August 26 2011
Today is Women's Equality Day - a holiday beloved and celebrated by feminists.
It reminds us just how far women have come since gaining the vote in 1920 - and certainly since the founding of the nation when women largely influenced politics from the sidelines as wives and mothers. The suffragists went to great lengths to ensure equality under the law and secure the vote for women, and they should be applauded for their tremendous efforts.
Still this date also reminds us just how radically off-course feminism has veered in recent decades. In a far cry from their feminist forebears, women's groups on the left continue to view women as a victim class in need of special protection and policies by the federal government. And "women's issues" today has become synonymous with reproductive rights rather than the host of other issues from the economy to health care that touch women and their families every day.
Instead of lamenting the ways women "trail behind" men, we should take this day as an opportunity to applaud women for all their many educational, professional, and personal accomplishments. A few notable statistics: Women earn a majority of bachelor degrees, master degrees, and now Ph.Ds. Women are the leading purchasers in the country - everything from groceries to cars. Nearly a quarter of women out-earn their spouses, the wage-gap has largely disappeared, and what remains is a function of choices rather than widespread discrimination. And perhaps most importantly, women have more choices today than ever before in modern history.
Now that's something worth celebrating!