- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2001

On July 1 at their annual convention in Philadelphia, the National Organization for Women (NOW) elected attorney Kim Gandy as their new president. Mrs. Gandy was supported by outgoing President Pat Ireland. According to a NOW press release, nearly 1,000 members cast their votes (that's .2 percent of the half-million members they claim to have).
Among Mrs. Gandy and NOW's priorities:
Sending "George W. Bush back to Texas."
Preventing "right-wing political extremists" from receiving federal court appointments.
Advancing their agenda of special rights for homosexuals.
Stopping fetal protection laws: "Endowing a fetus with more rights than a pregnant woman is more than a back door attempt to restrict abortion rights," Miss Gandy said. "It's also a slap in the face to women everywhere."
Preventing the overturn of Roe vs. Wade by pressuring senators on their judicial confirmation votes and preventing the election of pro-life senatorial candidates.
Are these the top concerns of America's women? NOW claims to speak for all women, yet NOW's priorities are astoundingly inconsistent with those of most women. A recent Hotline-Bull's Eye poll asked women "What are the most important issues to you and your family?" Participants could name any issue they wanted to. A sum total of 7 percent of those polled named one of the following as being most important to her and her family: pro-choice on abortion, gun-control, campaign-finance reform, gay rights and tobacco. Is this list familiar? These are the issues that the feminized mainstream media tout as top issues of concern among women. This cluster of issues dominated media coverage of the 2000 election and still dominates virtually all political talk shows and editorials.
A recent poll of women conducted by the Polling Co. showed that 41 percent consider themselves to be conservative, 28 percent to be moderate and 21 percent to be liberal.
America's women have spoken. But NOW doesn't get it.
The problem is NOW isn't listening. This so-called women's organization is more concerned with leftist, big government issues than with advancing issues that women really do care about. Not only does NOW ignore the issues, it viciously attacks women who disagree with NOW's radical ideology.
With astounding consistency, NOW and other radical feminist groups continue to expose themselves as leftists who seek not to help every woman, but only those who steadfastly defend their ultra-left positions.
Conservative women who stand apart from their feminist ideology pay the price. In the Maryland gubernatorial election, feminists shunned Ellen Sauerbrey and supported her leftist, male opponent. In Texas, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison was called a "female impersonator" by feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Miss Steinem said, "Having someone who looks like us, but thinks like them is worse than having no one at all."
A recent example of their hegemonic discrimination against conservative women was the nomination of Linda Chavez for secretary of labor. Mrs. Ireland said Mrs. Chavez was among those who propose "the most regressive social policies on the ultraconservatives' agenda." Feminists became silent as bogus half-truths swirled around Mrs. Chavez and a Guatemalan immigrant she took into her home. When Clinton appointee Zoe Baird faced similar accusations, feminists jumped to her defense. The difference is obvious Zoe Baird parrots the feminists on their issues, Linda Chavez does not.
When it comes to NOW's No. 1 issue, abortion, NOW sees women as a single-issue voting block. NOW's newly elected president threatened all senators who might confirm pro-life Supreme Court nominees, saying that they will "be put out of office by the women in their states."
There is nothing more insulting than assuming women will vote in droves on abortion simply because they are women. Women care about many issues economic freedom, Social Security reform, tax cuts, a strong national military and a myriad of other issues that NOW deems unworthy because they don't involve the womb.
Mrs. Gandy has retold the story of how she became involved in the feminist movement ad nauseam. She says that while working in Louisiana she was filling out a form that would allow her to put money into a stock plan. On the back of the form, she noticed that it asked for a husband's signature if the applicant was a married woman.
Ironically, Louisiana's then Head and Master law, which Mrs. Gandy claims to have helped repeal, is consistent with NOW's current attitude toward women they are single-issue minded voters who can't comprehend issues beyond their biology. Miss Gandy was outraged over the Head and Master law's assumption that personal finances should be left to the men, yet feminists continue to ignore economic freedom issues today.
NOW's claim to represent women should be put to rest. These graying bra-burners are so out of touch with American women that the views they defend are no longer a reflection of mainstream women. They are now on a mission to advance an ultra-left agenda, not women.

Lisa De Pasquale is program director at the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.

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