A potential presidential candidate, the former CEO of a Fortune 500 company, the fourth highest ranking Republican, a respected economist, a famous pollster, and the head of one of the nation’s largest grassroots organization’s come together for a discussion.
A bunch of men, right? Progressive men, you assume? Nope.
They are conservative women who gathered in Washington, D.C. this week. Unfortunately you probably didn’t hear about it because the media can’t be bothered actually showcasing conservative women that confuse them with facts. They surely don’t care enough about you, dear reader, to share with you the thoughts of these women so established as to be able to speak to those facts from areas of political, business, and legislative expertise.
Concerned Women for America had the privilege of hosting a Capitol Hill briefing this week.
The discussion: “War No More: Why the War on Women is Untruthful, Unhelpful, and Unlikely to Succeed” was open to the public, Congressional staffers, and media. Each panelist, Carly Fiorina (former CEO of Hewlett Packard), Kellyanne Conway (President of The Polling Company inc./Woman Trend), Sabrina Schaeffer (Executive Director of the Independent Women’s Forum), and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (4th highest ranking Republican in Congress), valiantly fought back against the idea that women are victims with an inability or desire to achieve success. In fact, the women themselves serve as living examples of the American dream, most coming from the lower economic rung.
Stories were told of backgrounds growing up, doing without, and working hard to climb the ladder of success in our great country with panelists talking about stepping off that ladder to have children and jumping back on when they were ready. Young women in the crowd nodded their head at statements like that of Carly Fiorina: “We all need someone to take a chance on us and see us for what we represent, regardless of our circumstances,” and Sabrina Schaeffer saying, “We have a really positive story to tell about women and girls in America.”
CWA’s panel pointed out just how pro-woman our country is, due to unprecedented levels of justice, opportunity, and economic freedom enjoyed by American woman today. We, in fact, agree with Hillary Clinton when she says: “There’s never been a better time in history to be born a female.”
According to the Department of Education and well cited in Concerned Women for America’s “War No More” publication, women are earning the majority of undergraduate and graduate, law, and medical degrees. Women own a third of small businesses, and the numbers of women-owned businesses of any size are growing at one and a half times the rates of those owned by men. In fact, in the next four years fully 1/3 of all American jobs will be generated by women-owned businesses. This is historic! At every level of the economic ladder, women earn 50 percent more than women a generation ago.
Here’s a piece of bad news.
Sadly, young conservative women need to know something. Although America is a mostly level playing field full of opportunity, they will be held to a different standard by liberal women activist and media no matter how hard they try or how much they achieve. Their beliefs on abortion disqualify them from the respect they are due in certain circles.
Carly Fiorina made exactly that point with her anecdote during Monday’s panel:
“I just came out of Iowa, and I remember Hillary Clinton standing in a Union Hall in Cedar Rapids during the election between Bruce Braley and Joni Ernst, and Hillary Clinton said, ‘It’s not enough to be a woman, you have to be a woman who believes …’ She (Hillary) then went through the litany of liberal beliefs. So in essence what she was saying is unless you’re on our team, we don’t think you count.”
The left’s clear bias was revealed in their reaction to combat veteran, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s response to the President’s State of the Union Address; it was abysmal with pro-abortion EMILY’s List sending out a press release calling her “window dressing.”
Ann Romney, wife of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, was mocked for having multiple sclerosis during Mitt’s campaign run. And women like Michelle Malkin are vilified in the media with figure heads like MSNBC’s Keith Oldermann comparing her to a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.” Had it been the other way around and the object of scorn was Hillary Clinton, the wagons would have circled, and the offender been verbally beaten into submission.
The logic is simple. Liberals know that females hold 53 percent of the vote which is why they spent $70 million on gender baiting ads in the 2014 elections and work so hard to ostracize the ones that don’t agree with them.
Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank was the latest bully; his article covering the “War No More” panel failing to convey an honest report of the panel or refute any of the claims by the panelists, but instead focusing on snarky character attacks and past Disney references. He simply ignored the breadth of experience and information offered. Don’t confuse him with the facts.
For the record, I did like the movie Frozen.
Now that that is out of the way, he would have heard articulate, cohesive answers to three very important questions: What do women think about the idea of a “war on women?” What do women want from their government? And what are the real challenges and potential solutions for women in this political and economic climate? He’s not interested just catty.
But these questions demand an answer, and as Hillary Clinton postures to be the first female President, it would be beneficial for the media to allow answers to be heard. It is important for conservative women to remind media and culture that we are not monolithic voters.
Yes, we would be excited to see the first female President, but not to fill some quota at the expense of our children’s future. We must continue to discuss how conservative policies will remove the heavy hand of government from our pockets and return the power back to the people to remove themselves and their neighbors from a cycle of poverty via poor public policy.
Panelists in Monday’s “War No More” panel on Capitol Hill talked about their community involvement and outreach to lower income communities. We conservative women differ with Hillary and her liberal friends on how to truly help those in need in our communities and abroad. We believe in the authority of our constitution. We differ on national security. We understand the free market system’s necessary impact on economic policy and healthcare. We believe that strong families and communities are necessary for a healthy nation. And yes, we believe in respect for human life and protection for the “least of these” in society.
The left is short-sighted when it obsesses solely on the one issue on which roughly half of us disagree with each other. There is much work to do and some real common ground. Inner city moms and suburban moms want flexible education choices and better options for American women in need of vocational training. The Clinton Foundation report cites that one in four girls around the world are married as children. We can do better, but it will never happen as long as the left continues to divide.
If there is a war on women, it’s become a civil war. Let’s deal with the men on both of our sides and lean in for a discussion with each other.
Penny Nance is President and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization. Find out more at concernedwomen.org.