We are thirteen days away from electing the first woman to the office of President of the United States, and today I had the pleasure of watching a video of conservative commentator Megyn Kelly calmly and powerfully schooling sexist former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for his defense of Donald Trump, who was caught boasting about sexually assaulting women.
Gingrich tried a smoke-and-mirror tactic, diverting the topic to the soon to be First Husband, Bill Clinton — but Kelly wasn’t having it. She stated the obvious — that Bill Clinton isn’t running for president and Trump is, before calling Gingrich out on his defensiveness and suggesting he work on his anger issues. Here’s the clip:
Let me now say — holy shit!
A female newscaster putting a male congressional leader firmly in his place is a big freaking deal! Women have only been voting since 1920, and a public forum where a woman can speak truth to power is a testament how far they have come. In my family, my mother and stepmother are the first generation of women born with the right to vote. Now, I don’t agree with Megyn Kelly on much of anything, but I absolutely share her concern over the protection of women from men in power.
I applaud Kelly for standing as equal in value and superior in intellect to Gingrich, who owes his position almost exclusively to white male privilege. Without it, it’s hard to imagine him being a productive member of society. That he’s in a position of leadership is a mystery that is solved by the knowledge that there are also people who would vote for Donald Trump for president.
The ability of these men to wield power is predicated on entrenched white male supremacist social structures. Compared to Hillary Clinton and Megyn Kelly, these men are weak, ineffectual, undisciplined, and dimwitted. Knowing this about themselves, they attack Kelly’s gender and accuse her of being “obsessed with sex,” rather than answer her questions, which would be to acknowledge her as an equal or (God, forbid!) superior.
Hillary Clinton and Megyn Kelly are the beneficiaries of women who gave their lives to the cause of women’s suffrage. Nearly 100 years ago, these heroic crusaders won the vote. This year they win the presidency. And in Kelly’s verbal takedown of Newt Gingrich, I caught a glimpse of the future, a future where women direct the global political conversation, guiding it in service to the well-being of one human family.
Imagine Kelly interviewing Clinton, challenging her positions and choices but without the corrosive power dynamic that pollutes conversations between men and women in leadership positions. The two women may not agree, but they know they are both fighting for a world that works, and each has intimate knowledge of the challenges they have faced to arrive at their current position. No one can accuse Trump or Gingrich or Pence of fighting for a world that works for anyone but themselves.
I believe we have arrived at a tipping point, ironically arrived at by the mindboggling misogyny of Donald Trump, when women finally reject, en masse, the forces that have suppressed them, and recognize that their power to rise is simply waiting for them to claim it by standing together in resistance. Women are perhaps waking up to their collective power, as a voting block and an economic powerhouse. As Wonder Woman said in her TV series, “Women are the wave of the future — and sisterhood is stronger than anything!” Come on, ladies! Prove her right!