I am a liberal. I do not watch Fox News. But I stand with Megyn Kelly.
At Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, moderator Megyn Kelly, a former litigator, questioned Donald Trump about his remarks about women, noting “You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals.'” She asked if these comments sounded to him like the temperament of a man we should elect as president.
Mr. Trump shot back saying that he doesn’t have time for “political correctness.” He then took a swing at Megyn saying in an insulting tone: “Honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me.”
After the debate, he then took to Twitter and called her a “bimbo.”
The next day on CNN, Mr. Trump suggested that Ms. Kelly questioned him so sharply because she was menstruating. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” he said.
This comment raised eyebrows in the Republican party, and got Mr. Trump uninvited to an influential gathering of conservatives in Atlanta on Saturday night, where he was slated to speak.
It also got some of the Republican party’s most influential women to speak out about Mr. Trump’s treatment of women, including New Hampshire’s Republican Party chairwoman, Jennifer Horn.
“Megyn Kelly is an intelligent, educated, successful professional woman, and Donald Trump’s comments were out of line and unacceptable,” she said. “There is a big difference between not being politically correct and being disrespectful, and [Thursday] night Donald Trump was being disrespectful to women.”
As a women’s rights advocate, I’m thrilled to see members of the Republican party standing up for women. The Republican party has been notorious for their stance on policies and legislation that restrict women’s rights.
We saw clear evidence of this Thursday night as the 10 male candidates in the primetime presidential debate each spoke about their desire to de-fund Planned Parenthood, an organization that plays a vital role in educating women and girls about reproductive and sexual health, helping prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception, reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screening for cervical and other cancers.
This War on Women, as it has often been called, also includes a push for a ban on legal abortion in cases of rape and incest.
Treating women respectfully is not a matter of trying to be “politically correct” as Trump suggested on Thursday. This is an issue of human decency, human respect and human dignity.
If we allow men, like Mr. Trump, to get away unchallenged with calling women such things as “bimbos, fat pigs, and disgusting animals,” we then become enablers to this cultural attitude toward and against women.
With an American presidential candidate speaking about women in this way on a national stage and thinking it is okay, is there any wonder why women are struggling to rise into positions of leadership in this male-oriented society?
Women of the Republican party: I hope you will continue to stand up for your rights and dignity within your party. Make your voices heard. While we may not agree on a host of issues, including the size of government in our lives and the best way to stimulate our economy, I think we can agree on the task of not letting your party stand for the negation and ridicule of women.
Men of the Republican party: You’ve got mothers, sisters, wives and daughters that you love. Do you want them to go through life thinking that it’s okay to be treated the way Donald Trump treated Megyn Kelly? And if one of them were sexually assaulted or raped (one out of five women in the U.S. are in their lifetime), would you truly want them to have the child of that rapist? How could you want that for someone you love?
Megyn Kelly is a smart, intelligent, accomplished, successful and beautiful woman. While we may not agree on every political issue, what connects us is our dignity as women.
It’s time for us, all of us – women and men alike, to speak up and speak out when women in the room, women on social media, or women on national television are being called names, are being bullied, are being diminished. From this, we will become whole. A better nation. A better people. A better life for all.
I stand with you Megyn Kelly.
Tabby Biddle, M.S.Ed., is a women’s rights advocate, writer and leadership coach, specializing in helping women find their voice. She is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller, Find Your Voice: A Woman’s Call to Action, now available in paperback. Get your copy here.
This article was first published in The Huffington Post.