 

ROSE: What was the bad experience? 

KELLY: Just in covering the news, I see somebody like – Gloria Steinem who you're only a feminist had in her world if you believe what she believes everything she believes. If you are against abortion, on demand, through the third trimester, you are not a feminist. You know, if you don't stand for all of her principles, look at what she did and what many on the far left did in the feminist cause to somebody like Sarah Palin and I understand Sarah Palin, right, I get it. Okay? But, but, here is –. 

ROSE: I get it. 

KELLY: I'm just saying, right, I do, but she's running for president and where were they when they were asking Sarah Palin whether she could be both – she was running for vice president, whether she could be both vice president and a mother to her children. Nobody – no one asked that of Barack Obama. That was a sexist question. If that had ever been asked of Hillary when she was younger and raising Chelsea, NOW would have been up and arms, Steinem, the others would have been Marching on Washington saying this has got to stop. Crickets when it happened to a conservative woman because – and some actually came out and said she's less of a woman than some men I know. I mean, they tried to take your womanhood away from you if you are – if you don't walk in lock step with their beliefs. That is what I mean by the feminism that I reject and I think those feminists would be well served to be a little more open minded when it comes to left and right in this country so they could get more women into the fold.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center