Like everyone else who has seen this video and commented on it, I am completely floored that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is allowed on national television. Although she is certainly not afraid of spouting controversial (and often just plain crazy) opinions on topics as rich and varied as abortion, the morning-after pill, stalking, and Erin Andrews’ choice of dress, her latest insight into lesbianism has (rightfully) sparked much internet outrage.
As the ladies of The View speculated on the rise of “late-blooming lesbians” (thank you, Whoopi), Elisabeth Hasselbeck put in her two cents:
“I’ll tell you what’s happening, it’s that older men are going for younger women, leaving the women with NO ONE.”
Joy Behar responded forcefully to Hasselbeck’s logic, which does seem to strongly imply that being gay is a choice, saying, “Being gay is not just holding hands and walking through the tulips. I don’t think you suddenly wake up one day and say, ‘Oh, I wanted to do that.’ You wanted to do it, but you were just trapped in a system that has just said, ‘get married.’”
Hasselbeck then tried to back down, saying that perhaps said older women simply wanted companionship, but not a sexual relationship. Which is of course absurd, and plays off two damaging stereotypes about women – that we are not as sexually desirous as men, and that we are not independent. And of course, apart from being sexist, it’s homophobic.
As usual, I find The View to be an inane show (and this conversation did not bode well to begin with), but I really do question why we continue to pay attention to people like this. And of course, by writing this post, I’m helping to fan the flames, but it frustrates me endlessly that anyone takes her seriously, or that this kind of homophobia is tolerated at all.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.