Here’s an inquiry from reader “Sirena”:
“As a feminist, I am interested in what your organization stands for. The mission statement alludes to dissatisfaction with feminist ideology, but how do you stand on ‘women’s issues’ such as: equal pay for equal work, access to education for women, health care, personal safety, parental responsibilities, civil liberties, and equalitarian partnership.
“I too am dissatisfied with how feminist ideas have come manifest. But if we polarize women into groups of ‘feminist’ and ‘right-wing women,’ we are not supporting causes that concern all women; we are furthering a division that will prevent a common ground to be established and actually address the issues that concern us all. Women’s issues are real, not grounds for futile persuasion arguments. Also, by being American women, we are the most privileged women in the world, in that, we do have self-determination, we can have a voice, a blog.
“This was not always a ‘self-evident’ truth. Farm animals had more personal safety rights than women until ‘feminists’ gained a voice against a violence toward women. It is foolish to disregard the historical processes, which include ‘feminism,’ that have contributed to women’s rights.”
Disregarding your claim about farm animals (never true!), you make some interesting points, Sirena. It’s too bad that women have become polarized, although the radical feminists have only themselves to blame for that ever since they decided that stay-at-home mothers and women of religious faith weren’t worth their concerns.
As for the IWF, we absolutely believe in every form of equal opportunity for women, economic, professional and educational. We do reject the notion that women are helpless victims who need special government protection in the form of affirmative action and other paternalistic programs. We decry violence against women–and also violence against men.
We also absolutely in accord with your statement that American women are “the most privileged…in the world,” with full opportunities to make our livings as we choose and to express ourselves as we choose. That’s why we get annoyed when whining radical feminists claim to be the only legitimate spokespeople for our sex.
And along those lines, we draw your attention to this column by our friend Myrna Blyth for National Review Online proposing that NOW (the National Organization for Women) change its name to THEN. As in the Seventies. NOW and its radical clones the Feminist Majority Foundation, and the National Women’s Law Center have been complaining that “[o]ur health, our rights, and our democracy are teetering on the brink” ever since George Bush got reelected, as NOW president Kim Gandy put it.
“Said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center: ‘What I…see is an administration with policies that are fundamentally out of touch with what women really need.’ Clearly Greenberger sees herself and her organization as the arbiters of ‘what women really need.’ Gee, what if a man had said that!”
That’s exactly how we feel here at the IWF–we’re tired of having NOW and the National Women’s Law Center claim to speak for us. As Myrna writes:
“[I]t was clear in polls taken after the election that the reason so many women voted for President Bush was exactly because of everyday concerns like security. Their highest everyday priority, Marcia, is keeping their families safe.”
Our sentiments exactly.