NOW’s president Terry O”Neill charged today that the fight over the debt ceiling, and potential cuts to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, will hurt women. (For starters, see what Carrie wrote about this here and what I wrote here.) What’s more she claims, “if there were more women in leadership roles these drastic cuts would not be on the table.”
In short, sexism – not overspending – is to blame.
Not only is it absurd to suggest that women would automatically fight for an antiquated system that doesn’t actually address the needs of modern women and their families, but it’s even more ridiculous that O’Neill has managed to turn the conversation about the debt ceiling into one about sexism.
“Right now women make up just 17 percent of members in Congress,” she explains, “and it is clear that women are not high on the list of considerations.”
O’Neill acknowledges that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been involved in the talks, but suddenly this feminist trailblazer has been overshadowed by all the men in the room! Now I agree that vestiges of sexism exist in the world of politics; but surely even Nancy Pelosi would have to object to this statement.
It doesn’t do women any good to scream sexism every time they don’t like what they hear from their opponents. Lawmakers are talking about cuts to our bloated entitlement programs because rampant spending – not sexism – is at the heart of our deficit problem.