Feminist View of Motherhood, Marriage, and Career
Hillary Proclaims a Daycare 'Crisis'
Hillary Rodham Clinton staged what a White House
spokesman called a "focused comeback" to proclaim
what she described as a "frontier issue." She followed
the usual liberal formula: proclaim a "crisis," wrap it in
"children," and try to intimidate Congress into funding
a new middle-class entitlement. Make no mistake: this
is the start of another grab for power like Clinton's 1994
effort to federalize the health care industry.
Hillary's daycare "crisis" was carefully orchestrated
by all the bigwigs of the Clinton Administration before
an exclusive audience in the East Room of the White
House. They included government officials who can
influence public policy on daycare, reporters expected to
write about daycare, a few academic types paraded as
"experts," and a large number of daycare providers who
can be turned into lobbying troops to gather the cash
spoils of federally subsidized daycare. The audience
included those two Democratic Senators who like to
pose as models of fatherhood and family propriety,
Senators Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd. Conservative
and pro-family leaders were excluded.
President Clinton is demanding $300 million over
five years to train 50,000 daycare workers, improve the
pay of daycare workers, and direct Americorps student
volunteers to look after latchkey kids. In addition, he is
ordering Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to jawbone
private employers to provide free on-site daycare.
Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's
Defense Fund, the chief lobby for raising children in a
"village," said she hopes that Hillary's conference will
be "a launching pad for significant re-investments" in
daycare. In the Clintonian lexicon, village is a synonym
for government and investment is a synonym for taxes.
Conference participant Joyce Shortt, who runs a
daycare organizing group, said, "As long as we are
promoting an economic system where two parents or
single parents work, it is the responsibility of the federal
government" to promote affordable and accessible
daycare. No doubt, she sees federal subsidies heading
toward her bank account.
The chief guru of the federal daycare lobby is
Edward Zigler, a psychology professor at Yale University and director of Yale's Bush Center for Child Development and Social Policy. He advocates a national
daycare system costing $75 to $100 billion annually.
Zigler wants daycare centers reconstituted as
"schools of the 21st century" and "family resource
centers." He wants daycare to extend as long as the
workdays of mothers and fathers, before- and after-school care, and summer care for children up to age 12.
He deplores the "hodge-podge of profits, nonprofits, and
family daycare homes" and the fact that 60 to 75 percent
of daycares are not registered. Those with a social
parenting agenda think that government can do a much
better job of regulating and financing the needs of
children ages 1 through 12.
A drive for federally financed and regulated daycare
led by Zigler and Edelman is, as Yogi Berra would say,
déjà vu all over again. This same cast of characters
carried on a tremendous national campaign for the same
goal during 1988, 1989 and 1990 -- and they lost
because Americans don't want to pay taxes to provide
babysitters for other people's children.
Instead, American mothers and fathers want tax cuts
so they can spend their own money and make their own
decisions. The 1988-90 debate ended up with modest
tax credits for children. This year the Republican
Congress provided the best and only correct federal
answer to the problem of child care costs: tax cuts.
With the Clinton Administration dragging its feet,
resisting every step of the way, this year's Republican
budget included a $500 per child tax credit for children
under age 17 in taxpaying families. That is a lot of new
money in the pockets of 27 million families with 45
Then, Congress expanded the Earned Income Tax
Credit to reach 15 million people, giving significant
extra help to workers of very modest incomes. The
Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is in addition.
The Republican Congress also voted a tremendous
increase in daycare spending as part of the 1996 welfare
law. A new program of federal grants to the states,
designating $13.9 billion over six years to fund daycare,
represents an increase of more than $4 billion or nearly
50% over what would have been spent under the previous law.
The New York Times called Hillary "reborn," but her
daycare proposals are just warmed over Big Government spending plans that have been exhaustively debated and rejected by the American people. Tax cuts are
the best way government can help families cover the
costs of raising children.
The Feminists' War Against Marriage
The war on marriage that the feminists in academia
are waging hit me this year when I received the Winter
issue of my alma mater's alumnae magazine, the
Radcliffe Quarterly. In 52 pages under the heading
"Scenes from the Family," the editors didn't include any
discussion of a successful family based on a man and a
woman honoring their solemn promises "to have and to
hold . . . for better, for worse . . . till death do us part."
Instead, the feature article laid down the feminist
line that a woman's identity disappears in marriage and
that "marriage is bad for you, at least if you're female."
Without any shame, the author admitted that she acquired her husband by breaking up another marriage
that had lasted 15 years and produced three children.
She argued that, "Instead of getting married for life, men
and women (in whatever combination suits their sexual
orientation) should sign up for a seven-year hitch." If
they want to "reenlist" for another seven, they may, but
after that, the marriage is "over."
Another article described a "marriage" of lesbians in
San Francisco. Still another extolled the wonderful life
of a child born out of wedlock, and yet another explained divorce as "a significant life event that confronts
individuals with the opportunity to change."
The New York-based Institute for American Values
recently completed a study of 20 post-1994 college
social science textbooks used in 8,000 college courses.
Called "Closed Hearts, Closed Minds," the report
concludes that most of these textbooks give a pessimistic
if not downright hostile view of marriage, emphasizing
marital failures rather than its joys and benefits.
College textbooks view marriage as especially bleak
and dreary for women. The textbooks are inordinately
preoccupied with domestic violence and divorce, and
view marriage as archaic and oppressive, not just
occasionally, but inherently. Some textbooks are larded
with anti-family rhetoric. Changing Families by Judy
Root Aulette focuses on battering, marital rape and
divorce, with no mention of any benefits of marriage.
The textbooks give the impression that children
don't need two parents and aren't harmed by divorce.
They omit all the evidence that children in single-parent
homes are far more at risk than children in two-parent
Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well by Ashton Applewhite is an example
of the new genre of books attacking marriage as a bad
deal for women. The author dumped her husband after
reading feminist Susan Faludi's Backlash. Now
Applewhite seeks social approval for her walk-out by
encouraging middle-aged women to find independence
by doing likewise. She gives advice on how to deal with
lawyers, manipulate child custody arrangements, and
find new relationships.
The publication of another new book, On Our Own:
Unmarried Motherhood in America by Melissa Luddtke,
attracted Hillary Rodham Clinton, Maryland Lt. Gov.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Senator Ted Kennedy
to a book party at the home of PBS journalist Ellen
Hume. Mrs. Clinton was thanked for her assistance as
a "reader of the book in progress."
When the sexual revolution and the feminist revolution blasted into America's social consciousness in the
late 1960s and 1970s, the voices raised against them
came primarily from older women. Now we are starting
to see acute bitterness from the generation that believed
the liberationist lies and have discovered that, contrary
to feminist ideology, women, indeed, have a biological
The Independent Women's Forum has just published its Autumn 1997 issue of its Women's Quarterly
(2111 Wilson Blvd., Suite 550, Arlington, VA 22201, $5), and it is
guaranteed to enrage the feminists. Called "Let's Face
It, Girls: The Sexual Revolution Was a Mistake," it
levels a broadside attack on the feminists for teaching
young women that liberation and fulfillment come from
romping around like men in casual sex while building
their all-important careers. They are angry because they
discovered too late that the cost of uncommitted sexual
relationships is that "the window for getting married and
having children is way smaller than one can possibly
foresee at age 25."
So, we hear the anguish of babyless fortyish women
frustrated by their inability to get pregnant, spending
their money and tears on chemicals and on clinics
dispensing procedures with high failure rates. They've
even realized that a lot of female infertility comes from
exposure to sexually transmitted diseases, and that's a
high price to pay for those dead-end serial relationships.
In this Women's Quarterly, Carolyn Graglia exposes
the consequences of the foolish feminist notion that men
and women are equal in their sexual desires. This myth,
which is contrary to all human experience, has deprived
women of the societal support they need to refuse to
engage in casual sex.
Far from being empowered in their relations with
men, this myth has caused women to lose control over
ordinary relationships. Adult, educated women are now
demanding that the government (or plaintiff attorneys)
protect them from "date rape" and "sexual harassment"
in situations that, in the pre-feminist era, unsophisticated
high school girls could handle with confidence, knowing
that a No would be respected.
G.I. Jane: Feminist Role-Model
G.I. Jane, directed by Ridley Scott, is a fitting sequel
to his 1991 movie Thelma and Louise. Both movies try
to idealize the macho victim, the foul-mouthed, gun-toting woman who triumphs over the perceived discriminations perpetrated by an unfair male-dominated
But sic transit gloria! Thelma and Louise freed
themselves from an oppressive patriarchal society by
driving their automobile off a cliff. Their double suicide
proved they were liberated women because they made
that death decision independently from male coercion!
G.I. Jane (Demi Moore) proves she is a liberated
woman by getting herself beaten to a bloody pulp,
almost raped, and subjected to extreme bodily harassment. To the feminists, this is okay because her goal is
to be treated just like men.
This is the kind of equality the feminist movement
has always sought (and why they remain a ridiculous
subset of the left wing of the Democratic Party, far
outside of the mainstream). The feminists' legal oracle
in the years before Ruth Bader Ginsburg emerged, Yale
Law School Professor Thomas I. Emerson, described the
goal of gender equality in the Yale Law Journal (April
1971): "As between brutalizing our young men and
brutalizing our young women, there is little to choose."
The movie G.I. Jane was apparently designed to
make Americans believe the myth that women can
perform in combat just like men, even in the toughest
branch of the services, the Navy Seals. But the movie
really doesn't help the feminist cause because the villain
is a loud-mouthed Texas female Senator (supposedly
modeled on Patricia Schroeder and Ann Richards),
whose sport is to humiliate military officers for not fully
integrating women into combat jobs. In order to keep
her Senate seat, she spikes G.I. Jane's career in the Seals
by falsely accusing her of lesbianism.
G.I. Jane proves that women can take a beating as
well as a man, but so what? The movie shows that she
lacks the upper body strength to pull herself out of the
water into a boat, a rather elementary test for anyone
seeking to be a Navy Seal. The pretense that G.I. Jane
could do everything the Seals do is a Hollywood fiction
created with trick photography, make-up, and a stand-in
for the star. It's all as make-believe as the scene where
her Seal commander talks to her in the shower and
somehow doesn't notice that she's nude.
But more important than the dishonesty of it all is
what the feminists are doing to America and to the
relationship of men and women. When G.I. Jane is
being beaten and almost raped in the movie, we can see
the horror in the faces of the Seals who watch, and their
contempt for the Master Chief who performs this
exercise. They joined the Navy to become real men, and
now they are being trained to be passive while watching
a woman beaten and raped! It's called sensitivity
training to desensitize men about the abuse and mistreatment of women. Such courses are now part of U.S.
Training civilized young men to suppress their
inclinations to be protective and courteous toward
women is not merely wrong and stupid, it is evil and
wicked. We have no respect for the men who participate in the evil of programming men to treat women as
though they are men. Civilization is on the chopping
bloc. The feminists have not given us progress for
women; they are turning men into the stereotype of the
caveman who drags his woman by her hair.
The Kelly Flinn Flim-Flam
Kelly Flinn, the first female B-52 pilot, was the Air
Force's poster girl of the supposedly successful sex
integration of the Air Force. She was the golden girl
who "proved" that women in the military can "hold their
own" with men. She was the answer to the Pat
Schroeder battalion in Congress who were demanding
that women be put in combat jobs.
But Kelly blew it by indulging in adultery, perjury
and disobedience. She committed the particular kind of
adultery (called fraternization) that clearly cannot be
tolerated in a military officer, namely having sex with an
enlisted man and then with the husband of an enlisted
When the Air Force disciplined her, the media went
into a "feeding frenzy," allowing the feminists to portray
her as a victim, and she became something of a feminist
cause célèbre. Dick Morris, Bill Clinton's political
consultant (who rose to notoriety and a lucrative book
deal after a particularly gross adulterous relationship),
predicted, "I think she may become a very significant
feminist figure and spokesperson." Fortunately, his
prediction has not come true.
The evidence against Kelly Flinn was so overwhelming that the Air Force had to press charges. She was not
"singled out," but was treated highly preferentially
compared to the 60 men whom the Air Force court-martialed for adultery the previous year and the many
male officers whose careers were destroyed for much
The aggrieved spouse, Airman Gayla Zigo, explained in her eloquent letter to the Secretary of the Air
Force: "Less than a week after we arrived to the base,
Kelly was in bed with my husband having sex. . . . In
several occasions, I came home from work and found
her at my house with Marc. While at my house, she was
always in her flight suit flaunting the fact that she was an
Academy graduate and the first female bomber pilot."
Airman Gayla's letter quoted Kelly as saying that "she
wanted to settle down with someone." Gayla added, "I
didn't know that that somebody was my husband."
The military is to blame for leading young women
like Kelly to mistakenly believe they can do a man's job.
Of course, she can pilot a plane, but there's a lot more to
being a military pilot than guiding the plane's controls.
She tried to excuse herself on CBS's 60 Minutes by
saying, "I was only 25 years old and I was confused."
Can we afford to have someone confused who is piloting
a B-52 carrying nuclear weapons?
Kelly's position required the emotional maturity and
stamina to work at a base where her pilot peers had
wives, but she did not. Kelly was lonesome. Her
mother, whining about Kelly's predicament, said that the
cad whom Kelly called her "first love" was "the first
man who made her feel like a woman."
Pardon me! We have been endlessly told that
women in the military can perform just like men. Sex
integration in the military was supposed to prove what
Robin Morgan said years ago on the Phil Donahue
Show, "We are becoming the men we once wanted to
Now we learn that the top female bomber pilot really
wanted to be treated like a woman! When the Air Force
handed Kelly a written order to break off her relationship, she chose her lover over her spectacular career,
telling the New York Times, "I figured at least I'd
salvage my relationship with Marc [Zigo]."
Having lost their battle to save Kelly Flinn's Air
Force career, the feminists then took revenge on Air
Force General Joseph Ralston, who was nominated for
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. To sabotage his
appointment, the feminists dug up an old case of his
adultery. The feminists' real purpose was to get Kelly
Flinn's discharge upgraded to honorable.
Ralston's case was completely different from that of
Kelly Flinn's (she was guilty of fraternization, disobedience and perjury), but the difference was lost under the
feminists' tirades. So, we endured a public debate of
several weeks on whether adultery should be a bar to
promotion to high office.
Opinion surveys of the media elite over the past
decade have consistently shown that the nation's top
opinion makers do not believe that adultery is wrong.
They would like to make it socially acceptable. The New
York Times, for example, ridiculed the military's
"antiquated adultery rules."
The Gallup Poll reports that 94% of Americans say
adultery is wrong. The advocates of unfettered sexual
activity are trying to paint those who affirm the standard
of marital fidelity as hypocrites because the evidence
shows "Americans do it anyway." But that doesn't
mean they are hypocrites; it just means that they have
sinned. Christians believe that man has a fallen nature
and is prone to sin, and forgiveness starts with admitting
you've done something wrong.
The sexual revolution that started in the sixties
hasn't lived up to its promise of freedom and fun
forever. It has produced record rates of divorce, illegitimacy, social diseases, and messed up lives.
There is a culture war going on inside America. It
has caused a great many casualties and will cause many
more. Setting up a commission to write new morality
rules for the military will only prolong the agony; the old
rules are still valid. In the long run, there will be fewer
casualties if the military leads the way to a restoration of
duty, honor, and the sanctity of marriage.
What Caused the Gender Gap?
Media Research Center thinks it has come up with
an explanation for how Bill Clinton and the liberal
Democrats developed a pipeline to the so-called soccer
moms. Too many have been swallowing the pro-Big
Government propaganda fed to them by women's
magazines whose circulation is in the millions.
A joint Consumer Alert/Media Research Center
study of 13 women's and family magazines for one year
prior to the November 1996 elections revealed that they
carried articles that portrayed government activism in a
positive light by a ratio of more than six to one (115 to
18). The 13 women's and family magazines included
Good Housekeeping, Redbook, McCall's, Working
Woman, Family Circle, Woman's Day, and Glamour.
The largest number of articles calling for government
intervention concerned health issues, such as demanding
federal action to stop "drive-through deliveries" and
more federal funding for medical research.
The magazines directed their readers toward support
for "universal" (i.e., federal) health coverage. Not a
single article mentioned Medical Savings Accounts, the
private-enterprise option that would allow individuals to
own and manage their own health care.
During the past year, these women's magazines
carried 23 articles urging women to lobby for expanded
government programs, and not a single one to lobby for
less government or for spending cuts. To urge more
federal funding, Good Housekeeping even provided
form letters ("Join the Good Housekeeping Lobby") that
needed only a signature before mailing.
The women's magazines published favorable
profiles of many liberal female activists but none of
conservatives. The favorite was Marian Wright
Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund, the leading
exemplar of using children to expand government
programs and regulations. Researchers looked in vain
for articles in these women's magazines that urged a
reduction in the tax burden on families, or a reduction in
the regulatory burden that is costly, and even harmful, to
families and small businesses.
The successful Clinton campaign of 1996 tapped
into the propaganda flowing through women's
magazines by pursuing what U.S. News & World Report
called a "Redbook strategy." The rest of us laughed
when Bill and Hillary promised that their Administration
would force employers to give women time off to attend
a PTA meeting or take their dog to the vet, but such talk
apparently resonated with the readers of women's