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NANCE: National women’s boondoggle

Taxpayers would foot the bill for feminism museum on the Mall

- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 14, 2010

"A better world awaits the generation that absorbs what women and men have to share about life from a joint perspective. Together, all things are possible." Those words from Karen Staser, founder of the National Women's History Museum, are inspiring. Even so, Ms. Staser's plan runs counter to the idea of creating yet another museum, this time on the National Mall, with the stated lofty goal of highlighting women's history. According to this vision, shouldn't women's history be seen as a part of American history? Countless museums across the county have already highlighted the landmark contributions of women and placed them in historical context.

So why the push to revive "separate but equal"? A closer look at the National Women's History Museum's website shows numerous online resources on the history of birth control, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and Victoria Woodall, an advocate for the "free love" movement that rejected marriage in favor of promiscuity. Of all the women this proposed museum could have recognized in its germinal, fund-raising phase, they chose anti-child, anti-marriage radicals.

Still further, the board of directors for the proposed museum is composed almost exclusively of staunch supporters of abortion and contributors to Emily's List, a political action committee focused on supporting pro-abortion lawmakers. The claim by the museum's leaders that abortion politics is not a part of their plans can be refuted by the museum's own choices and resources. The few pro-life women involved in this project serve on an honorary board that has no decision-making authority over the museum. Clearly, this proposed museum has no intention of highlighting the accomplishments of conservative women or those whose groundbreaking actions were motivated by their faith. Most women will find such exhibits insulting rather than celebratory.

Because of this, Concerned Women for America raised questions about selling prime national land along the National Mall to an organization that one, is decidedly slanted toward liberal feminism, and two, plans to become an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution (which goes hand in hand with federal money and the perception of becoming the national voice on the issue of women's history). In these tough economic times, why shouldn't they protect the taxpayers from being squeezed by yet another unnecessary project?

As a woman's organization, we are proud of the many real contributions women have made to our world and welcome the opportunity to highlight those for our daughters. But taxpayers will be on the hook for this project at some point. In these difficult times, to ask the taxpayers to sell off prime public land for a duplicative, politically motivated project raises some serious questions.

It is not the federal taxpayer's responsibility to advance yet another museum dedicated to politically correct nostrums. The Smithsonian has already affiliated with a national museum dedicated to women. But, it's not in Washington, so apparently it doesn't count. These ladies are going to put their repeat-museum right here and you're going to sell them prime public land to do it. Why don't they buy their own land and build their own museum with their own money? The Smithsonian-affiliated museum has already done this in Texas. Or these ladies could redirect their ire at the Smithsonian and use their well-oiled machine to pressure them to dedicate more space to women's history than the First Ladies' Dresses exhibit.

Regardless, enough with the whining. And, Congress, how about you man up and tell the liberals "no" for once?

Penny Nance is chief executive officer of Concerned Women for America.

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