US Senate Photographic Studio-Fr
My first encounter with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul occurred in February.
On the flat screen television at my gym, I watched him ramble on about how parents had the right to decide whether or not their children received immunizations. I knew that the study that said vaccines led to autism had been debunked due to faulty science. My first thought was to tune him out.
That was until Paul, who had recently announced his candidacy for the Republican primaries, held his fingers to his pursed lips and shushed CNBC news anchor Kelly Evans.
Evans laughed off the gesture in an attempt to maintain her composure. I, on the other hand, felt as if he had personally reprimanded me, and I looked around to see if my father had entered the gym. Looking back, the appropriate response would have been to remove my earbuds and start a “Gym Rats against Rand Paul for President” page on Facebook.
I am not one to make rash decisions; Paul and I had just met. So, instead I did what anyone would do after a first date — Internet stalking.
I was drawn to the comments left below the video clip of the Evans interview. Much of what I read discussed Evans’ capacity for using her mouth for other things not worthy of mentioning here, how wrong she was for not allowing Paul to speak, how she needed to be put in her place and other chauvinist ideologies that brought me fear.
If Paul was able to attract every misogynist on the planet from one unintelligent display on national television, surely he should not be allowed to run a country. We could, however, call him Grand Marshal and let him lead a parade, but let’s make sure he bypasses 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
While the masses slowly began to question if Paul had an issue with the media due to his somewhat combative actions during his Evans interview, those questions turned into something more once he went to war with the NBC Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie on April 8.
During the interview, Paul repeatedly interrupted her, accused Guthrie of editorializing and basically schooled her on proper interviewing techniques.
While some still wondered if Paul had a problem with the media, I began to wonder if he had an issue with women in general. It was as if he was on his own personal crusade to put women in his perceived place for them, one interview at a time.
“You get ticked off, grab your pitchfork and go into politics,” said Assistant Professor of Political Science Robert Duncan.
Duncan’s words raged through my ears. However, I wasn’t quite ready to sharpen my pitchfork just yet and jump into the wagon with the rest of the townspeople.
Instead, I continued my undercover work via Google and came across an interview on abortion that Paul had with Philip Elliott from The Associated Press.
I noticed that while he may have been slightly short with Elliott, it was nothing compared to the interviews he had with women.
When he spoke to women he came off as antagonistic and he would not allow them to finish their statements before feeling the need to step in to correct them.
“I notice that he doesn’t answer the questions being asked of him, and he is particularly combative when speaking with female news anchors,” said Rebecca Gibian ‘13, former Guilfordian editor-in-chief and journalism student in University of Southern California’s master’s program.
When Paul spoke with Elliott, he started off in a calm state and his shoulders were relaxed. He waited until the question was complete before he answered and did not appear defensive during the interview.
“I think I’ve been universally short-tempered and testy with both male and female reporters,” Paul said to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
While that may be what Paul is saying to male reporters, his words to the women tell a different story. He seems to be projecting his internalized misogyny.
“There are only three ways to change one’s deeply held values: if they study and learn something different, if they have a significantly emotional experience or if they have a frontal lobotomy,” said Duncan.
As a journalist, I have always felt safe within my field until I encountered Paul, an individual who thinks of himself as a giant and claims to be a man.