Megyn Kelly finally got to call out Donald Trump for calling her a “bimbo” on Twitter, and the businessman squirmed uncomfortably in his chair.
“Did I say that?” he asked. “Ok, uh... Excuse me,” he responded.
Kelly publicly confronted Trump on his sexist tweets for the first time in a May 17 televised interview. It could have been a valuable learning opportunity for the presumptive Republican nominee, but the message seems to have flown straight over his head.
“Over your life Megyn, you’ve been called a lot worse, isn't that right?” asked Trump (who has, himself, called women much, much worse.)
“It’s not about me,” Kelly responded patiently. “It’s about the messaging to young girls and other women.”
Still, when asked if he would cut it out with the mean tweets, Trump responded, “I’m certainly going to stop it about you now, because I like our relationship.”
At which point women across the country screamed at their TVs, “IT’S NOT ABOUT HER, IDIOT.”
Trump also offered up this brilliant nugget in defense of his offending tweet: “It’s a modern-day form of fighting back,” he told Kelly.
On this point, unfortunately, Trump isn’t wrong. Thoughtless social media posts are our generation’s preferred form of battle — and the attacks fall the hardest on women. A recent study of The Guardian’s comment section found 80% of the writers who receive the worst abuse are women.
And while many of these comments — like Trump’s — are just blatantly sexist, a number of them are violent, graphic, and even threatening. Some of the comments female reporters receive are vile enough to bring a grown man to tears. For proof, look no further than Ella Dawson, a blogger and activist who was told to slit her arm open and “eat a bullet” for daring to blog about her STI.
Still, social media companies resist shutting down bullies, and presidential candidates are allowed to spew hatred without restraint.
So Trump, it’s time to stop with the social media bullying. This isn’t about your relationship with Kelly. In fact, it’s not about any one woman in particular. It’s about the millions of women, myself included, who deserve better treatment, and the millions of men who need a better example.
Put down the phone, Trump, and start acting like a goddamn adult.
Check out the clip below: