Now that the initial sting of Fox-CT’s obscene coverage of Women’s Day has subsided, we can all agree that some reflection is in order. After all, the event did mark the 40-year-battle for gender equality in Connecticut.
The obvious takeaways: yes, the progressives’ disdain towards Fox News has been validated. And yes, the footage highlighted that even in a 21st century, blue state like Connecticut, the effects of misogyny and gender discrimination persist at best. Even though Fox was publicly shamed, I can’t help but wonder if they won this round at the end of the day.
Think about it. For those who weren’t able to attend the event, the only newsworthy piece of information revolved around the news outlet’s unfortunate—but unsurprising—distraction from the depth of the issues and their solutions. In Connecticut, full-time working women earn 78% of their male counterparts. The wage gap is even more drastic for African American women and Hispanic women, who earn 59% and 48% of what men earn, respectively (The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, Policy Agenda 2013). Violence against women, whether it’s domestic violence or sexual assault, abounds and causes costly long-term health problems for women everywhere.
But what does this mean for Hartford, where poverty and crime are concentrated more than anywhere else in the state? Of the thousands of women who are assaulted, a small fraction report the crime to the police. While I cannot offer statistics on the exact number, I have heard anecdotal experiences of victims who have gone to the police, only to be told the Hartford Police Department is inundated with varying charges of violence against women—in all their forms—and must prioritize the cases where the perpetrator is easiest to prosecute. For too many women, justice depends on their ability to advocate for themselves. When her reality is marked with limited social and economic capital, her assailant gets away scot-free, promising to offend again.
Fox News is the easy target here. Let’s not forget what we’re all fighting for: the elimination of gender discrimination and the promotion of women’s economic security and their health and safety.