O’Reilly: “There’s gotta be some ‘downside’ to having a woman president, right?”

To honor Women’s History Month, Bill O’Reilly went off the other day on his concerns that “there’s gotta be a ‘downside’ to have a woman president, right? Something that may not ‘fit’ with that office – correct?”

The two women guests, a Democrat and a Republican, seemed a bit flummoxed by the entire thing.


You gotta love the expression on the Democratic consultant’s face in the middle, above.  The Republican was equally confused, but attempted to laugh it off.

Now, while I think, generally speaking, there are, sometimes, differences in the sexes beyond the physical.  Do women approach problem-solving differently than men? I’m pretty sure science say ‘yes.’  And do women, generally speaking have a different than men – meaning, are men bigger a-holes, bigger hotheads?  Sometimes I think that might be a fair assessment.

I don’t think it’s ridiculous to say that, generally speaking, men and women are often different in terms of their approaches to things.  But it’s not a given.  And, more specifically, who’s to say that even if there is a difference, that it would be a bad one?  I seem to recall Madeleine Albright talking about this years ago, perhaps it was in one of our classes at Georgetown, or our lunch group we used to have of Gtown Foreign Service school grads after we all graduated.  But I remember he talking about women might just be less likely to go to war at the drop of a hat.

I don’t know if that’s true.  And I certainly think it’s absurd to suggest that women can’t be ballsy enough, to use the word, to be leader of the nation.  Look at Margaret Thatcher.  Whatever you think of her politics, backbone the woman had.

I almost wish O’Reilly hadn’t hedged, had just said what he was thinking.  What trait do women have that would supposedly disqualify them from the presidency?  I don’t get it.

(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Geandily

    You are right. There have been very very few psychological differences found between men and women that cannot be entirely explained by acculturation. Even then, the differences that are from that are VERY small (talking about a 98% overlap in the majority of psychological constructs… empathy, extraversion, assertiveness, etc etc)

  • KarenJ
  • KarenJ

    I don’t think Russia is comparatively “like Candyland”. I think the USA is at least AS BAD AS Russia with regards to guns, crime, poverty, social attitudes and territorial aggression. No wonder the neocons don’t know whether to praise or hate Vlad.

  • Anonymous

    They might use their brain for the first time, trying to avoid words like “whore” to describe a female politician. It’s harder to insult a woman who has done something socially acceptable. He might have to invite Jenna Jameson back on his show so he can vent his views on women. You know, how women that sleep with other people are whores, how they’re destroying America…and how men are obviously blameless for their high demand.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the American approach too. That’s why America needs a male president – well that’s what I gather from O’Reilly

  • Anonymous

    Michele Bachmann as well, but she already self-destructed with the “sour grapes” approach, reasoning that she didn’t get elected because “the world isn’t ready”

  • Anonymous

    I guess it beat working the streets for the most desperate women…

  • Anonymous

    Russia Today springs to mind. His minions will do the work for them. Get ready for a toothless mob with pitchforks – AKA the people groomed by the Republican party.

  • Anonymous

    Some politician in Japan said something to that effect…

  • Anonymous

    Bob how dare you…now we’ll start placing female math majors over male grocery store clerks. What will men do without their privilege?

  • Anonymous

    If Hilary is elected, it will be rigged, just to prove that our country is “progressive” to some extent. As was the case with Obama. But it’s obvious attitudes haven’t changed and we really aren’t ready. We criticize Russia for not being ready for gays, but we haven’t even fully decriminalized being gay, or given gays all their rights. We aren’t ready for minority presidents of any kind. It’s all just propaganda of our own form. The little people suffer while the 1% like Hilary get their rights. I don’t think a lot will change for women just because a very wealthy, connected woman may get elected.

  • Anonymous

    “America is no worse than Russia.” “Yeah Christians are bad but at least we aren’t stoning people yet.”
    Bargaining – a step in the grieving process. We’re mourning a great country.

  • Anonymous

    Fighting a war doesn’t make you a strong leader. Being a brash, opinionated talking head doesn’t make you strong. It just makes you capable of appealing to less intelligent types looking for machismo.

  • Anonymous

    And now it starts. Europe has had prime ministers and presidents that were women, ethnic minorities etc. but we can’t handle it. You have to pretend to espouse the Republican (ie, privileged-class) “norm” even if you’re a minority. America continues to be a backwards mess as far as guns, crime, poverty, and social attitudes. Other countries managed all this before the “greatest” country, and they’re doing just fine. There’s a latent layer of hate, idiocy and dysfunction in America that will make Russia look like Candyland. You just need to summon it by deviating from the norm. All you have to do is make people worship god, guns and flag-waving and if they get it from the pres, they’re fine. Nationalism has always been a substitute for intelligence.

  • 2karmanot

    When Mattel comes up with a President Barbie. Oh, never mind————

  • 1jetpackangel

    No, they’re under-developed deuterosomes (in the womb the anus develops before
    any other opening). Which means at one point in our existence, we were
    all nothing but an asshole. Unfortunately not all of us have evolved the
    ability to develop beyond this stage.

  • therling

    Angela Merkel. (Not that I particularly like her.)

  • Sonja Gandhi. Indira Gandhi. Benazir Bhutto. Golda Meir. Wilma Mankiller.

    There’s more than just the one, just sayin…

  • No, I don’t think he was afraid at all. I think he was trying to bait those women in ‘admitting’ that women are flighty, emotional, and always fail to command respect from men.

    The usual straw-man concern trolling chauvinists like O’Reilly pull is stuff like, “I don’t have anything against women. But there are male leaders from other nations and religions who don’t think women should be in high leadership positions — so obviously we shouldn’t either!”

    Jon Stewart had fun with this the other night, too, remarking how apparently Fox thinks we should let Iran choose our presidents.

  • Silly unicorn.


  • LOL.

  • Well and it suggests he had something in mind he was afraid to enunciate.

  • Yeah, but she was strong as hell. It was her politics you might not have agreed with. She’s THE example of a woman being strong enough to be a leader.

  • FLL

    In a worst case scenario or a cautionary tale, two words:

    Margaret Thatcher

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    I think asking him to touch his own toes is really a bit mean. Why do you think he needs someone with a loofa?

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Also a sissy boy who wears a helmet on his bicycle: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/quote-o-day-sean-hannity.html

  • emjayay

    We already know, because we have a president who is a girly man and wears Mom jeans and isn’t up to brandishing nukes appropriately, which is, in case you are wondering, whenever Russia or Iran do anything we don’t approve of. When he isn’t being a King and a Dictator of course.

    I learned all that at CPAC just last week.

  • Well, except for Michelle Bachmann… (((shudder)))

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    I do love the almost plaintive tone in that quote. “There’s got to be something wrong about having a skirt for President. Something that sounds halfway credible and not just the sort of thing your racist, misogynist uncle might say at the Christmas party when he’s liquored up. Somebody? Anybody? Give me something.

  • cole3244

    i haven’t watched fox, cnn, or pbs for years and i don’t intend to start now.

    i know one thing there isn’t a woman that could have screwed up the nation as much as bush 43 did and that includes some of the divas on the right.

  • As Jon Stewart remarked the other night, apparently the nuclear launch codes are penis activated.

  • Silver_Witch

    My dog, Tashi, would eat em…in two bites! And I would let her – although she might puke

  • phred

    But what if she menstruates all over some important Presidential papers? We can’t have that, can we?

    (Believe it or not, *not* from Fox–from The Onion.)

  • 2karmanot

    I puke too, and I’m not a woman. Even my little dog Bodhi would puke. Uggggg!

  • 2karmanot

    There comes a time when we must stop, if only out of sheer exhaustion, giving these sh*t flinging monkeys the time of day.

  • sonoitabear

    This from the man who practically threw his own butt in the air for Margaret Thatcher?!

  • I saw O’Reilly’s interview there and it made my blood boil.

    Utter sexism and misogyny, dressed up in passive aggressive concern troll clothing. With his every smug “I’m just asking” question, O’Reilly was making it clear he feels women are inherently inferior to men and thus not ideally suited to leadership roles.

    Which is bullshit.

    But hey, what else should we expect from a man who was accused of pervy sexual harassment. I wish Mr. Loufa-man would go away and do something anatomically impossible with himself.

  • Silver_Witch

    If you need to know anything about Mr. O’Rielly it is all evident at the 1:35 mark…and if that is how “men” resolve things – Women would do a much better job.

    Honestly, I am surprised he found a woman that would sleep with him. I want to puke just thinking of it.

  • MichaelS

    If O’Reilly really believed his own crap, why was he then such a champion of Sarah Palin, next-in-line to be President? Doesn’t anyone ever call him on this stuff?

  • MichaelS

    Ummm… And since when does Bill O’Reilly believe in science? Now you’re global-warming-believer, Bill?

  • MichaelS

    “Something that may not ‘fit’ with that office – correct?”
    Errr…. You mean the lack of a penis, Bill?

  • Reasor

    Including, but not limited to, internalized stereotypes. If I’m a girl and I struggle in math class, it’s because I’m not good a math; if I’m a boy and I struggle in math class, it’s because the teacher is a dick. No, we’re both just taught at an early age to frame our difficulty with math in different terms.

  • Seriously.

    “I do think that women could make politics irrelevant. By as a kind of spontaneous cooperative action, the like of which we have never seen. Which is so far from people’s ideas of state structure and vital social structure that seems to them like total anarchy. And what it really is is very subtle forms of interrelations which do not follow sort of hierarchical pattern which is fundamentally patriarchal. The opposite
    to patriarchy is not matriarchy but fraternity. And I think it’s women who are going to have to break this spiral of power and find the trick of cooperation.” Germaine Greer

  • BillFromPA

    Of course, there’s never been a downside to any of the males who have occupied the WH.

  • Jim Olson

    Male approach: shoot it or blow it up…ask questions later.

  • Do we women approach problem-solving differently than men? I’m pretty sure science say ‘yes.’

    Is there a male approach to problem-solving? Having solved problems and taught others how to solve problems for 50 years, and being a physics major married to a mathematics major, I haven’t noticed any characteristic that was common to a majority of either sex. Heck, maybe 50% of problem-solving proceeds below the level of conscious thought; we don’t know how anybody, including ourselves, does it, let alone that large numbers of us do it the same way. If science really does say ‘yes,’ that there are identifiable differences between male and female, I’d bet it’s almost entirely cultural. American society has very different cultures in which boy children and girl children are raised.

  • There’s downsides to any one person being president because no one’s perfect. The fact that he brings it up just shows he doesn’t want a woman because they have periods or something. Some old school bullshit like that. Honestly I can’t take the idiocy anymore.

  • The only obvious downside I can think of is that we’ll have to listen to people like Bill O’Reilly cry about it constantly, and blame every decision she makes the fact that she’s a woman, whether it makes any sense or not. But it isn’t like we don’t already hear similar whining which they attribute to Obama being black, being a Democrat, being socialist… etc.

  • JosephP

    This being Fox News, the second sentence in this article requires some important scare quotes:

    ”The two women guests, a “Democrat” and a Republican, seemed a bit flummoxed by the entire thing.”

  • goulo

    > Do we women approach problem-solving differently than men? I’m pretty sure science say ‘yes.’

    “We women”? And all these years I thought you were a man, John! :)

  • Bill O and many of his Fox colleagues are a unique other gender — assholes.

  • ckg1

    If BillO had said that to Golda Meir, he’d be lucky to have left the studio in one piece. Indira Gandhi would have also been likely to open up a can of whoop-ass on him, too.

  • jomicur

    To the extent that any possible woman president would be a product of the current 1%-owned-and-operated political system, he’s probably right. Other than that, I can’t see that a woman president could possibly be more problematic than what we’ve had so far.

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