Senator Susan Collins of Maine is shepherding through the Senate the most sweeping reform of the intelligence community in more than 50 years. North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole has been busy shaping the defense appropriations bill and making the case for the war in Iraq on the Senate floor. Maine Senator Olympia Snowe and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas got their plan to beef up air-cargo security passed while Senator Lisa Murkowski champions the need to protect the nation’s energy security. All of this has escaped the feminists’ notice because these women senators share the stigma of being Republican. But it is striking that in that notorious men’s club we call the Senate they are welcome to play in the guys’ security-issues sandbox.
Whatever the merits of the national-security proposals advanced by these Republican women, it’s clear that they haven’t come to Washington to serve in the pink ghetto of so-called women’s issues. Rather than confining themselves to right every perceived gender wrong, they obviously see themselves as senators, not merely female senators. Instead of railing against the glass ceilings that allegedly keep women in their place to the alleged delight of men, they’ve gotten down to work on the most consequential issues we face.
They sure won’t get credit for it from the feminist arbiters of relations between the sexes, but on important national-security issues the Republican men in the Senate have told their female colleagues, “After you ladies.”