Wallace asked Gillibrand during the town hall in Dubuque, Iowa, to explain her December 2018 tweet that said: “Our future is: Female, Intersectional. Powered by our belief in one another. And we’re just getting started.”
“We want women to have a seat at the table,” Gillibrand explained.
Wallace quickly interjected: “What about men?”
“They’re already there ― do you not know?” Gillibrand fired back with a laugh. “It’s not meant to be exclusionary, it’s meant to be inclusionary.”
The audience responded with applause and laughter.
Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of women’s organization UltraViolet, told HuffPost that Wallace’s reaction is problematic because of the influence he holds as a media personality.
“It’s yet another example of the blinders that many influential people in the media have about their own sexism and implicit gender bias,” she said.
“They play an incredibly harmful role in the way the public perceives women running for president or any other office and they need to take significant steps to address it,” she continued, “including ensuring people interviewing candidates are conscious of their responsibility to mitigate ― and not exacerbate ― the role of sexism in shaping the outcome of this election.”
Another noteworthy moment came when Gillibrand brought up Fox News’ coverage of abortion as states move to impose anti-abortion restrictions.
“What we’ve created, unfortunately, is a false choice and a false narrative,” Gillibrand said of the network’s abortion coverage. “Chris, I want to talk about the role Fox News plays in this, because it’s a problem. I can tell you before President Trump gave his State of the Union, Fox News talked about infanticide. Infanticide doesn’t exist.”
An annoyed Wallace quickly cut her off, saying that Fox had invited her to the town hall and attacking the network was “not very polite.”
Gillbrand said she would address her concerns politely and continued, telling the audience that abortion is “a human right, it’s about having bodily autonomy, it’s about being able to control your physical self.”
“So let women make these most personal decisions,” she said.
Emily Peck contributed reporting.
This article has been updated to include a comment from an UltraViolet spokeswoman.