Pulchronomics. What is it? It is all about how far physical attractiveness can get a person in life – especially at work. I did a two-part piece called Pulchronomics 101
back in 2011, focusing on how women used their looks to get what was needed or wanted in the workplace. Part two, Media Babes, detailed the analysis between the ratings of cable news networks and the wardrobe of their female anchors. Research analyzing FOX News, CNN and MSNBC concluded that FOX had the highest ratings – and the women with the least amount clothing.
Sylvia Snowden, a correspondent for Six Brown Chicks, admitted in a written statement that she didn’t know how the FOX women were dressing, but says no one deserves or desires sexual harassment. “I honestly didn’t know how the women were dressing before they brought forth the harassment claims, but again, I don’t know if that really makes a difference. You can admire somebody’s face or physique without being rude and disgusting. And it’s possible to express a romantic interest in a co-worker without being punitive or abusing your wide-reaching influence within the organization to have her demoted or for saying she’s not interested. The sooner the folks at Fox figure that out, the better, because ultimately this isn’t the failure of one man, but is rather the result of the shortsightedness of an entire organization.”
Becky Sarwate, former president of Illinois Woman’s Press Association and associate editor of Contemptor, initially thought of them as “qualified window dressing.” She continued by saying, “The dress code itself was developed by the men in charge. The whole FOX News culture is really, at the end of the day, run by men. The women who came forward, they were not the driver’s seat in this situation.” Becky was one of the few who smelled a rat early on and had been following O’Reilly for 20 years. Many didn’t realize that these women, or at least some of them, were possibly sexually harassed. It never occurred to me that women on the FOX staff may be afraid for their careers. Apparently, there is more to the story…
When Roger Ailes, former CEO and chairman of the Fox News Network, was accused of alleged sexual harassment, it hinted at an epidemic at the network. Former anchor Gretchen Carlson accused Ailes of sexual harassment, along with Megyn Kelly who came forward with claims that he made sexual advances toward her years earlier.
When asked about the dress code being a possible reason for alleged sexual harassment, Sarwate said, “I think women can dress head to toe in a turtleneck and some perv is going to touch them or say something. I don’t think there’s anything in that culture a woman can do to stay ‘blameless.’ It’s such a disgusting misogynist culture from top to bottom. I’m sure there’s horror stories from women who society might consider unattractive or overweight or who dress like school marns. I don’t think anyone is safe in that environment. So I absolutely do not cast any blame on the dress code for the situation. The dress code itself was developed by the men in charge. I think the whole FOX News culture is really at the end of the day run by men and I think that’s what you’re seeing here.”
Bill O’Reilly, former host of The O’Reilly Factor, is accused of the same heinous act of alleged sexual harassment. Dozens of advertisers, including Allstate, Mercedes-Benz and H&R Block pulled ads from his then show. The five accusers – who have settled for $13 million in total – were producers on his show and anchors on the network. A sixth accuser, Perquita Burgess, has come forward saying that O’Reilly sexually and racially harassed her, allegedly calling her “hot chocolate.”
Rizvana Zameeruddin, a tax law professor at University of Wisconsin-Parkside, says that she was never fond of O’Reilly. “I always sensed that there was something not quite right with his demeanor. I never liked him as an individual just because of the way he talked, his abruptness, just the way he addressed his guests, especially the way he spoke to women.” Rizvana continues by saying, “He just seemed like someone who would probably appear as an old letch.”
O’Reilly has been released from FOX with a $25 million severance package. Ailes’ severancepackage was $40 million, totalling $65 million, between the two, for alleged bad behavior. Meanwhile, the five women that O’Reilly possibly harassed only received $13 million in settlements for speaking out. When asked to comment on the large payments given to O’Reilly and Ailes, Sylvia Snowden, a correspondent for Six Brown Chicks, said, “The decision by Fox management to throw tens of millions of dollars at accusers before addressing the workplace culture goes to further demonstrate that they didn’t really care whether or not they’d created an environment that was respectful of women either. They were willing to put the company’s bottom line and the desires of powerful men ahead of the very basic rights of their female employees.”
“For better or worse, [Bill O’Reilly] has brought in ratings and millions of dollars for FOX over the years,” Sarwate said. “And I’m sure that if he were to have termination without compensation, he’d have his on lawsuit and story to tell. So whether I like it or not, I know how the game is played and I know that the person who is in charge and the person who holds the power gets all the money. Unfortunately, that’s rarely ever the female professional.”
© Stephanie A. Taylor (5/3/17) FF2 Media
Top Photo: Bill O’Reilly
Middle Photos: Becky Sarwate, former president of Illinois Woman’s Press Association and Gretchen Carlson on Fox and Friends
Bottom Photo: Roger Ailes
Photo Credits: FOX News/Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images/Stephen Lovekin/ Getty Images