In light of the euphoria in some quarters over having 20 female senators (sixteen of whom are Democrats and likely to vote to raise your taxes and expand government), Mona Charen’s column this morning is a must-read. It begins this way:
I suppose I’m a bad woman — by today’s standards, that is. For some reason, I take absolutely no pride in the accomplishments of women per se. I am utterly uninspired by first women astronauts or secretaries of state. It is of no consequence to me what percentage of the United States Senate or House of Representatives shares my chromosome pattern. I don’t wait with gnawing impatience for America to pass the milestone of needing a fellow to fill the post of first gentleman.
This is not to say that I resent or disparage female accomplishment. I admire excellence wherever it is found, and many women, including Margaret Thatcher, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Priscilla Buckley, Jane Austen, Joan Sutherland, Aung San Suu Kyi, George Eliot, Yelena Bonner, and Golda Meir, occupy plinths in my personal pantheon. I just don’t have a rooting interest in the decisions of one-half of humanity.
And Mona goes on to say:
These reflections were occasioned by a meeting of the Kirkpatrick Society — a luncheon group of conservative-leaning women created and managed by the Hoover Institution’s Mary Eberstadt. Most women, I suspect, including most conservative women, are not like me. They do feel female solidarity.
It’s odd that we are exhorted to feel solidarity with fellow women but not with fellow Americans (that would be unbecoming chauvinism) or with coreligionists (that would be excessively sectarian). Men, of course, may cheer for women, but not for their own sex.
The column was pegged to a talk on demographics and women voters given at the Kirkpatrick Society by the American Institute’s Karlyn Bowman, who is an esteemed panelist at IWF’s much-anticipated Women in the Wilderness event next week.
IWF’s Sabrina Schaeffer made observations similar to Mona’s in a statement in response to the giddiness about having more women in the Senate than ever before. Here was the headline:
More Women in Senate Likely Result Higher Taxes, Bigger Govt, Less Freedom The group making the claim is the Independent Women's Forum.
Sabrina said that policy is more important than gender-based stereotypes. She made several great points:
What’s especially interesting is that in 2010 – the “Year of the Republican Woman” when 145 Republican women ran for offices in the Senate and the House – there was very little talk about how women shattered the glass ceiling or about what kind of difference more women would have on negotiations, compromise, and legislating on Capitol Hill.
These women are to be congratulated for their accomplishments; but in the end one’s political values are far more important than one’s gender.