A Fox News co-host has made the most outlandish statement yet in a rapidly escalating rhetorical arms race this week over the role of women in the workplace.
"The Five's" Eric Bolling suggested on Wednesday that the decades-long increase in American women's earning power was actually a symptom of the "breakdown of the American family" -- spurred as it was, he claimed, by an increasing number of overextended single mothers. As a result, Bolling breathlessly suggested, a growing number of women would opt to seek abortions.
The conversation about "female breadwinners" began in earnest on Wednesday when Pew released a poll showing that women are now the primary earners in 40 percent of all American households. Responding to the research that evening, a panel on Lou Dobbs' Fox News program unanimously concluded that the data was a sign of "society dissolving around us."
One panelist, conservative pundit Erick Erickson, went so far as to claim that any liberals who argued otherwise were "anti-science," because certain species in the animal kingdom featured males in the "dominant role." Erickson would defend that claim in a blog post Thursday, lamenting that feminists and "emo lefties" simply had "their panties in a wad" about his statements.
When Bolling finally got around to making his own remarks on the topic, his argument was much the same: "If you read into that study," he said, "the reason is exactly what we've been talking about right here: the breakdown of the American family."
American family is breaking down. Women are forced to go out, be the breadwinners for families. That's why the number's skewed higher not.
Here's another offshoot of that: If you are a single mom, breadwinner of the family, and you get pregnant, aren’t we pushing towards more abortions? It seems like we are.
As Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald points out, the Fox News contributor appears to be cherry picking data from the Pew study to hammer home his point about single mothers:
[A]lmost 40 percent of the female breadwinners identified by the survey are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands. Married women “are more likely than before to be the primary provider in the family,” growing from 4 percent in 1960 to 23 percent in 2011. That’s faster than the rate single mothers have grown.