FOX News is famous for their female news and opinion presenters that specifically cater to the male gaze, and that promotes rape culture. Their employees must conform to a certain ‘look’ before they are placed in front of a camera, and this appears to be true no matter what the employee’s credentials may be. A degree from an Ivy League university is expected, but still not enough. To be allowed to speak on air, the women of FOX News must be convincing as a sexual object for heterosexual men.
The rape culture values that permeate the FOX News workplace are in the public record. Big names like Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes have lost their positions at FOX after numerous women came forward to complain of sexual harassment. In fact, so many FOX News employees have come forward about sexual harassment that an award winning movie was produced to tell the story of how terrible working at FOX News can be.
FOX News grooms the ‘male gaze’
Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.Marshall University Women’s Center
The idea of the male gaze is a social construct that attempts to dictate to men what they should find attractive. Of course, not all men fall into the ‘male gaze’ trap and the definition of beauty is far wider than what media presents to us. However, all people feel societal pressure to accept an artificial and idealized form of beauty and sexuality. The women employed by FOX News do not tumble out of bed in the morning looking like this sexualized ideal. Instead, they actually sit through hours of hair and makeup each day. They are dressed in similar styles, have their hair styled in a certain way, and heavy make-up is applied in a way that results in the on-air personalities looking almost indistinguishable from one another.
In other words, FOX News takes individual women and turns them into objects meant to be sexually attractive to heterosexual males.
Definition of social construct
formal: an idea that has been created and accepted by the people in a societyClass distinctions are a social construct.Merriam-Webster
Objectifying women dehumanizes them. It provides the message that women are only valuable if they look and dress ‘sexy’. This narrow definition is not representative of the typical appearance of women. It is an idealized caricature of women that appeals to a specific audience. By having employees present themselves as sexualized objects, FOX News promotes rape culture to their viewers. They are proclaiming that this is what the ideal woman looks like. This is how the ideal woman should dress –for the pleasure of men.
Women are beautiful in their natural state. They do not require makeup to be beautiful, but they may wear it if they choose. They do not have to dress in a certain style of clothing, or wear their hair in a certain way to be attractive, although they should be free to wear whatever suits them. It is not necessary to bare skin, unless one wants to. The idea that a barbie doll version of women is the best version of women is completely made up. Ideally, the image a woman projects is an extension of her personality. It is not a contest to see who can look the most like an imaginary sex fantasy.
In a work environment where women are highly objectified, where their worth as employees is dependent upon their ability to attract the male gaze, they are left open to abusive treatment by their peers. Male colleagues sometimes get the idea that their female co-workers are there simply to be sexually available–for them. Sometimes, male executives or media personalities will view women employees as perks of the job.
Instead of focusing on the intellectual accomplishments of women anchors, FOX News highlights the physical attractiveness of their employees. Actually, scratch that. We don’t mean physical attractiveness. What FOX values is a certain type of sex kitten attractiveness. The women of FOX are permitted to read the news to viewers, but only if they wear certain types of clothing and makeup.
When Lisa Marie Boothe had her knee patted on live television, FOX News was sending the message to viewers that she was employed merely for the sexual pleasure of her co-workers.
Transforming strong women into submissive sex kittens
Even when women are employed by FOX News because they represent a certain ideological standpoint, they are not permitted to allow their unique personality show through. Instead, they must be transformed into the type of woman that is promoted by rape culture.
Take Laura Ingraham, for example. Laura Ingraham is a right-wing political pundit and propagandist that rose to fame on talk radio where, presumably, it doesn’t matter what the radio personalities look like. Frankly, there is not much to like about her, but she does have quite a following amongst neo-Nazis and other types of racists. You would think that following would be satisfied with how Ingraham chose to present herself before her gig at FOX. Not so, believes FOX News. Instead of allowing Ingraham to dress as she pleases, they squeeze her into uncomfortable looking cocktail dresses and ridiculous platform stilettos.
Maybe, JUST MAYBE, if Laura Ingraham was not forced to wear clothing that does not suit her, she wouldn’t be such a racist and Nazi sympathising bitch that has sold her soul to Satan in return for an ineffectual border wall. Or maybe not. Who knows. What we do know for sure is that someone at FOX is convinced that women must look and dress a certain way to be heard. They must be “sexy” and the viewer is encouraged to want to have sex with them.
Jeanine Pirro is another FOX News personality whose perfectly respectable legal career was transformed into a cesspool of hate and stupidity. Was it the clothes and makeup? Likely not, but regardless, FOX News seems to believe that no one will listen to what she has to say unless she sports that sex kitten look. Even at 70 years old.
Why? Before she started her ridiculous show at FOX News, Pirro became the first woman to be elected a judge in Westchester County, New York. People liked her because she was tough on domestic abusers and she was soon elected District Attorney. Surely, there was once more to this woman than the hate and vitriol she spews on Saturday nights. After a failed attempt to become governor of New York, Pirro landed at FOX News where they gave her the special sex kitten makeover.
Apparently, that makeover included a lobotomy because there is nothing left of her except being a racist and an unquestioning Trump sycophant that no longer cares about violence against women—at least not the kind that involves high profile Republican men. Rumor has it she sold her soul to Trump in the hope he would make her Attorney General of the United States, but that clearly did not pan out.
Pirro and Ingraham are probably the two most unlikeable and vile women at FOX News, but they have both been victimized by an employer that presents them as sexual objects. One has to wonder how much of their personalities and opinions are also manufactured by FOX?
Why the rape culture promoted by FOX News matters
Clearly it matters. No person, no matter what their gender or political affiliation, deserves to be sexually objectified. Large media corporations have a moral responsibility to promote appropriate values. That is the problem as who is to say what appropriate values are. As a conservative organization, FOX News has chosen to rebuke notions of feminism and gender equality. This is why they dress their employees as sex kittens. FOX News is purposely promoting the role of women in society to be subordinate, submissive, and sexually available to men.
The uniformity of this style suggests a political statement which, indeed, it is. Theirs is a look that defiantly embraces the most conservative notions of femininity and firmly rejects any idea of modernity, let alone feminism.The Guardian
FOX News objectifies the women they employ because it is part of their ‘brand’. They will allow women to have on-air roles, but the women must do it as submissive females that are subordinate to the men they work with, and to the men that view their programming. The women must dress in a provocative way that emphasizes their heterosexuality. Most of all, the women must appear as though they are sexually available to other employees, guests, and the viewers. Ultimately, the role of women on FOX News is to serve as entertainment for men.