An Aside on Women’s History Month
The White House Press Secretary’s office released a proclamation on March 1
declaring this month Women’s History Month. It states:
During Women’s History Month we commemorate [women’s] struggles, celebrate centuries of progress, and reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the rights, security, and dignity of women in America and around the world.
While the statement appears to include all the standard feminist rhetoric promoting gender equality and relying on flowery references to grandmothers and granddaughters, it is important to note what Obama does not mention: women’s role in the family. The allusion is there but it lacks actual meaning. Women traditionally represent the family’s caretakers. They provide the support for the basic unit society is founded on: the family.
Women represent the nucleus of the family. As mothers and wives, women provide the social glue between generations and exert tremendous influence because of their unique reproductive ability. Women are expanding their role to influence the family and themselves by engaging more fully in the politics and the economy.
In Rethinking the "Women's Issues,
Right now, 40% of American women are the primary breadwinners. And women are the majority of people in owner-occupied single family homes. So women have availed themselves of the natural accoutrements of ownership life. They are buying homes, getting mortgages, building investment portfolios, and becoming small business owners.
Classical feminism advocated equality for women in all aspects of life. Today, feminism represents an agenda focused on controversy and gender conflict. It is no longer about celebrating the success of women and their extraordinary contributions to American society and politics, but rather demonstrating the abject rejection of traditional values and a blind, impassioned partisanship.
For a better understanding of how the left portrays conservative values in gender issues, consider Saudi Arabia. Female representation in the Saudi parliament according to the Human Development Report
from the United Nations is less than 1/100 of one percent. In the U.S., women account for 20 percent. Saudi Arabia falls far below even the low human development indicators in regard to women’s labor force participation. Low human development is considered average at .655 (2009), Saudi Arabia measures .266 (2009). That means for every woman, there are four more men in the work force in Saudi Arabia than in the U.S., where there is only one more man per woman. Conway aptly notes,
We women in this nation are much more free to choose than women in any other nation in the world. I think that’s lost because so many messages are negative. Everything really is gloom and doom.
described an American conservative as
A person who endeavors to conserve the best of in our traditions and our institutions, reconciling the best with necessary reforms from time to time.
This definition does not include the inflammatory and constrictive rhetoric the left often attributes to conservatives. This means accepting the traditional role women have played in the family and understanding how central that is to the historical and future advancement of the U.S., but it also means advancing women by continuing to enable them to gain greater access and opportunity in all levels of society.
The politicization of gender politics has tested traditional family structures and values. Ultimately, the societal belittlement of the traditional role for women as caretakers fails to achieve any real progress toward greater women’s rights. It simply destroys the basic social fabric our democracy stems from.
President Obama said:
While we have made great strides toward equality, we cannot rest until our mothers, sisters, and daughters assume their rightful place as full participants in a secure, prosperous, and just society.
First, let us look at ourselves as a nation and realize the tremendous success we have had as women. Then let us turn to the world and our fellow women and realize the shared struggle for equality; let us embrace who we are as women and Americans and empower other women across the globe to realize the same success we have been blessed to take part in.
Thank you to all the women who through their lives have demonstrated the intelligence, compassion, strength, and beauty that we today still strive to obtain.