EDITORIAL: Women’s history museum or monument to feminist fashion?

Congress tips its hat to the idea of another museum for the left

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Aproposal to put a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall is gaining steam on Capitol Hill. It’s a scheme that advances because few congressmen have the courage to say no lest they be called sexist, misogynist or maybe even treasonous. Who else would be against an institution to recognize the contributions of women to American history?

It’s a cheap tactic, a favorite of the left to get its way. Without women, there would be no history, and polarizing the debate ensures approval without considering important questions, such as, would the monument be fair and balanced or would it skew attention to liberal heroines? How much would it cost? How much value would it bring to a society where information is at everyone’s fingertips?

No such questions were raised Wednesday when congressmen fell all over themselves, by a vote of 383 to 33, to approve a commission to the study the prospects of the museum. The trickle of dissenting votes were from Republicans, including two women, Reps. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

“I don’t like to see us continuing to divide ourselves into groups,” Mrs. Hartzler told the Springfield [Mo.] News-Leader. “I just think it’s better to honor women’s achievements — and men’s achievements, and all Americans’ achievements — in the American history museum.” To which we say, right on.

Mrs. Bachmann, in a speech to the House, cited the left-wing bias in an online exhibit on the museum’s website, in favor of liberal women and feminists, including “a glowing review” of Margaret Sanger, the enthusiastically racist and eugenicist founder of Planned Parenthood. “They leave out the pro-life views of the early suffragettes.” We don’t want to think how such a museum would depict modern conservative women, if indeed they depict them at all.

Mrs. Bachmann observed that there are already 20 women’s museums in the United States, including one affiliated with the Smithsonian Museum, and another next to the U.S. Capitol. “So why would we be building another?” she asks.

Good question. Over the past 15 years, a foundation set up to raise money to build the museum, estimated to cost $400 million, has failed to raise much money beyond paying for more letters to ask for more money.

If the feminists want to build a monument to themselves, they’re entitled. But they must do it with their own money.

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