Fox News hosts defended the practice of catcalling, insisting women should “let men be men” and downplaying the harmful impact widespread street harassment has on women.
On the August 28 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered, hosts highlighted a New York Post opinion article that suggested women “deal with” “flattering” catcalls. Co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle defended street harassment saying, “let men be men,” and, “look, men are going to be that way. What can you do?” Guest host and Fox contributor Arthur Aidala reenacted his personal signature “move” -- aiming a slow round of applause at women on the street, which one host said she'd find flattering:
The Outnumbered hosts' defense of catcalling downplays the harmful impact widespread street harassment has on women. Hollaback, a movement to end street harassment, points out that according to the CDC, “non-contact unwanted sexual experiences,” including street harassment, are the most prevalent form of sexual violence for both men and women in the United States -- impacting up to 99 percent of women internationally, and affecting disproportionately high rates of LGBT individuals.
As Smriti Sinha for Mic.com has pointed out, the objectification of female bodies can have a serious psychological impact on women. A study conducted by Psychology of Women Quarterly revealed that “objectification of a female partner's body is related to more incidents of sexual pressure and coercion in romantic relationships,” and has an important connection to the prevalence of intimate partner sexual violence in the United States.
Outnumbered, which was billed by Fox News as a distinct new show "guided by four savvy women and one man" that is “designed to provide viewers with a fresh take on the latest news” has instead gained a reputation for its absurdly sexist tropes.