"Wear the miniskirts and just save some lives!"
April 1, 2008 -- Recent reports say a clinic in Spain has told its nurses they will be docked pay if they fail to dress in miniskirts. These reports seem to be partly wrong, as the Clinica San Rafael in Cadiz appears only to be requiring the nurses to wear traditional nursing outfits, with a modest-length skirt and cap. But this would still force female nurses into a regressive outfit that suggests they are not modern professionals. See more on our campaign here. Meanwhile, Greg Gutfeld, the host of Fox News Channel's Redeye, discussed the misreported "miniskirt" policy on his 3:00 a.m. show today. Gutfeld's exchange with his cohorts amounted to a loving, if ironic, celebration of the damaging "naughty nurse" stereotype. Thank him here. Below is a transcript, followed by our open letter to Gutfeld.
Read more below or go straight to our instant letter.
Greg, introducing the topic, displayed photos of sexy models in "naughty nurse" costumes.
Greg: Matt, who could possibly be against [the clinic's miniskirt move]?
Matt Iseman (former physician turned comedian): She is a registered nurse (right). I cannot emphasize that enough. ... I used to be a doctor and I will say if the nurses dressed like that, I'd still be a doctor.
Greg: I can't believe you were an MD and now you're a comedian. I guess humor is the best medicine, Matt.
Matt: Unless good legs are around. Because those nurses would definitely make me want to jump out of bed.
Greg: Exactly. Diana (right), isn't it possible that attractive nurses in short skirts might lift the spirits of male patients and increase their chances of getting better?
Diana Falzone (co-host of "Devore & Diana" on Maxim Sirius satellite radio): You know what, I believe that. Every woman no matter what size or shape has something to flaunt. Especially the Latina women. They have big butts. So I say, wear the miniskirts and just save some lives.
Greg: What an interesting way of looking at things. I don't know how to even respond to that. So I won't. I'll just say how offensive (sic) I am by...that stereotypical description of a group of people offends me to no end.
Matt: It was a compliment.
Greg: Kerry, the head of the clinic says wearing a skirt is an important part of a nurse's duty. Do you agree or disagree?
Kerry Howley (Senior Editor, Reason Magazine): Well it depends what type of a hospital it is. Is it a sexy hospital? I think the world has lots of room for different kinds of hospitals. Dog hospitals, pirate hospitals, [inaudible] hospitals. Don't we appreciate diversity?
Greg: I love the idea of a pirate hospital. We'd all go there if we had scurvy.
Diana: Yeah, but they have like peg legs. So you're going to end up with one when you go home.
Matt (right): I just want to make sure the cleaning staff is wearing French maid outfits.
Greg: Exactly, exactly. Bill do you oppose this?
Bill Schulz (right): Yes, because unlike you, I get hospitalized regularly. And these nurses have gone the way of stewardesses Greg. They're not attractive woman (sic). Big hands, smelly breath. Oh, that could have been you in a nurse's outfit I'm remembering now.
Greg: Maybe it was me.
Bill: No, nurses are not attractive.
Greg: Alright. Well, I must move on. As you know, I draw the news. And today I drew the hottest nurses I've ever met. And today I drew Letitia Unicornia (right) and she took care of me at General Unicornia hospital which is located in a box underneath my bed next to my old baseball mitt. I was in the hospital to have a large flashlight removed from my person. I admit it was embarrassing, but emphatically swear that I accidentally fell on it.
OPEN LETTER to Greg Gutfeld (send a copy of this letter!)
Dear Greg and Redeye friends:
We thank you and Fox News Channel for having the courage to tell the unvarnished, politically incorrect truth about nurses: that the only sensible way to judge them is by how they look in a miniskirt.
As you know, press items have reported that a clinic in Spain recently said its nurses would lose some of their pay if they failed to wear "miniskirts." Although this report seems to have been wrong, as the clinic is requiring only traditional nurses' skirts, we commend you for your discussion of something more important--what you believe happened--in the April 1 Redeye.
Friends, there's no need to hide your admiration for the miniskirt idea behind jokes! Nurses should be made to wear miniskirts, or better yet, the lingerie-like costumes in the photos Greg showed, so that male patients and physicians like Matt can have their "spirits" lifted.
Some scholars claim patient outcomes vary with better nurse-to-patient ratios and nursing educational levels. They argue that because today's nurses get years of college education and apply their advanced clinical skills to save people's lives 24/7, patients basically die by the thousands without large numbers of skilled nurses around. We're seeing this now, they claim, since for the last decade the world has been suffering through the worst nursing shortage in modern history, one rooted in a lack of resources and real respect. Supposedly, this nursing "crisis" severely weakens our ability to respond to mass casualty events, like, for example, the kind of thing we often see on Fox's "24."
And some advocates claim that the ubiquitous "naughty nurse" stereotype--even when exploited in a knowing, ironic way as you all did it--is bad. They say it demoralizes practicing nurses, discourages potential nurses, encourages sexual abuse, and contributes to an atmosphere of social disrespect that undermines nurses' claims to adequate resources.
Can you believe that? How could it possibly be bad to suggest, repeatedly, in major media all over the world, that millions of skilled workers who hold lives in their hands are frivolous bimbos?
We think you all understand a couple things these "scholars" and "advocates" don't. One, nurses are pretty much there to look hot and/or fetch things, like the media says. We want you to know that our research finds a direct link between nurse sexiness and male patient outcomes. In addition to the healing power of sexiness itself, which you mention, sexy nurses turn out to be great at detecting subtle life-threatening complications, running advanced ICU technology, titrating potentially lethal medications, teaching patients how to manage complex care regimens, and keeping powerful surgeons from cutting off the wrong leg. Really, it's all in matching the right make-up, lingerie, and miniskirt, as we showed in our meta-analysis, Male Patient Outcome Variation as a Function of Nursing Hot-or-Not-ification.
Two, the media (like your show) has no effect on people. Zero. Especially when it's funny, or not literally true. You were just joking! Jokes never hurt anyone, no matter how hateful--we all know that. Advertisers know that only totally factual scenarios affect what people do, and that's why they never use jokes or fantasies. Would anyone wanting to sell things spend hundreds of millions of dollars to tell the public made-up stories? Please. And all those studies showing that even sitcoms and soap operas affect health behaviors? What studies? That didn't happen! Alternatively, there's no scientific consensus.
But sadly, Bill's comments about the decline in nursing cuteness standards are so right. Big hands, smelly breath, hell, these days, some nurses are actually men, can you believe it? Sure, it's still less than 10%, and some say that's an indicator of how devastating the bimbo stereotypes are. But we say, bring those stereotypes on. Nursing would be better off with zero men. You think Greg wants some dude handling his flashlight? At least Bill managed to mock the idea that men could be nurses, with his comment about Greg in the "nurse's outfit"--as we know, there really are no "nurse's outfits" for men.
We know Dr. Matt was being facetious when he said he wanted to emphasize that the lingerie models were nurses. But when nurses don't look like that, it's serious, even tragic--lives are at stake! Matt, as a physician, you should know this! And the same goes for your clever French maid comment. You were joking again, but who's to say it wouldn't help patients to have cleaning staff dress that way? It's not like they have anything else important or difficult to do either, since MRSA and other deadly hospital-acquired infections have been eliminated.
We're sure someone's going to object to Diana's little comment about Latina women and big butts, but Kerry's "sexy hospital" idea shows you really do value diversity. In fact, if you do respond to any nursing "advocates" who want you to apologize, make amends or assure them that you understand the value of nursing, we hope you model your response on the fake outrage you used following Diana's comment. You made sure your audience knew that stereotypes were cool with you, and really, kinda fun. What's next--pirate advocacy?!
As we're sure you all know, research shows that today's nurses are assaulted more often than prison guards, and that half of them are bullied on the job. But that means that not all of them are being abused on a daily basis, and there seems to be a tenacious core that just won't take their big hands and smelly breath elsewhere. If we're going to create the "sexy hospital" of the future, we can't stop until we've driven all of the current nurses out, and replaced them with hot models like the ones you showed. Your efforts to mock and degrade the idea of nursing as a serious profession are a key part of this effort.
In closing, we want to thank you again for making a positive contribution to society. Some people just don't get it, but we say, wear a miniskirt and just save some lives!
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
Center for Nursing Advocacy
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21212-2937 USA
You may also snail mail the show at:
Joel Surnow, Producer, Redeye
Greg Gutfeld, Host, Redeye
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-8701
Roger Ailes, CEO
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-8701