The Hushed Gender

Tomi Lahren, a political commentator and outspoken 24 year-old, known for her conservative commentary on the TheBlaze’s show and host of “Tomi,” was immediately suspended from her show after publicly broadcasting pro-choice opinions on ABC’s “The View.” TheBlaze then offered to pay her contract in exchange for her silence on social media.

Her silence, a phenomena many would posit has been eradicated since the women’s suffrage movement, is fairly predominate in our current society, and inconspicuous to most. The amorphous nature of silence vacillates from the more extreme versions of silence (the inability to vote) into the unnoticeable forms of silence, the forms of quotidian silence that are bestowed on women, while men often escape the merciless attacks of unabated silence.

Tomi Lahren wasn’t simply silenced on social media; she was silenced on the political sphere. In an interview on ABC’s “The View, Tomi Lahren stated, “I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies.” That comment stripped her from her career. She lost access to her social media accounts, condemned by her employer for voicing her opinion, and terminated from her show.

Lauren’s explicit offense, a liberal pro-choice opinion that challenges TheBlaze’s conservative platform; her implicit offense, her biological structure.

Tomi Lahren’s silence is only one obvious way women are silenced, but this month we were offered a juxtaposition of the reoccurring ways women are silenced and how men are advocated for similar positional offenses that displease network ratings. 

Bill O’Reilly, host of the conservative political talkshow, the O’Reilly Factor, silenced his sexual assault allegations after paying $13 million in a settlement deal. Five women accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment, and those five women were silenced. O’Reilly even had the support from President Trump: “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

President Trump offered his opinion and his justification for O’Reilly based on a gut feeling. His statement should not only serve as an indicator that women are silenced but that the subjugated voices of women will not be liberated anytime soon (How many accusations does O’Reilly need to have against him for Trump to believe that maybe O’Reilly did do something wrong? Shouldn’t it only be one?). 

While the CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox is adamantly pursuing the removal of Bill O’Reilly, there nevertheless is still a decision to be made whether O’Reilly should continue his career on the show: Lahren’s fate wasn’t so forgiving.

Apparently, old white men are given the luxury of assumed innocence. 


Note from the writer:

After writing this I wanted to acknowledge that I do not condone Lahren’s show. I believe her show was biased and spoke directly to a specific political ideology, and that her bias often clouded her judgement. However, despite not being in favor of the show, I still condemn how she was silenced. Lahren has always expressed exaggerated and controversial statements on her show. TheBlaze was fully aware that Lahren’s political opinions rested on superficial evidence; her pro-choice opinion should not have surprised them, or resulted in her termination.



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