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5 Terrible Life Tips for Women Courtesy of Fox News

Fox & Friends offers up groundbreaking advice like "not talking too much" and "keeping your husband happy."
 
 
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Whenever Fox decides to feature segments on “women’s issues,” the conversations are usually so appallingly misguided that you almost wish they hadn’t bothered. Yesterday’s episode of Fox & Friends, featuring interviews with author Sylvia Ann Hewlett and the “ Princeton Mom,” Susan Patton, was a case in point. Hewlett is the author of Executive Presence, a self-help book for women in the workplace, while Patton is best known for writing a letter to her alma mater urging young women to devote 75 percent of their college careers to finding husbands. With the help of male co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, as well as some handy graphics, the episode produced a litany of advice for young women that could have been ripped from the pages of a 1950s home ec textbook. Here are five of the most egregious examples of Fox-approved tips for women:

1) “Don’t talk too much.”

Over the course of the interview with Hewlett, women are told to “keep their voices down” and avoid “talking too much” no less than four times (twice by Doocy, once by an onscreen graphic, and again by Kilmeade). Call this the anti-Sheryl Sandberg mantra. Instead of asserting their right to actively participate in workplace discussions, women should refrain from “dominating” the conversation and be sure to monitor the volume and tone of their voices. This point was also repeatedly made in the same breath as comments about “presentation” and clothing, as if to say “Got it ladies? You’re supposed to be seen and not heard.”

2) “Dressing well is half the battle.”

Like so many other publications on women in the workplace, Hewlett’s devotes considerable attention to appropriate office attire and how to “fit in with flair.” There’s nothing wrong with offering some basic advice on appearance, but every time Hewlett tried to steer the conversation to other topics covered in the book, like communication and gravitas, the male co-hosts return to physical presentation. Plenty has been written about the attention paid to the clothing of powerful women ( Hillary Clinton knows how tedious this can be), yet the standard remains the same: articles about female politicians, celebrities or businesswomen will devote entire paragraphs to describing their outfits, while those about male leaders spend little time meditating on their choice of tie or dress shoe. Besides the double standard, it is insulting to suggest that dressing well even should be half the battle, for men or women. How about qualifications? Experience? Work ethic? Original ideas? Co-host Anna Kooiman is the only one to even bring up the point that maybe “women shouldn’t be too focused on what we look like, and what we’re wearing, but what our minds can do.”

3) “Keep your husband happy.”

In the depressingly simple world of "Princeton Mom" Susan Patton, marriage is the be-all, end-all goal for women. Once you’ve found a husband, your job is to do everything in your power to nurture and care for him, making sure his needs are being met. Even though women comprise 47 percent of the US labor force, and 73 percent of working women hold full-time jobs, it is still, for some bizarre reason, their responsibility to offer their husbands a drink and cook them a meal at the end of the work day. Never mind that women also spend almost twice as much time as their spouses on childcare each week. Fox’s hosts happily reinforced this sexist message, with Doocy asking Patton “When did it happen when men and husbands became doormats?” Because we all know asking a man to help out around the house or cook dinner is the pinnacle of emasculation. Even more disturbingly, Patton warns against ending relationships that aren’t working out because of “how difficult it would be to replace him.” As she says:

 
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