Target: Bill O’Reilly
Goal: Apologize for suggesting there is something inherently wrong with women that makes them bad leaders
Recently on the popular Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor,” show host Bill O’Reilly posed this question to two female guests: “There’s gotta be some downside to having a woman president, right?” O’Reilly then proceeded to badger the guests about the ways a woman president could potentially be pushed around and taken less seriously. Throughout the entire conversation, O’Reilly relied on sexist tropes that paint women as weak and unable to be effective, strong leaders. While his guests correctly pointed out that there are certainly downsides to some specific individuals being president, they continually asserted the idea that generalizing about men and women as a whole is not only unfair, it is inaccurate.
One of the biggest problems facing women in politics and the media today are people like O’Reilly who like to continually fall back on sexist claims that paint women in a negative light. One of the biggest reasons “there haven’t been that many strong women leaders throughout history,” as O’Reilly put it, is because of people like him who perpetuate the idea that women aren’t fit to lead. The ideas that women are too sensitive, too easily swayed, and not strong enough to lead are outdated and need to change so we can raise a new generation of women who feel that nothing is holding them back from achieving what they want.
Tell O’Reilly that the segment on his TV show was sexist, and that he should seriously reconsider making such broad generalizations about women in the future. One of the best ways to change sexist attitudes in this country is by how women are talked about and represented in the media. It is time people in a position like O’Reilly’s stop using their platform to perpetuate sexism.
Dear Mr. Bill O’Reilly,
Recently you used a segment of your show to discuss the matter of there being a downside to having a woman president. During the entire segment you relied on sexist gender stereotypes to try and argue that there is something inherently wrong with women that makes them bad leaders. Not only are your suggestions completely outdated, they contribute to misconceptions about women as a whole.
I am writing to urge you to reconsider your remarks and apologize for presenting women in such a demeaning way. I would hope that as a country we are far beyond continuing to believe in sexist stereotypes that hurt both men and women. We need people in your position to use your far reach to spread the message that women are just as capable as men to lead this country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Karppinen via Wikimedia Commons