- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2002

A new book says the nation's top feminist organizations are more concerned with Democratic politics than women's rights and are no longer needed.
"The feminist groups that have the most influence on Capitol Hill and Wall Street do not represent most American women," author Kimberly Schuld wrote in the introduction to her book "Guide to Feminist Organizations."
"They may be savvy in politics and public relations, but they don't know or care about what most women and girls think or the problems they face in their homes, schools and communities," she added.
As for feminism today, Miss Schuld said: "Its time has passed. Two generations of girls have reached maturity knowing they can do anything they set their minds to. Women now make their own choices, and their decisions take into account the differences between men and women."
Terrence Scanlon, president of the Capital Research Center, a conservative but nonpartisan philanthropy watchdog group that produced the new book, said:
"It is clear that as the women's movement of old increasingly achieved its aims, the new generation running these feminist organizations have turned away from activism on behalf of legal and political equality to pursue an increasingly partisan agenda in support of the Democratic Party."
For her book, Miss Schuld researched the top 35 feminist organizations in terms of their "desire" and "mission" to influence public policy through political action. For each group, she provided a profile of their goals, projects, membership and funding,
Groups examined included the National Organization for Women (NOW); the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund; the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL); the Feminist Majority; the National Council of Women's Organizations (which is pushing to allow women at Augusta); the Miss Foundation for Women; the Planned Parenthood Federation of America; and the League of Women Voters
Miss Schuld said that her research showed many feminist groups are losing members. Nevertheless, she says, their influence is increasing, largely because of the power they wield with the press and with Congress.
Miss Schuld's book challenges NOW President Kim Gandy's claim that the group has 500,000 "contributing members."
But Miss Schuld points out that NOW's dues are $35 and that its 1999 tax return reported membership revenue of only $2.9 million. "If each member paid $35, NOW would have less than 90,000 members. If 500,000 women were full members, the organization would have raised $17.5 million," she wrote.
NOW officials could not be reached for comment.
NOW is currently focusing "on helping Democrats retake Congress and defeat Bush judicial nominees," Miss Schuld says.
"NOW claims to be nonpartisan, but it has publicly urged voters to defeat Republican candidates. In 2000, it attacked Ralph Nader's [Green Party] presidential candidacy, fearing he would take votes from Al Gore," she wrote.
What's more, NOW recently endorsed Democrat Chris Van Hollen in his bid for the House seat of Maryland's six-term Republican incumbent, Constance A. Morella, even though both are pro-choice and Mrs. Morella is female.
Miss Schuld said: "Connie Morella was right when she said NOW is a Democratic organization, not a women's organization."
Miss Schuld describes herself as a "political conservative" and a feminist of a different stripe. "I'm an opportunity feminist, meaning I'll fight for opportunities for anyone who pursues what they want to do. I am not a gender feminist, who say women need a 50-50 choice in everything."
Miss Schuld says her research into feminist groups revealed that liberal philanthropists, such as "the Ford Foundation, Lucille Packard, George Soros, Ted Turner and Warren Buffett have given millions of dollars in grants" to the groups. She also found that some, such as Planned Parenthood, receive heavy government support.
"What right does Planned Parenthood have to say the federal government shouldn't finance abstinence programs?" Miss Schuld asked, when 30 percent of the revenues of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates come from tax dollars.

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