On May 6, an article by Robert W. Patterson appeared in Human Events Online. In it, Mr. Patterson grossly misrepresented the Independent Women’s Forum and mischaracterized our interest, intent and integrity. I immediately called Mr. Thomas Winter, editor-in-chief of Human Events. He was unaware of the article but, upon reading it, took umbrage and quickly had it pulled from the website. While we appreciate his having done so, we are nevertheless aware that the article had already been widely read. Therefore, we have asked Human Events to print our response and hope that it will do so. In the meantime, here is our answer to the article.

Response to “Marriage is an Economic, Not Just a Social Issue”
Human Events Online May 6, 2004 by Robert W. Patterson

What’s wrong with this picture?

An article by Robert W. Patterson in the socially conservative magazine Human Events Online, bemoans the perceived schism between economic conservatives and social conservatives, and laments our failing to appreciate what we “share in common.” By way of rapprochement, Mr. Patterson savages the Independent Women’s Forum. “If you’re not on our battlefield, we don’t want you in our war” is the sentiment expressed under the rubric of a plea for camaraderie.

Quite aside from inaccuracy, rudeness, and the occasional lapse in grammar (a coalition just isn’t a “dynamic”) Mr. Patterson, far more than the actions of his target, represents why it is that we don’t all “just get along.” Worrying about ways in which both groups have “undercut” each other Mr. Patterson delights in doing just that: En garde!

No. Wrong words. En garde connotes warning.”There was none.” In his rush to levy a broad accusation that IWF has shown an “unwillingness to contend for critical social issues” in recent years, Mr. Patterson apparently was too pressed for time to check with the object of his critique.

There was no phone call to ask us what we are doing and why; certainly no perusal of our website with its barrage of all-TWQ-all-the-time in the form of our articles, news items and marvelous bloggers Charlotte and Charlotte (who, by the way, reach tens of thousands of readers a month, not 5,000 every three months!); no commiseration over the countless times we turned down opportunities to go on air because the producers were looking for an anti-gay angle and no acknowledgement of the fact that three of our commentators have been on the air multiple times on the issue of marriage; and no reading of our policy papers and booklets such as “Dependency Divas” and “The Death of Liberal Arts” which deal with myriad social issues, no reference to our annual summer conferences focusing on sex and dating on our nation?s campuses; no nothing.

We would have thought any good reporter would do research before writing his articles. We would certainly have assumed that a reporter writing for a respected publication like Human Events would have deigned to do a modicum of work before excoriating us.?With respect to Mr. Patterson, we would be wrong.

In his opening paragraph Mr. Patterson states clearly that both economic and social conservatives fail to work closely in common cause; and he ponders why. One need only read his article to find the answer.

(PS: Really Mr. Patterson, our “acquisition” of the former Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation?That is so grossly inaccurate as to put the rest of your remarks in perfect context.)