Rebekah Crozier is a staff writer for The Samford Crimson. The views expressed in this opinion article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Samford Crimson or Samford University.
As a woman, I am personally offended by the comments made last week by CNN host, Don Lemon, about 2024 GOP presidential candidate, Nikki Haley. Apparently, I had better step up my game and get things done soon because according to Lemon, I have twenty years until I’m no longer in my “prime” as a woman.
Last week, Lemon said on air, “Nikki Haley is not in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”
When questioned by one of this female co-hosts, he took it a step farther by telling people to “Google it,” as any Google search would back up his statement.
He said this in response to comments that 51-year-old Haley made at a rally during which she discussed her opinion that President Joe Biden should not run for president because of his age (he’s 80) and called for “mental competency tests.”
Her comments, while harsh, were typical of a presidential candidate rallying support by discussing her opponents. Lemon’s comments, however, were completely uncalled for.
Of course, Lemon has received lots of backlash, and he’s about to get a little bit more.
We all know what Lemon is basing his opinion on, even if he’s doing so subconsciously: the female menstrual cycle.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the average woman experiences menopause, or the end of their menstrual cycles, in their 40s and 50s. I have no idea what Lemon intended to imply with his comments;. I can’t read his mind, and I’m not claiming to. However, as a woman, I listen to his statement and my mind immediately jumps to: Okay, so he thinks that once I no longer have a menstrual cycle and am therefore no longer fertile, I am practically useless.
These are very interesting comments to make on CNN, a news network whose mission statement, according to their website, is “to inform, engage and empower the world.” Lemon’s statements are not empowering any woman who is over the age of 40.
Rosa Parks was 42 years old when she refused to give up her seat on a bus. Margaret Thatcher served as prime minister of England from ages 53 to 74. Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book at the age of 65, and Julia Child published hers at 50. Harriet Tubman was over 40 when she began leading slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. And those are just a few of the important women who, despite being past their “prime” according to Lemon, helped to change our world.