Entries Tagged as 'feminism'

The Candid and Frank Betty Ford

David Frum July 11th, 2011 at 8:52 am 9 Comments

In my latest CNN column, I write about Betty Ford’s candid and frank speaking style:

The role of first lady is one of the most difficult in American public life. Few women have struggled with the role as passionately and poignantly as Betty Ford, who died this week at 93.

Betty Ford arrived in the White House at the same time that the new media culture arrived on TV. It suddenly became permissible for journalists to ask questions that no respectable journalist would have ever dared ask before. And it was not Betty Ford’s nature to leave a question unanswered, once asked.

In 1975, Betty Ford sat down with Morley Safer of “60 Minutes.”

Safer: What if Susan Ford (who was then 18 years old) came to you and said, ‘Mother… I’m having an affair’?

Betty Ford: Well, I wouldn’t be surprised. I would think she’s a perfectly normal human being, like all young girls.

Betty Ford shared with the nation her views of her children’s marijuana use. (She guessed that, yes, they had tried it.) She shared the information that she and President Gerald Ford slept in the White House in a single rather than double beds. She shared details of her life before her marriage to Ford. She shared her views on abortion (pro-choice). She shared news of her breast cancer, her face-lift and her dependency on painkillers, alcohol and cigarettes.

A journalist once asked President Ford:

“Have you ever said to your wife, ‘Why do you have to be so revealing, so honest?’ “

He answered: “I’ve told her a million times. It has no impact.”

The journalist Tom Wolfe archly dubbed the 1970s the “Me Decade.” He didn’t mean that people had become any more selfish than previously. He meant that they had become more compulsively self-revealing. “Let’s talk about me!” Betty Ford epitomized — and to a great extent accelerated — that trend of the times.

Click here to read the full column.

Fox News: Feminist Champion

David Frum November 20th, 2009 at 10:40 am 50 Comments

On the Fox News site today, I clicked a link to a Sean Hannity interview with Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

Hannity opened the item by blasting Newsweek‘s cover story on Gov. Palin as “blatantly sexist.” He asked, “What is behind this double standard?”

At about the 3:11 minute mark, Hasselbeck offers this answer to the host’s questions: “When I saw that I was infuriated, as most women should be. It is as you said blatantly sexist. Where now is the National Organization for Women? Where are they? Where are they when a conservative woman is being reduced to that sort of cover?”

Hannity chimed in: “It seems to come down to a really basic litmus test whether women’s groups will support you or not.”

Good point! While some women can be sexually objectified with impunity by the liberal lamestream media, others get protected. Yep, it’s a litmus test. One question though. About an inch below the box in which Hannity and Hasselback joined to denounce leching and leering, was a smaller icon that linked to this item.



Question for Fox: what litmus test did these women flunk?

PS – in reply to reader TXANNE, I do agree that the Newsweek cover was sensational and inappropriate. Whatever games Palin may be playing with her admirers do not excuse news sources from playing similar games with their readers.