In case you hadn't noticed, Hell froze over Monday.
ABC's Barbara Walters, appearing on The View, actually said on national television that she agreed with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's point about radical feminism making it more "socially affirming" for women "to work than to give up their careers to take care of their children" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is on the defensive over controversial comments against feminism. Now Barbara you have his actual quote. Please would you do us the favor of reading it?
BARBARA WALTERS: Okay, he has talked about what he calls radical feminism, and he says many women have told him that it's more "socially affirming to work than to give up their careers to take care of their children," and he said, “Here we thank the influence of radical feminism for convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.” When he was criticized he claimed that his wife Karen had written that section. Now, I'm going to say something.
JOY BEHAR: What a coward. He wouldn’t even stand behind that stupid remark?
WALTERS: Okay, you and I are already arguing about this. I very rarely take a political position because I work for ABC News. These are people I talk with, and so on. So there are things about Rick Santorum that I do not agree with. But I do feel that there was a time – and, you know, I’ve worked all my life, not when I was four and five, but after that – that there was a time when feminists - and it was the basis in the way of the feminine mystique - made the woman who stayed home and had children feel inferior. I think we are finally changing so that we realize, younger women, that you can make a choice. So I don’t think that what he said is so terribly off the point. He probably will be surprised that I am on that side and I know you disagree with me.
BEHAR: Well he won't be surprised that I am not on that side because what I think that feminism did was empower women to have choices. You don't only have to stay home and be a mother. You can also have a job. You can also have a career.
WALTERS: But it put down…
BEHAR: The word is “also.”
WALTERS: We haven't gotten to that point but in the beginning if someone said…
BEHAR: Well I was there too, Barbara, and I don’t agree with you.
WALTERS: …if somebody said, “What do you do,” you would say, “I'm a housewife” and feel as if you had to apologize. Today you don't but there was that time when you did.
I'm not sure things have changed that much in this regard. I know many housewives who feel they are disrespected by working women when in social situations. Some of them have felt such a lack of esteem that they've gone back to work despite not wanting to.
But there was another surprise in this segment, for even Whoopi Goldberg has her misgivings about the feminist movement:
GOLDBERG: But I felt that feminism had left out several sections of women when they were out there marching. And for years this was the big old stinky fight.
JOY HASSELBECK: What do you mean?
GOLDBERG: Well, they were not representing the women who had no choice and had to go out and work. They weren't speaking to them because that wasn't what they were talking about. They were talking to the women who needed the encouragement to go and move. But I always felt that if you're going to empower women, empower everybody.
HASSELBECK: Good point.
Indeed. And then the fireworks started:
GOLDBERG: But, you know, we learned and Rick, you know, I guess that's how you feel and that's okay. I hope that's not how you plan to govern the country because you're going to have a big old…
BEHAR: Oh please. Don’t tell me he would ever be president. That would be a nightmare.
GOLDBERG: That’s what they said about Obama.
HASSELBECK: Any Republican’s a nightmare for you, Joy. You can’t even sort them.
BEHAR: Even you think he's horrifying. Come on.
She's such a joy, isn't she?
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