Fox News tackled what it called the growing “problem” of female breadwinners, apparently jumping off a May 2013 Pew Research study finding a quarter of women outearn their husbands.
“Are female breadwinners a problem?” the network asked during the May 4 edition of Fox & Friends Sunday, promising “a debate about alpha women.” Co-host Clayton Morris emphasized that he understood the “cultural argument” against female breadwinners, and expressed concern that the problem is rooted in the deeper, “biological, innate need for men to be the caveman” :
MORRIS: Is there a problem with men earning less than women in the household, and do you think that it could throw off -- that it actually could cause big marital problems?
I get the cultural argument, guys. I mean, I can see how -- we can all weave our way through cultural issues. But isn't there some sort of biological, innate need for men to be the caveman? Go out and bring home the dinner and actually go out -- Is it emasculating if we don't do it?
Morris went on to ask Miss New York USA 2013 Joanne Nosuchinsky if she would “lose respect” for a male partner who stayed at home taking care of kids and “doing the laundry.”
It's a topic the network has tackled before, much to the chagrin of its own female anchors.
Last May, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs infamously lamented that a rise in female breadwinners is “concerning and troubling,” suggestive of “society dissolv[ing] around us.” His panel of male contributors agreed; as Erick Erickson explained, “When you look at biology, look at the natural world, the roles of a male and female in society, and the other animals, the male typically is the dominant role.”
And it's a stance that makes sense for Fox -- the network has refused to acknowledge the gender wage gap, and often avoided or dismissed the validity of women's health and economic issues. After all, if professional women should take a back seat to men, it's much easier to view them as props and entertainment.