The voice of the Independent Women’s Forum is getting louder in the corridors of Capitol Hill, rankling established feminist groups to no end. You may have seen some of the IWF’s higher-profile members on Sunday morning political shows.
This quote is taken from Bonnie Erbe’s column in the September issue of Working Woman magazine. She devoted her entire column to the Independent Women’s Forum, and we couldn’t agree more with her pronouncements. The IWF is only getting more powerful and better known every day.
We’re also growing! If you are one of our many new members, welcome to our organization. We have gotten a lot of publicity thanks to the latest issues of our flagship publication, The Women’s Quarterly. And because of this attention, we have received hundreds of calls and a large jump in our membership rolls.
Under the editorship of Charlotte Hays, The Women’s Quarterly has been the topic of choice for the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Tony Snow, C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb, and syndicated columnist Liz Smith, to name a few. The latest issue, entitled “Daughters of the Sexual Revolution,” made its mark after Dr. Laura Schlessinger read from our cover article about young women on college campuses who are growing disillusioned, even disgusted, with the sexual decadence around them. Dr. Laura urged her listeners to call and get a copy, and our phones have yet to stop ringing.
We’re pleased to announce the arrival of Christine Stolba, Ph.D., to our full-time staff. Christine is our new Director of Economic Projects and has already begun changing the terms of the debate. This summer she made waves as a guest on MSNBC’s Watch It and KOA Radio in Denver, and was interviewed by NBC Nightly News. We predict that Christine will become a favorite resource for reporters who will appreciate her emphasis on fact, not spin. Christine wrote an amusing article in the current TWQ critiquing Ms. magazine’s new make-over. And on a more serious note, Christine is co-author, along with IWF National Advisory Board member Diana Furchtgott-Roth, of Women’s Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America. This important book, which was published this past spring by the IWF and the American Enterprise Institute, successfully debunks the myths of the glass ceiling and wage gap.
In August, Women’s Figures was praised at the American Legislative Exchange Council convention in Nashville, where IWF President Anita K. Blair held an Oprah-style Q & A session with state legislators gathered from all around the nation. She spoke on women’s progress and warned them about the problems with so-called pay equity proposals before Congress and many states. According to Office Manager Sheila Crawford, who also attended the conference, Women’s Figures flew off the IWF information table. “We couldn’t replenish them fast enough,” Sheila said. “People seemed to like what we had to say.”
Anita also spoke on Capitol Hill at the James Madison Symposium, a nationwide conference focused on innovative ways to teach the Constitution to high school students. On the media front, Anita was interviewed by Australia’s 60 Minutes on schoolyard sexual harassment, and by CNN’s Inside Politics on the reappearance of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Anita recently finished up her work as Chairman of the Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues, and her article in the current issue of The Women’s Quarterly on women and warfare has garnered significant attention, including an hour-long radio interview on KSFO radio in San Francisco.
Barbara Ledeen, Executive Director for Policy of IWF, is busy working with a coalition of groups interested in developing a sound AIDS policy in order to slow, and even stop, the spread of this devastating disease. Barbara is especially concerned about the proliferation of the disease among minorities.
Barbara led off the annual Capitol Hill slideshow on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), sponsored by Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK), which is given to congressional staffers and interns. The IWF participates in this frank interactive discussion because today there are more than 25 STDs that infect millions of Americans. Barbara explains, “IWF subscribes to the old-fashioned feminist view that women need to have full information in order to make sensible decisions that will affect their lives. Love may be blind, but ignorance is not bliss.”
Congratulations to IWF founding member Barbara Olson, tv commentator and now General Counsel of the Independent Women’s Action Project, who has written a powerful new book entitled, Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Kimberly Schuld has had a successful summer managing IWF’s Play Fair project on Title IX, the federal law that was meant to expand sports opportunities for women, but which has had, through the use of quotas, the unintended consequence of limiting sports programs for men. After the women’s World Cup soccer victory, Kimberly wasted no time in making sure that Title IX was not handed the victory earned by this group of female athletes. She debated Women’s Sports Foundation Director Donna DeVarona on MSNBC’s Internight, contributed significantly to Clarence Page’s syndicated column on Title IX, was quoted in Investor’s Business Daily, and was published in the Wall Street Journal, in an article she co-wrote with IWF’s Play Fair founder, Jessica Gavora.
Kimberly also coordinated a briefing for education staffers on Capitol Hill for the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Wrestling is one of the sports hardest hit by the quota tactics employed by the Clinton administration in the name of Title IX. Because wrestling is a largely male sport, it is one of the first teams on the chopping block when schools seek to equalize male and female sports participants. Kimberly urged them to get involved on a national level in order to stop the deleterious effects of Title IX.
IWF’s Campus Project Manager, Amy Holmes, has had numerous television appearances including FOX’s The Judith Regan Show, PBS’s To the Contrary, and an interview on the BBC about Hillary Clinton. Amy has also written articles for USA Today and National Review on issues ranging from domestic violence to internet privacy. In September, Amy was invited to speak at a Family Research Council press conference on a little known public health menace, the Human Papilloma Virus.
Bryanna Hocking, Georgetown University senior and editor of the IWF-sponsored “The Guide: A Little Beige Book for Today’s Miss G,” was prominently featured as part of a special Washingtonian article on women who have made a difference. Bryanna was quoted as saying: “You go into the women’s center at Georgetown and you’re bombarded by pamphlets on how to have better sex, and how to have safe and healthy sex, and how to deal with cancer if you’re a lesbian. You’d think if they were really a women’s center, there’d be stuff on graduate schools and scholarships and internships and how to get them. Instead, the Women’s Center is obsessed with sexual issues.”
We’d like to offer a warm welcome to Mary Beth Etheridge, our new data base operator, and to Lana Scott, an intern from Catholic University, who is helping with a little bit of everything.