Politics & Policy

Quit the Whining, Sister

Liberal feminists do women no favors.

It’s the summer of 2007, and I have breaking news: Women are liberated.

It’s true. Just ask media mogul Oprah. Or presidential candidate Hillary. Or Speaker of the House Nancy. I thought of these women after a recent Ellen Goodman column in the Boston Globe made me think of myself.

In a piece complaining about the ratio of male to female political bloggers, Goodman wrote: “It’s not that women are invisible. There are ‘women’s pages’ on the Internet. Technorati counts more than 11,000 ‘mommy blogs.’ There are ‘women’s issues’ blogs like the funny and bracing Feministing.”

She continued, “But this is not just about counting, not just about diversity-by-the-numbers. It’s about the political dialogue — who gets heard and who sets the agenda.” She cites a female conference organizer who worries, “‘Are we going to do the same thing we’ve done all along, but with computers? Or will we create a new institution that allows for marginalized voices?’”

I hate to spoil a good girl cry, but at National Review Online, I not only have a voice, but I am the key daily agenda-setter. And I have been either the principal or primary decider — as President Bush might put it (whose senior advisers read nationalreview.com) — for the better part of a decade.

You’re here so you may have noticed that our site — the cyber child of the conservative trailblazing National Review, founded by William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955 — is no “women’s issues” place, only as much as women’s issues are Americans’ issues.

And I’m not the only female exec at the National Review. One of our most public faces is Kate O’Beirne, a regular on MSNBC’s Hardball and former panelist on CNN’s Capital Gang, best-selling author, adviser to many a politico, lawyer and political hand in her own right.

Additionally, there are quite a number of strong female personalities on the mainstream political net both behind the scenes and out in front. Just as there are a good number of women with opinions who get heard on talk radio, seen on TV and read in opinion magazines and columns like Michelle Malkin.

Valuable time is often wasted in the commentariat, in studies, in seminars, and in hearings bean-counting the percentages of women on corporate boards, in Hollywood studios, higher education, Congress and on oped pages. Number disparities can often be explained not by discrimination but by free choice, something liberal feminists claim to be fans of. Many women reading this column may be just as good or much better at writing or opinion-making than any man or woman they’re reading or watching on talking-heads shows tonight. But maybe they chose to raise kids instead of taking that slot on Fox News or getting that editing job or starting that blog site. Choice happens.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.), could become president of the United States. But she’s not going to win by trying to guilt men into it, by arguing that her election is a civil-rights movement in itself. She’ll become commander-in-chief if she commands on the campaign trail, tackling the war, health care and education. She won’t win by playing gender games.

My reaction to Goodman-like complaining is: It’s 2007, you live in the United States. You have a pen, phone, and Internet connection. Stop whining. It’s unattractive. If you want to have an impact, just work. That’s how the guys do it. That’s how we gals do it.

© 2007, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

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