As you may have noticed already, TV host and journalist, Gretchen Carlson has left Fox News Channel. And to top it off, she filed a sexual harassment suit against FNC CEO and chairman, Roger Ailes. To make matters worse? She isn’t the only one making these claims against Ailes. The CEO has a long standing history with these kinds of allegations and this latest one has women coming to Carlson’s lawyers with similar complaints.
As many young women who are reading this, I too dream of pursuing a career in the world of politics and the media. We look up to the women we see on Fox News and other news outlets and publications as role models. I look up to the Gretchen Carlsons of this world, but to hear her story is completely disheartening.
Last year she wrote a piece to the Huffington Post explaining what it’s like being a powerful woman in the workforce. In which she said “To be honest, if a young professional woman were to ask my advice about what to do if she were sexually harassed, I might hesitate.” To hear this, hurts me.
It hurts me because in a few short months I will be entering the workforce, hopefully landing a job in the media. My friends are also recently graduated or about to graduate, I think of them and my heart hurts.
My heart hurts because hearing allegations that Ailes didn’t see women for their value to the workplace but for their value to his eyes, makes me question my value. An anonymous source who feared backlash told Michelle Fields, “He told me that if he was thinking of hiring a woman, he’d ask himself if he would fuck her, and if he would, then he’d hire her to be on-camera”
Where do I start? If we’re going to hire reporters based on their looks, let’s fire half of the FNC men. Sorry not sorry, I wouldn’t get in bed with Bill O’Reilly. Geraldo Rivera? Pass. The list continues. But as for the women, their value as a reporter doesn’t matter the way Bill or Geraldo’s does. Their pretty faces get them hired in a second.
As a woman looking to launch her career in the media, I want to make it clear, I am more than my body image. I could offer more to your newsroom than just eye candy. And with that being said, I look forward to the day where people like Gretchen Carlson could launch their career without going through hell and women are valued in the newsroom for their brains not their beauty.
Stay Classy, An Aspiring Journalist