The Administration ‘s New Fronts in the War on Women

Published on February 9, 2013

MH900334296Published last week over at the American Thinker — great piece by Clarice Feldman on the folly of sending women into combat, contemporary feminism’s contradictory demands, and the way Hillary Cllinton seemed to want it both ways in her testimony re the Benghazi scandal …

This week, the administration that rode to a second term decrying a fictitious war on women by the opposition, opened real fronts on the war on women, perpetuating feminism’s worst inconsistencies through its contradictory programs and in the words and deeds of the avatar of these inconsistencies, Hillary Clinton, the “Athena” of low information women voters. Only CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson by her persistence and competence keeps me from burying my head in shame.

As the Weekly Standard’s Daniel Halper noticed, there was a serious disconnect this week in the administration’s approach to women.

On the one hand, the president’s close aide, Valerie Jarrett tweeted:

“If there’s one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting women from violence. Congress needs to pass the Violence Against Women Act.”

At almost the same moment, as Jarrett was tweeting her plea for legislative embodiment of the notion of women’s need for special protections, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced — without any consultation with Congress — that he was removing the ban on women in combat positions.

The disconnect between the two positions seems irreconcilable except for James Taranto’s sage analysis:

One way of defining feminism is as the pursuit of the mutually irreconcilable goals of sexual equality and sensitive treatment of women. You’d think that contradiction would be a weakness, but it’s actually strength: Every advance for equality creates a demand for more measures to promote sensitivity, and vice versa. Feminism’s failures perpetuate feminism, at the expense of other goals such as defending the country.

I don’t think this dichotomy does women any favor. It certainly does no favors for men nor does it meet the demands of our society. It seems utterly impossible for men to cross this minefield whole. On the one hand they are being urged to treat women with special sensitivity because of their more delicate natures and physical limitations. On the other hand, the administration wants men to share foxholes on the front lines with them.

Taranto quotes a reader, a Marine Corps veteran with extensive experience on the front lines who among other things observes:

What kind of a man is it who can send women off to kill and maim? What kind of society does that?
What kind of men sharing a fire-team foxhole with a woman and two other men don’t treat the woman more gently?

What kind of society bemoaning that men don’t seem to respect women can’t see that part of the respect they demand is predicated on the specialness of the other?

Perhaps it is possible in a firefight to distinguish between how one treats women and men, but I doubt that I could do it. And if I am trained to treat men and women the same throughout my career, can this have no significant effect on how I treat women otherwise?

The disparate goals of a feminism that simultaneously and inconsistently demands special consideration and complete equality at the expense of the national — and, therefore women’s interests — was also manifest in the outrageous performance of outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week.

Uniformly praised by Senators and Congressmen of her own Democratic Party for her performance in this task — encomia that ignored the fact that the president early had stripped her of significant authority and handed it over to those closer to him like Susan Rice and that, in any event, foreign policy under her watch has been a disaster — Hillary played the feminist card to trump serious inquiry into the Benghazi catastrophe, weeping, wailing, pounding the desk, obfuscating, and outright lying …

Read the rest at: The Administration’s New Fronts in the War on Women