Fox News Features Cringeworthy Panel of Dads Talking About Leggings
Earlier this week, Fox News entered into a discussion about the appropriateness of leggings as pants. While that’s a hotly debated topic–particularly when it comes to school dress codes–the way that Fox News approached the conversation can only be described as really yucky.
The discussion was sparked by a viral video made by a Tennessee woman, Jamie Higdon, who ranted about women who wear leggings as pants. One of the “Fox & Friends” hosts, Steve Doocey, moderated the panel. He was joined by the husband of a co-host, Andrew Sansone, as well as “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson, and one of Fox News’ legal analysts, Arthur Aidala.
Here’s the entire uncomfortable interaction, if you want to check it out for yourself:
There are just so many things wrong with this segment that I don’t even know where to begin.
For starters, let’s talk about the fact that as far as I know, none of these men are experts on fashion. Instead, they were qualified to be on the panel because they’re all dads. That’s disturbing, because it sends a clear message–that it’s up to a father to police what his daughters wear. Not a woman herself, because we can’t possibly be trusted to make autonomous decisions about what we can put on our own bodies.
Then there’s the fact that these four men clearly ogle the young women that are paraded out in front of them–and some of the comments they make get downright creepy. For example, Doocy asked one young woman if she had a tattoo in a particularly leering manner. At another point, the men applaud one of the models who turns around to show that her “tail” is covered. They also all comment on the physique of a model named Paige. In perhaps the creepiest moment, Aidala comments “We all took our nitroglycerin pills before she came on the set, just to make sure,” implying that Paige’s ensemble could have given the men heart attacks.
At one point Aidala does point out that dress codes aren’t just an issue for women. He comments on the apparel of young men he sees too, implying that sagging pants aren’t appropriate. But there’s a difference in the rhetoric used when referring to these young men and women–the men aren’t be sexualized. And I would bet you quite a bit of money that if young men were paraded out in front of these panelists wearing saggy pants, this segment would look a lot different. There would be way less clapping, way less leering, and I don’t think anyone would joking about heart attacks.
Overall, the panel just stinks of sexism and creepiness. It’s not a father’s job to police what his daughter wears, and it’s sure as hell was not this panel’s job to leer at and comment on young women’s bodies while doing so. Thanks guys, now I need a shower.