By Kica Matos
Everyone, likely even much of his audience, knows Bill OReilly is a bad boy. A mention of his name among groups of women will usually elicit shudders of disgust.
Notwithstanding, 21 st Century Fox decided to extend the contract of this serial sexual harasser while helping to pay the $13 M in legal fees for his harassment of the status of women. Are we astonished? Appalled maybe, but not surprised. This is after all, the same network that supported the election of an admitted sexual assaulter as President of the United States and which until recently was run by a boy who himself was a serial harasser who employed his power at the network to induce ladies submit to him.
OReilly, Trump and the current and former head of Fox News have one common denominator: They are conservative white boys in positions of power. Power and dominance tie these men inextricably. As does disrespect for women.
While neither Trump nor OReilly created the problem of harassment and assault in America, they have two things in common: 1) They are high profile perpetrators who have managed to get away with their disgusting behaviour and 2) They are co-dependent on the explicit and implicit racism and sexism of their audiences for ratings or votes.
Ultimately, the wider Trump and Fox News agenda is all about disempowering women. Consider that Trump has 😛 TAGEND
Built the whitest, most male cabinet in recent history including Jeff Sessions and Mike Price who voted against legislation to curb violence against women and attain equal pay.
Re-enacted the world gag rule on reproductive liberty for women. And his Administration has already endeavoured to bar funding for womens health though Planned Parenthood
Proposed an anti-women domestic budget that would mean among other things that 260,000 more victims of sexual assault and domestic violence would not have access shelters and supportive services each year.
Donald Trump enjoys and needs Bill OReilly, a boy who was known during the campaign as his chief enabler. OReilly loves and requires Donald Trump. And the head of Fox News network cant seem to get enough of them. Or their repulsive commentaries. Or their racism, misogyny and xenophobia. Why? Ratings. And the mighty dollar 21 st Century Fox loves earnings! Its a trifecta of co-dependency the white patriot President, the sexist right wing media icon and a corporation willing to pick up the harassment tab as a gateway for more profits.
What is to be done about this? Step one is to remember an important reality: Fox News is literally excavating its own tomb. The median age of a Fox New prime time viewer is 68 means that over half of its audience is older than that.
The Fox News audience is age-old and male and getting even older and more male. The continuing tale of harassment and Foxs cheerleading for Trumpism will simply worsen its demographic demise. And here is something else that counts against them: while Trump voters and Fox Newss audience are literally dying, women of coloring will make up 53 percent of the population by 2050.
None of that is to say we need be standing and watch Fox News go gently into that good nighttime. Bill OReilly has advertisers and those advertisers have customers who are younger( even if Fox itself does not ). Already, these advertisers are waking up to the fact that the surging post-Trump resistance exemplified by the electrifying March for Women and building to a new, pro-immigrant crescendo on May 1st is bigger than Trump? Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and BMW lately pulled places from OReillys show. More are following suit.
Social justice proponents are also stepping up their play. In every post-election session I have attended about coordinating resistance( and good news – thats a lot of meets) the subject of corporate targets has come up. Increasingly, our society is becoming more conscious of what they buy, the level of corporate responsibility behind these products and whether these entities assault or subsistence people based on their identity.
More and more, this generation is employing their imagination and might and buying power to bring about change. Just witness the massacre of corporate withdrawal considering Trump brands. Corporate America may be part of the trifecta of co-dependency in this case but simply so long as we permit it. And period is running out on them.
For those of us who make up part of the growing number of women of coloring who will soon be the 53% let me be clear: we intend to use our power to make sure that boys in positions of power who abuse and harass ladies boys like OReilly and Trump, are knocked off their perch. Permanently.
Kica Matos is Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice for the Center for Community Change .
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