Over the weekend, Fox News invited perennial troll-blossom Suzanne Venker on to talk with Tucker Carlson, Clayton Morris, and Anna Kooiman about her latest editorial, "Why Women Still Need Husbands." (Short answer: Because wombs.)
"Financial independence is a great thing," Venker explains, "but you can't take your paycheck to bed with you." (Um, I beg to differ, and I have the PAPER CUTS TO PROVE IT. #liberated) "And," she concludes, "there's nothing empowering about being beholden to an employer when what you really want is to have a baby."
Yes. Nothing empowering, except for all of that literal empowerment.
Like, Suzanne, we get it, YOU HATE HAVING A JOB. You're really really sleepy. You don't feel like it. Lazy R people 2. I'm on your side here, girl—nothing would delight me more than if you took your own advice and immediately quit writing forever in order to spend more time with your haircut. Please, go for it. TAKE A NAP, SUZANNE. IT'S OKAY. I RELEASE YOU.
Anyhoo, Venker (weirdly undeterred by her own rhetoric!) went on Fox News to plug her stink piece, and wound up advising Kooiman, the show's female host, to get married and make babies ASAP.
KOOIMAN: I fit into that category perfectly. I'm single. I'm 29 years old. I'm very career-oriented. What is your advice in just a couple sentences?
VENKER: My advice is, as the years go on and you find that you want, if you do, to get married and settle down, to understand time is going to be your greatest enemy. Not your husband, not men, not the government, not your employers. It's time, there's just not enough time in the day to do everything. So if you learn to embrace that side of yourself that isn't about work — in other words, the nurturing side, the motherhood, all of that — it's okay to let your husband bring home that full-time income so you can have more of a balanced life. And we should really be thanking men for this, not saying they're in our way or not doing enough.
Notice that Venker doesn't frame the issue as a spectrum of choice, she sees women's inner lives as a hard dichotomy. You either embrace "the nurturing side, the motherhood, all of that"—a side that ALL women apparently have—or you don't. If you choose not to embrace it, then, the implication follows, you're "unbalanced" (and probably a bitter old shrew because of it). If you claim not to feel the pull of "the motherhood, all of that," you're lying to yourself.
Nope, the only option is to abandon any hope of financial independence and chain yourself irreversibly to a man. Why didn't anyone think of this before? (Also: Lesbians, how do they work!?!?)
I suppose, for the sake of fairness, I should mention that Venker also went on Fox & Friends and clarified that she doesn't think all women need a husband to be happy, it's just that she thinks all women need a husband to be happy. She also wishes that young women would stop "being so negative about men and marriage," and agrees that that attitude comes "from feminists."
I'm curious to see how long Fox et al. can keep this up before it finally eats itself. There's a clear agenda to bolster traditionalism and keep women subservient and homebound, but Fox is savvy enough to understand that they can't just employ 100% white men and get away with it. It creates this bizarre cognitive dissonance, where women are employed to tell women how unhappy employment makes women. Weird. It's almost as though they know it's complete bullshit.