A Pew Research study published this week found that women are the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of homes, sending the conservative media into a frenzy. But Fox News star anchor Megyn Kelly wasn't having it, and on Friday she schooled colleagues Lou Dobbs and Erick Erickson on-air about the subject of working moms.
Erickson thinks this brave new world of working moms is dangerous and unnatural, and he's been on a one-man campaign for the past 48 hours to make that known. "When you look at biology -- when you look at the natural world -- the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male is typically the dominant role," Erickson said Wednesday evening on Fox Business Network.
When these comments prompted a backlash, he responded on his website, RedState.com: "Many feminist and emo lefties have their panties in a wad over my statements in the past 24 hours about families."
On Erickson's radio show Thursday, he hammered the point home again: "It is a matter of fact that children in a household with a mother who spends more time at home than out of the home, with a father who is earning the bulk of the income for the home, are the most well-adjusted youth in society," he said. "You may not like it. You may not like me saying it. But it's a fact."
It is actually not a fact, which Kelly eloquently pointed out on Fox News the following day. "I was offended by your piece," she told Erickson, clarifying that she is not in fact an "emo liberal," and said of his conclusion about working mothers, "Just because you have people who agree with you doesn't mean it's not offensive."
Kelly went on to cite a 2010 American Sociological Association report, which reviewed 69 studies over 50 years, and found that children whose mothers work are no more likely to have any problems than kids whose mothers stay at home.
"I mean, why are we supposed to take your word for it? Erick Erickson's science, instead of all of these experts?" Kelly asked. She then compared Erickson's belief that children of female breadwinners are damaged to a view in the '50s and '60s that children of interracial parents were inferior.
Kelly was the wrong person to mess with on the topic of working moms. She has two young children herself, and she's spoken publicly before on the difficulties of the juggle. "I reject the notion that you can't have it all," she told People magazine last year. "I think you can: just not necessarily in abundance."
The segment took a sour turn from the start, when Dobbs tried to make the conversation about the growing trend of single-mother households (which 64 percent of Americans say is a "big problem," according to the Pew survey).
When Kelly tried to steer the conversation back to the topic at hand, Dobbs slammed her: "Excuse me. Let me just finish what I was saying, if I may, oh dominant one."
"Excuse me?" Kelly replied.
Kelly isn't the most beloved person among the liberal set, but she just won herself a horde of new fans. Some sampling of the tweets in response:
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