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The Gender Delusion

Earlier this week, “conservative” Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker all-but endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

In Parker’s (admittedly “hyperbolic” words) she proclaims: “She can save the world.”

She then follows up:

Women, if allowed to be fully equal to men, will bring peace to the planet. This is not so far-fetched a notion. One, men have been at it for thousands of years, resulting in millions and millions of corpses. Two, countries where women are most oppressed and abused are also the least stable.

I have to admit, the exaggerated tone of Parker’s article rang of near-mythical or Biblical proportions, creating the sense that with a woman – and with Clinton, in particular – the oceans would part and we could at last cross into the Promised Land of freedom and opportunity.

While it may very well be time for a woman president, Parker’s analysis is sloppy, if not spurious. It’s certainly true that societies where women have more rights, such as the the United States, are more stable. But that is a classic case of confusing correlation with causation. Women have greater freedom in countries with strong democratic governments, stable economic systems, and modern conceptions of gender and gender roles. But this is not necessarily the result of women in power or women’s liberty – this is about electing leaders with the right ideology and vision, be it Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher.

One must ask: Is Clinton the right woman?

Like Parker, I appreciate Clinton for bucking the grievances of traditional women’s groups. She appears to view women’s rights here in America largely as settled business and gives greater weight to the very real needs of women suffering around the globe.

Her recent interview with Marie Claire magazine, where she announced, “I can’t stand whining” in response to Anne Marie Slaughter’s now famous Atlantic article “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All,” earned her a little respect in my book.

Yet the real impact of a President Hillary Clinton would have nothing to do with her gender, but everything to do with the policies she advances. How insulting to her — and to women generally — to judge her solely by her sex and not her ideas. This is classic feminist behavior that should make any self-identified “conservative” cringe.

That’s why I can’t wrap my mind around why Parker is so enamored of Clinton. Why would someone committed to free markets rally behind a woman who worked to create a single-payer health care system as First Lady? Why campaign for a woman who showed contempt for finding out the truth after the Benghazi tragedy? And why stand behind a woman who has served as a mouthpiece for the Obama Administration on failed energy and environmental policies?

I’m simply not overly concerned about having a woman in a “position of power” per se. Let’s not forget we have had a female Speaker of the House, we currently have 20 female senators, and there are female executives around the globe — and it hasn’t created the kind of peaceful world Parker pretends it will. I’m interested in having a woman in power who understands that progressive policies fail women and their families, and who values the economic and personal liberty that matters most to all Americans.

To achieve that end, we have a slate of strong, fiscally conservative female lawmakers who are also physicians, accountants, business owners, and mothers. They are poised to communicate a message of economic liberty, personal freedom, and the importance of civic institutions. Why advance a woman like Clinton when we might encourage someone like Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Governor Susana Martinez, Governor Nikki Haley, or Senator Kelly Ayotte?

It’s clear that Americans are ready for substantive change in 2016 and beyond, but what a raw evaluation of Clinton. We must be careful not to let our enthusiasm for seeing a woman in the White House fog our principles. Women at home and around the globe benefit when the state’s power is limited, economies are allowed to flourish, cultures are permitted to prosper, and individuals, their families, and communities are empowered. For that, gender is irrelevant. It just takes a leader with the right values.

  1. Marion Evans

    Politicians don’t save the world. Entrepreneurs and innovators save the world. 

  2. James Gawron

    Sabrina,

    I rate those with two X chromosomes running for high office on this political scale.

    Margaret Thatcher > Greatest English Prime Minister since Churchill.

    Golda Meir > Mediocre Israeli Prime Minster, much loved but highly overrated.

    Indira Gandhi > Disastrous Indian Prime Minister who almost destroyed Indian Democracy.

    One would think Hillary would be a Golda Meir, likable but overrated. However, I think her complicit behavior in the case of Bill Clinton suggests she has Indira Gandhi potential.  Instead of making a clean break with Bill she chose to double down on everything he did and she should not have stood for.  Women especially should realize she has no integrity.  Whatever works for Hillary is what she will support.  The “What difference does it make?” outburst reveals so much about her lack of character.

    I suspect many women find Hillary Clinton nauseating.  I hope they do not allow a misplaced sense of solidarity cloud their judgement.

    Regards,

    Jim

  3. La Tapada

    “She can save the world.”

    Um… haven’t we heard this somewhere before?

  4. Jim  Ixtian
    Bob Wainwright: “We must be careful not to let our enthusiasm for seeing a woman in the White House fog our principles.”

    I agree, but the easiest way to make sure we don’t do that is not to “have enthusiasm for seeing a woman in the White House” in the first place.  It’s not supposed to be about gender, but about what the candidate believes and how good an executive they will be.  We just need to stop talking and thinking this way.

    A lot of people had “enthusiasm” for seeing the first black president in 2008 and look where it got us.  A lot of people who weren’t liberals voted for him because they had such enthusiasm, proving they had not obtained a post-racial way of thinking.  We are now paying the price.

    As I pointed out a few weeks ago, by electing and re-electing Obama Americans proved they judge people by the color of their skin, not the content of their character. I suspect if Hillary is elected to the presidency Americans will have judged people by their gender, not the content of their character.

  5. Frozen Chosen

    Would it be impolite to point out that female voters gave us the current disaster in the White House?  A candidate’s gender matters not when it comes to governing – it’s her ideology that counts.

    Along those lines I would rather have a conservative woman than a liberal man in the WH any day, but there is nothing intrinsically better about women as political leaders.

  6. Richard Finlay

    Do you think those women you suggest are “real” women?  Or are they Palinizable?  Only Democrats are allowed to have “firsts” in demographic notch-cutting.

  7. Ralphie

    Parker wouldn’t give Palin the chance to save the world.  Maybe it isn’t the woman thing, maybe it is politics after all. Clinton’s War was Libya (and Susan Rice), how’d that turn out?

  8. Peter Fumo

    I must admit Kathleen Parker has been a big disappointment. I loved her book Save the Males, now with some irony she states women should rule in order to save the planet. She tries to be a dispassionate observer of the political scene (this article an obvious exception) and ends up saying nothing of any substance. In some ways I find her more irritating than than the garden variety liberals on that paper.

  9. Roberto
    Sabrina Schaeffer

    While it may very well be time for a woman president, Parker’s analysis is sloppy, if not spurious.

    That seems a rather generous description.

    Rewinding the tape to 1995 at the U.N.’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, then-first lady Hillary Clinton empowered women as never before with just a few words: “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”…

    At the time, it was a revolutionary statement and helps explain why Hillary is one of the most recognized and revered individuals in the world.

    Revolutionary statement? Revered? This analysis is downright unhinged.

    Ms. Clinton makes one of the seeming endless number of predictable, plodding speeches that appear to be the U.N.’s only output and this has somehow culminated into a world shaking paradigm change? In what universe is Ms. Parker living?

  10. MJBubba
    La Tapada: “She can save the world.”

    Um… haven’t we heard this somewhere before? · 

    I thought Obama was going to save the world.

  11. MJL

    The reason that Parker is so enamored by Clintony she-dreams may be the same reason that this post was written.

  12. SteveS

    I see such a bleak future for our nation if Clinton runs in 2016.

    If she wins we are doomed to even greater administrative ineptness then we are currently facing along with even a lesser opportunity to shine a light and criticize due to the even stronger praetorian press protection she would garnish.

    Also, if she was to lose to a strong conservative Republican candidate, the “scarlet letter” that would be emblazoned upon the entire party for that dastardly deal alone, might be for us beyond recovery.

  13. SteveS

    Another thought though, which could perhaps make it all worth while, would be the attacks she would face before the whole nation from her own party in a primary. Along as she faced a serious opposing candidate that is.

  14. Foxfier

    Women, if allowed to be fully equal to men, will bring peace to the planet. 

    Because women are MUCH better at eliminating those that dare oppose them, and death is very peaceful. 

    Oddly, a paraphrase of my thoughts when I was offered the same BS by a fellow teen on a “close up” foundation trip to DC.  (Program that helps 15 year olds from around the nation visit DC; it also let me know that Dem reps suck, and Doc Hastings is a brilliant politician.  He overheard our teacher begging to get any of the folks we might vote for in three years to do anything vaguely official, and sent one of his office ladies to help us for a whole day plus showed up for a Q&A with a photo-op.  Mentioned because similar shortsightedness and/or insanity is involved in the “women leaders means peace” idea.  Boadcea.) 

  15. Bob Wainwright

    “We must be careful not to let our enthusiasm for seeing a woman in the White House fog our principles.”

    I agree, but the easiest way to make sure we don’t do that is not to “have enthusiasm for seeing a woman in the White House” in the first place.  It’s not supposed to be about gender, but about what the candidate believes and how good an executive they will be.  We just need to stop talking and thinking this way.

    A lot of people had “enthusiasm” for seeing the first black president in 2008 and look where it got us.  A lot of people who weren’t liberals voted for him because they had such enthusiasm, proving they had not obtained a post-racial way of thinking.  We are now paying the price.

    Hillary is a hard core leftist. Let’s not forget that.   

     

       

  16. The Cloaked Gaijin
    Earlier this week, “conservative” Washington Postcolumnist Kathleen Parker all-but endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

    “Barbara Bush, 31, called (Hillary) Clinton ‘unbelievably accomplished’  in an upcoming interview with People magazine, saying she wants to see the former first lady mount a campaign.”

    I was just reading a little awhile ago that there is still a controversy today as to whether Condoleezza Rice voted for Obama when she refused to endorse McCain and apparently refused to say for whom she cast her in 2008.  As Toby Harnden wrote, “Consider this scenario. A friend of yours is all coy about revealing the name of the candidate they’d voted for in the presidential election.”  That means that Bush was 0 for 2 in getting his two Republican secretary of states to endorse the very moderate, liberal, and foreign policy-minded war hero John McCain?

  17. KC Mulville

    If women are equal … doesn’t that also mean that they’re no better than men?

    If you want to argue that women are superior, fine. But make that argument by calling it superiority, not calling it equality.

    Forgive me, ladies, but while I think you have every right to do whatever you want, I don’t buy the argument that you’re going to be better at it. For every Margaret Thatcher there’s a Debbie Wasserman Schultz, just as for every Reagan there’s a Biden. (To ev’ry thing, turn, turn, turn…) You’re going to be as hit-and-miss as the men. Hillary being a female guarantees nothing.

    I’d rather see women argue for being treated equally on the basis of being, in fact, equal. Not superior. Equal.

  18. Austin Murrey
    The Cloaked Gaijin

    Earlier this week, “conservative” Washington Postcolumnist Kathleen Parker all-but endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

    “Barbara Bush, 31, called (Hillary) Clinton ‘unbelievably accomplished’  in an upcoming interview withPeoplemagazine, saying she wants to see the former first lady mount a campaign.”

    I was just reading a little awhile ago that there is still a controversy today as to whether Condoleezza Rice voted for Obama when she refused to endorse McCain and apparently refused to say for whom she cast her in 2008.  As Toby Harnden wrote, “Consider this scenario. A friend of yours is all coy about revealing the name of the candidate they’d voted for in the presidential election.”  That means that Bush was 0 for 2 in getting his two Republican secretary of states to endorse the very moderate, liberal, and foreign policy-minded war hero John McCain? · 0 minutes ago

    Eh, I can see that.  I knew we lost 2008 as soon as McCain won the primary.

  19. J.Maestro

    I can’t wrap my mind around why Parker is so enamored of Clinton.

    Can’t shed any light on Parker because I don’t follow her musings, but it seems to me Hillary has fashioned herself into a High Priestess of contemporary orthodoxy. If you are in the thrall of those orthodoxies (obsessive of gender, race, class) it is an act of self-love to openly worship that orthodoxy’s rack stars.

    And that’s what so much of progressivism is these days: self-love. Obama doesn’t offer anything substantive to anyone but his cronies — but people at street level feel better about themselves for supporting him.

    The Clintons will play that too; MSM writers will happily play along.

  20. EThompson

    Women, if allowed to be fully equal to men, will bring peace to the planet.

    That completely negates the law of political physics: There exists a power vacuum in this world, it won’t go away, and somebody will always fill it.

    Furthermore, Ms. Parker long ago lost any credibility with me for her close association with the fiendish and traitorous Christopher Buckley, son of our beloved WFB.