Fox News cares more about dogs than women

The network chose to celebrate National Dog Day rather than Women's Equality Day. Let's compare the two

Published August 27, 2013 6:26PM (EDT)

   (<a href=''>WilleeCole</a>, <a href=''>Birgit Reitz-Hofmann</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>/Salon)
(WilleeCole, Birgit Reitz-Hofmann via Shutterstock/Salon)

Much of the media spent Monday celebrating Women's Equality Day. Sure, that's important and all, but they failed to observe another holiday that truly represents the voiceless and powerless underdogs of society: National Dog Day. Luckily, one news channel had the decency and courage to prioritize the canine appreciation day over the celebration of women’s equality: Fox News.  The channel did not mention Women’s Equality Day, but "Fox & Friends" celebrated NDD by showing dog photos sent in by viewers and the host. Anna Kooiman then described co-host Brian Kilmeade’s dog as rude and recalled when he (the dog, not Kilmeade) urinated on the set of the show. Kilmeade denied the allegation. The “furry friends” segment was so serious, that to segue into the next one, Kilmeade said, “On a lighter note ...” Let's compare a few key facts about the two days, shall we?

Women’s Equality Day

  • Congress designated Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26, 1971.
  • It was the idea of feminist Congresswoman Bella Abzug, D-N.Y.
  • The date celebrates the anniversary of the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
  • The women’s suffrage movement worked for 72 years before securing the right to vote.
  • The date also celebrates the 1970 Women’s Strike for Equality, a nationwide demonstration during which over 100,000 people celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the 19thAmendment and called for equality and more rights.
  • Women’s Equality Day celebrates not just the 19th Amendment and the strike but highlights the victories and room for improvement in the area of women’s rights.
  • In his Women’s Equality Day Proclamation, President Obama applauded the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Violence Against Women Act for contributing to equality for women.
  • But he urged Congress to pass the Pay Check Fairness Act, which would give teeth to the Lilly Ledbetter Act.
  • Equal Rights for Women are still not included in the Constitution, and politicians continue to fight for the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • Women on average make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, a difference of 23 percent, which creates a yearly median income disparity of more than $11,000. It’s even worse for women of color. African-American and Latina women make 64 cents and 55 cents per men’s dollar. That means they are paid $18,817 and $23,298 less than non-Hispanic white men annually.

National Dog Day

  • The holiday was established in 2004.
  • It was the brainchild of Colleen Paige, a wildlife animal behaviorist, pet friendly interior designer, fine art pet photographer and the editor in chief of Pet Home Magazine.
  • It is also known as the International Dog Day & National Dog Appreciation Day.
  • According to the National Dog Day website, the holiday “was created to honor dogs more than we currently do, to give them ‘a day’, to show deep appreciation for our long connection to each other - for their endearing patience, unquestioning loyalty, for their work, their capacity for love and their ability to impact our lives everyday in the most miraculous ways.”*
  • Dogs are really cute.
  • Dogs are victims of Cat Supremacy, the catriarchy and dogism. Stereotypes include being loud, smelling, not to be trusted with babies, needy, dependent.
  • Catriarchy can be implicit or explicit. Examples of the latter include literature like this and this, which pervade our culture.
  • Normative dogist stereotypes set up unreasonable expectations for dogs. Dogs are supposed to be loyal, friendly, social, faster than cats, have a better sense of smell. But what happens when they fail to live up to these societal norms?
  • Dogs face double standards. A quiet cat is just a cat. A quiet dog is a bitch.
  • Dogs continue to face a disparity in access to healthcare and have a lower life expectancy than cats.

Will National Dog Day ever become as popular as Women's Equality Day? Only time will tell. But, for now, Fox News can dream!

* To be fair, the goals of the National Dog Day are noble. The holiday’s website encourages adoption and draws attention to dog abuse and euthanasia. Most celebrations of the holiday -- including the one done by Fox & Friends -- however, omit this aspect, and focus purely on how cute dogs are.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the name of one of the Fox & Friends hosts. The host was Anna Kooiman.

By Katie Halper

Katie Halper is a writer, filmmaker, comedian and host of the Katie Halper show, a weekly WBAI radio show and podcast. She writes for The Nation, Rolling Stone, Vice, The Guardian, and has appeared on MSNBC, HuffPost Live, RT, Sirius Radio.

MORE FROM Katie Halper

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Dogs Fox News National Dog Day Women's Equality Day