Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS women on Equal Pay Day by rejecting its faulty narrative <p> Women don&rsquo;t pay a 20 percent tax in the workplace based on their sex.</p> <p> The Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business at Bentley University in Massachusetts handed out free &ldquo;Equal Pay for Equal Work&rdquo; shirts to be worn Tuesday on April 2.</p> <p> The day has been labeled Equal Pay Day or the day that supposedly represents how much longer women must work to earn what men did the previous year. This day isn&rsquo;t just celebrated on campus. In Texas, the Women&rsquo;s Fund is hosting an&nbsp;<a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank"><u>&ldquo;Unhappy Hour&rdquo;</u></a>&nbsp;to mark the occasion, for example.</p> <div> <div cnx-creative-type="VideoMonetization"> <div id="cnx-adUnit-overlay"> Additional equal pay legislation has been introduced in Congress in recognition of Equal Pay Day. I write &quot;additional,&quot; because we already have the 1963 Equal Pay Act (which made sex-based discrimination in pay illegal) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which made workplace discrimination based on sex illegal). We all want equal pay for women.</div> </div> </div> <p> Rather than being told that they are victims of systematic discrimination, young women should understand the statistic behind Equal Pay Day and the claim that women only make 77 cents (or&nbsp;<a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank">now 81 cents</a>) for every dollar a man makes.</p> <p> The&nbsp;<a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank"><u>Bureau of Labor Statistics</u></a>&nbsp;data measure median weekly earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs. In 2018, women earned 81.1 percent of the median weekly earnings of what men made in full-time wage and salary jobs. Thus, the Left claims that women pay a tax for being women. What&rsquo;s missing is that the statistic does not compare two people in the same job, but instead just overall earnings of women and men. It also does not compare two people making the same labor choices, such as hours worked or education.</p> <p> This Equal Pay Day, women should do something truly empowering: reject the Equal Pay Day narrative.</p> AgnessTue, 2 Apr 2019 07:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumLet's build a bipartisan women's rights agenda<p> This Women&rsquo;s History Month, let&rsquo;s honor our past by working together to help all women. When it comes to improving women&rsquo;s opportunities, if we put aside political acrimony, there is the possibility of tremendous bipartisan agreement.</p> <p> Last month,&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="365123" href="">Ivanka Trump</a></span>&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">announced</a>&nbsp;the Women&rsquo;s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative to help 50 million women in developing countries advance economically by 2025. Under the new national security initiative, President&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="261287" href="">Donald Trump</a></span>&nbsp;directed the U.S. Agency for International Development to invest $50 million in a fund to encourage workforce and vocational training for women, to foster entrepreneurship, and to eliminate &ldquo;legal, regulatory and cultural barriers&rdquo; to participation in local economies.</p> <p> While the Trump administration deserves credit for making the empowerment of women around the world a priority, the initiative continues the tradition of the Obama administration, which championed a&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">global strategy</a>&nbsp;to empower adolescent girls in 2016. This should be an area where Democrats and Republicans can come together to encourage better treatment of, and create more opportunity for, women around the globe.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Another area of potential bipartisan agreement would be to eliminate the loophole in U.S. immigration law that allows adults in the United States to petition for immigration benefits for child brides. A recent&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">bipartisan investigation</a>&nbsp;led by Sen.&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="188264" href="">Ron Johnson</a></span>&nbsp;(R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, found that during the past 11 years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted more than 8,600 immigration petitions for spousal or fianc&eacute; entry involving a minor. In 149 approved petitions involving an adult spouse or fianc&eacute; and a minor, the adult was older than 40. And more than 4,700 minors in the United States on spousal or fianc&eacute; visas received green cards during that period.</p> <p> News of the child bride loophole evoked condemnation across the political spectrum.&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Chelsea Clinton tweeted</a>&nbsp;it was &ldquo;horrifying,&rdquo; and&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ann Coulter called it</a>&nbsp;simply &ldquo;sick.&rdquo; Reforming the Immigration and Nationality Act to bar child marriages from conferring immigration benefits would be a good starting place for a bipartisan women&rsquo;s empowerment agenda.</p> <p> Republicans and Democrats also could come together to strengthen federal efforts to prevent women and girls in America and around the world from being subjugated to female genital mutilation &mdash; the barbaric practice of removing the external genitalia of girls and young women without a medical purpose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">has warned</a>&nbsp;that more than 500,000 women and girls in the United States were at risk of or had suffered from female genital mutilation in 2012.</p> <p> Last year, Judge Bernard Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">declared</a>&nbsp;the federal law banning female genital mutilation to be unconstitutional.</p> <p> The&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">There Is No Limit Foundation</a>, a nonprofit organization working to end female genital mutilation, released a statement in response to the ruling: &ldquo;FGM continues to be a violation of human rights by global standards and a crime in many states within the U.S. This practice presents great risks to the physical and emotional well-being of women and girls. FGM has no benefits and is not a religious requirement.&rdquo;</p> <p> Michigan&rsquo;s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation into law to make female genital mutilation a felony. Prominent Democrats, in particular, former Rep.&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="354956" href="">Joe Crowley</a></span>&nbsp;of New York, who was defeated by Rep.&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="418771" href="">Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez</a></span>&nbsp;in last summer&rsquo;s primary, have been leaders in fighting to end female genital mutilation. Ocasio-Cortez or one of her colleagues could pick up his mantle and get agreement in Congress to establish new statutory requirements to press federal agencies to do their part to prevent female genital mutilation.</p> <p> Women have come a long way, but there is more work to be done to protect women and girls from exploitation &mdash; in America and around the globe. Republicans and Democrats should commit to working together to make it happen.</p> AgnessThu, 7 Mar 2019 13:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumActually, ladies, it's OK to accept Valentine's Day gifts from men<p> There&rsquo;s a way to promote female empowerment without putting down kind gestures from men.</p> <div data-dy-embedded-object="true" id="dyId695cc168eddd77c5"> Dove Chocolate launched a&nbsp;<u><a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank">new ad campaign</a></u>&nbsp;ahead of Valentine&rsquo;s Day featuring a woman buying her own Dove chocolates with the message that, &ldquo;Every time a woman buys her own chocolate on Valentine&rsquo;s Day, she sets a teddy bear free to follow its heart.&rdquo; The #SetTeddyFree ad ends with a teddy bear playing a piano.&nbsp;</div> <div data-dy-embedded-object="true"> &nbsp;</div> <div data-dy-embedded-object="true"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> This year, take a stand and buy your own chocolate. For you and for teddy bears everywhere. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SetTeddyFree</a> <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; DOVE&reg; Chocolate (@DoveChocolate) <a href="">January 22, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script></div> <div> This ad series includes a commercial showing three men buying flowers and raving about what turns out to be the same woman. They look like fools.</div> <div> <p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <div> <div> The campaign has garnered plenty of fans, including this one:&nbsp;</div> </div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> I do this every year; I buy myself flowers or chocolates or both! I make my own money--I don&#39;t need a man to do it for me! <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SetTeddyFree</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DontNeedAManto</a> <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Mother of Dragonflies (@NobleDragonfly) <a href="">February 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> As someone who has cringed at the Vermont Teddy Bear ads, I understand wanting to end the tradition of men buying grown women teddy bears. I also buy my own chocolates regularly. But by connecting this ad to Valentine&rsquo;s Day, it unnecessarily steps into cultural commentary, sending the message that women shouldn&rsquo;t want men to buy them chocolates and show appreciation on Valentine&rsquo;s Day.</div> <div> <p> We live at a time when traditions are being broken about the role of women and men in society. One tradition that shouldn&rsquo;t be broken is men and women treating each other with respect. And one way men have traditionally demonstrated appreciation, affection, and respect is by buying overpriced flowers and chocolates on Valentine&rsquo;s Day.</p> <p> Dove isn&rsquo;t alone in trying to change Valentine&rsquo;s Day. Teen Vogue ran an article headlined, &quot;&nbsp;<u><a data-cms-ai="0" href="" target="_blank">Why Unwanted Valentine&rsquo;s Day Gifts Are Not Romantic</a></u>,&quot; painting Valentine&rsquo;s Day as a holiday that threatens women, listing out horror stories, such as, &ldquo;When my ex and I broke up right after Valentine&#39;s Day, he still drove over with the cake he made me and I had to pretend enjoy eating it with him.&rdquo;</p> <p> While there certainly are inappropriate Valentine&rsquo;s Day gifts, women gain nothing by ending the Valentine&rsquo;s Day tradition altogether. It is not somehow empowering for men to stop buying women chocolates. Women&rsquo;s empowerment won&rsquo;t be advanced by ending traditional signs of respect between women and men.</p> <p> So ladies, on Valentine&rsquo;s Day and every day, appreciate the good men in your life who do nice things for you.</p> </div> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> AgnessThu, 14 Feb 2019 15:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAt Their Summit, I Saw How Glamour Magazine Can Broaden Its Appeal by Welcoming Right Women<p> Say goodbye to&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;magazine on grocery store shelves. The outlet&nbsp;announced it will no longer print monthly print magazines starting in 2019. Glamour&rsquo;s January print edition will be its last. Instead, the publication&nbsp;will focus on its digital brand. Launched in 1939,&nbsp;<a href="">Glamour</a>&nbsp;has amassed 9.7 million print readers, 11 million unique monthly users online, and 14 million followers across social media platforms. But that&rsquo;s not enough to keep its print operation afloat.</p> <p> Glamour&nbsp;is not the first women&rsquo;s magazine to cut back or eliminate print editions in recent years.&nbsp;Seventeen&nbsp;<a href="">cut its regular print magazines after the November/December 2018 issue.</a>&nbsp;Teen Vogue&nbsp;no longer has a print edition either.&nbsp;</p> <p> As part of&nbsp;Glamour&rsquo;s&nbsp;rebranding and retargeting effort, the magazine should expand its appeal from fashion and feelings to intellectual debates.&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;showcases bathing suits for different body types. Why not also offer different policy ideas to its readers? After attending the&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;Women of the Year Summit, I believe&nbsp;the magazine&nbsp;is positioned to be a leader in how women&rsquo;s magazines engage with their audiences.</p> <p> I run the Network of enlightened Women, known as NeW, an organization for conservative young women. In 2017,&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;sent a reporter to write about our national conference in Washington, DC.&nbsp;<a href="">She disclosed early in her article</a>&nbsp;that she was a fish out of water:</p> <blockquote> <p> As a 24-year-old liberal woman who cried watching Hillary Clinton lose the election live at&nbsp;<a href="">New York&rsquo;s Javits Center</a>, this wasn&rsquo;t a room I ever thought I&rsquo;d find myself in, and my preconceived notions ran rampant&mdash;all I could think was that I didn&rsquo;t have the right clothes, let alone the bandwidth for the mental gymnastics it would take to talk to women about Donald Trump without combusting.</p> </blockquote> <p> She chatted with attendees over her &ldquo;first ever&rdquo; Chick-fil-A lunch, getting to know the women. She expected pearls, but instead noted the nose rings and hipster glasses.&nbsp;<a href="">She concluded</a>&nbsp;the women weren&rsquo;t so bad after all:</p> <blockquote> <p> On the train back to New York, I started thinking about this group of women that I&rsquo;d known nothing about and, in some ways, judged unfairly&hellip;.I started thinking about Hall&rsquo;s ideal definition of feminism, and how she believes it should be a network of women supporting each other to run for office. Before the conference, I never really thought about wanting more Republican women in positions of power; I only focused on what was happening on the left. Now having met these women, and witnessing how tough-as-nails they are, I&rsquo;ve never been more confident that the future of the Republican party is female&mdash;and in that way, they have my support.</p> </blockquote> <p> It was the individual conversations that seemed to change her mind. Not someone shouting about politics, but hearing from these women on what they cared about and how they believed their policies would make the world better.</p> <p> I had a similar experience attending the 2018&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;Women of the Year Summit in November. At the first session, it felt just as foreign to me as a New York liberal would feel at a NeW conference.&nbsp;On the first day, I was assigned to a feminist T-shirt-making session. As I looked around the room, feminist T-shirts adorned the walls from floor to ceiling: &ldquo;Never underestimate the power of a woman,&rdquo; &ldquo;You are not the boss of v,&rdquo; &ldquo;1973,&rdquo; and &ldquo;77/100.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p> We each got to make a shirt. The group favorite was, &ldquo;You See A Girl I See The Future.&rdquo; Of course, girls and women are leaders. I see girls and women as empowered to be future leaders, so this shirt didn&rsquo;t resonate with me. The second most popular option said, &ldquo;WITCH,&rdquo; an effort to take back the word for women.</p> <p> After the T-shirt making was over, we had a vegan lunch. This was my first time eating at a vegan chain restaurant. (Shitake bacon just isn&rsquo;t the same.) I sat with a mom and her adult daughter. They said they run a building management company. I mentioned I work for a group promoting conservative ideas. Immediately, the mom raised her hand to give me a high five, and the daughter smiled and said she had been keeping her head down. We became fast friends.</p> <p> My big surprise was that the women at Glamour&rsquo;s conference weren&rsquo;t militant radical feminists. Yes, they overwhelmingly leaned liberal, but they were also intellectually curious about what I, as a conservative, had to say. Sometimes this curiosity was zoo curiosity&mdash; they hadn&rsquo;t seen an animal like me. Other times, the women recognized the limits of what they had heard about an issue and wanted to learn more to decide for themselves. They didn&rsquo;t just dismiss me when I mentioned the word conservative. They asked me questions.</p> <p> During breakfast on the second day, for example, a woman who sat next to me said she was particularly interested in hearing the session on gun control and what the young women leaders on that panel had to say. I replied that I thought it was unfortunate that they didn&rsquo;t have someone on the panel discussing why some people are against additional gun control legislation. She asked me, &ldquo;Why are some people against it?&rdquo; By the end of our discussion, she agreed with me that the panel would have been better with more intellectual diversity.</p> <p> At lunch, I mentioned I attended the last hearing on Brett Kavanaugh&rsquo;s Supreme Court nomination. I expected the women there to be 100 percent against Kavanaugh. But one of the women said the hearing didn&rsquo;t sit right with her. She wasn&rsquo;t sure why. She wanted my perspective. She was interested in talking about due process.</p> <p> These were the types of conversations I had over and over, with smart women who cared about fashion and empowerment&nbsp;<em>and&nbsp;</em>making up their own mind.</p> <p> Glamour&nbsp;isn&rsquo;t afraid of tough, scary topics. The second day started with an interview of Karen Attiah, Jamal Khashoggi&rsquo;s editor at&nbsp;The Washington Post&nbsp;before he was murdered. So why was there no debate or disagreement during the two days of programming?&nbsp;The biggest moment of conflict at the summit came when &ldquo;Today&rdquo; co-anchor Savannah Guthrie compared her mom&rsquo;s realism to the cheerleading of fellow co-anchor Hoda Kotb&rsquo;s mom. That&rsquo;s it.</p> <p> Mainstream women&rsquo;s magazines have a liberal bent. Some have tried going further left. Take&nbsp;Teen Vogue&nbsp;and its anti-Trump article headlines like, &ldquo;Donald Trump Is Still Gaslighting America. I Really Care. Do u?&rdquo; Some have tried to sex-up everything, including politics.&nbsp;As part of its 2014 midterm election participation,&nbsp;Cosmopolitanran a contest asking students their plans to get their peers to vote, with the prize being a party bus to shuttle students to the polls full of &ldquo;shirtless male models.&rdquo;</p> <p> Glamour&nbsp;could stand out by taking a different tack and actually encouraging its audience to think and understand different sides by offering a multitude of views.&nbsp;For its summit and digital stories,&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;controls the invitations and topics. How about a debate about President Trump&rsquo;s policy on trade and how that affects the cost of goods? A discussion of what state and federal laws discourage people starting businesses? Or a discussion on education reform?</p> <p> That&rsquo;s what the summit needed, and would make the brand more interesting to more people. Perhaps most of Glamour&rsquo;s readers will still be liberal, but they will leave better off for having seen or read an actual debate. They might even become more confident in their position, learning how to anticipate arguments from the other side.</p> <p> When I signed up for the&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;Women of the Year Summit, I expected some fashion, and I got it. (Apparently bell bottoms are back in style.) I expected some liberalism, and I got that too. But what I didn&rsquo;t expect was how thoughtful the attendees were.</p> <p> The biggest compliment&nbsp;Glamour&nbsp;could pay its readers is to respect their intellect. Don&rsquo;t just give them something to buy, nod in agreement to, or laugh at. Give them something to think about.&nbsp;Smart women want smart content.</p> AgnessTue, 8 Jan 2019 13:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWomen need to add babies and infertility to the 'lean in' discussion<p> Social media was flooded with adorable pictures of children at work with their parents for &ldquo;Take Your Child To Work Day.&rdquo; Even the president got in on it, inviting the children of the press corps into the Oval Office. President&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="261287" href="">Donald Trump</a></span>&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">said</a>,&nbsp;&ldquo;Honestly, the children ask me better questions, if you want to know the truth.&rdquo;</p> <p> Along with &ldquo;Take Your Child To Work Day,&rdquo; this week marked&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">National Infertility Awareness Week</a>. Women (and men) would be better off if this annual awareness week was getting the attention that &ldquo;Take Your Child To Work Day&rdquo; receives.</p> <p> Infertility includes those who aren&rsquo;t able to get pregnant after at least one year of unprotected sex. How many people does this impact? According to the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> &ldquo;About 6% of married women aged 15 to 44 years in the United States are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying (infertility). Also, about 12% of women aged 15 to 44 years in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, regardless of marital status (impaired fecundity).&rdquo; &nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p> This isn&rsquo;t just a woman problem. In about a third of couples with infertility,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">there is a male factor along with a female factor</a>. And in 8 percent of cases, it is attributed to a male factor alone.</p> <p> There is no telling who it will strike. The vice president and his wife&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">tried for six years</a>&nbsp;before they had their first of three children.</p> <p> One factor doctors do know contributes to infertility is age, for both men and women. A woman&rsquo;s chances of having a baby&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">decrease every year after age 30</a>. About a third of couples where the woman is older than 35 have fertility problems.</p> <p> Yet the message women hear from the popular women&rsquo;s empowerment movement is to &ldquo;lean in&rdquo; at work and you can fit kids in there somewhere.</p> <p> At a reception a couple of months ago, a friend mentioned that she and her husband were going to start trying to have kids once she turns 30.</p> <p> I&rsquo;ve heard this narrative over and over again &mdash; that women should wait to have children until they reach a certain point in their career or age 30, whichever comes later.</p> <p> We are seeing women achieve more career success, in many cases, in part due to women postponing having children.</p> <p> Before a baby girl turns one, she will likely be dressed in a &ldquo;future president&rdquo; or &ldquo;future girl boss&rdquo; onesie. The message that women should be &ldquo;leaning in&rdquo; to work seems to be everywhere &mdash; you can even, somewhat ironically,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">buy a &ldquo;Lean In Baby Onesie.&rdquo;</a></p> <p> But there doesn&rsquo;t seem to be much room in these career success discussions for talk of babies.</p> <p> <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">A huge majority, 9 in 10, adults say</a>&nbsp;they have children, plan to have children, or wish they had children. And women in 2013-2015 on average&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">expected to have 2.2 children</a>.</p> <p> How do the babies fit in?</p> <p> It was wonderful to see the Senate rule change earlier this month allowing senators to bring children onto the Senate floor for votes. Sen.&nbsp;<span data-behavior="rolloverpeople"><a data-nid="186569" href="">Tammy Duckworth</a></span>&nbsp;(D-Ill.) was the first senator to bring a newborn onto the Senate floor for a vote and she did so at age 50.</p> <p> Unfortunately, not all women will be able to have a child at the age of 50 after reaching the top of their fields.</p> <p> True empowerment for women should be defined broader than just what they achieve at the workplace. It should be about having the opportunity to build the life they want to build, whether that is career-centered, kid-centered, or both.</p> <p> To be able to build that life, women need the facts about infertility. As part of National Infertility Awareness Week, some groups have been&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">tweeting out some statistics</a>. And men and women are&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">sharing</a>&nbsp;their infertility stories.</p> <p> Women will be better off if they know the facts about infertility, rather than assuming they will easily be able to have kids after their career is in order.</p> <p> <em>Karin Lips is the founder and president of&nbsp;</em><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><em>Network of Enlightened Women</em></a><em>, an organization working to educate the next generation of women leaders on conservative principles. She is also a senior fellow with the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum. Follow her on Twitter&nbsp;</em><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><em>@KarinAgness</em></a><em>.</em></p> AgnessSat, 28 Apr 2018 19:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumQuestioning The Equal Pay Day Narrative<p> Today is Equal Pay Day, the day that supposedly marks how much longer women must work to earn what men did the previous year.</p> <p> Some women will wear red to symbolize that women are &ldquo;in the red.&rdquo; In past years, some businesses have offered discounts to women patrons. And The American Association of University Women, the National Organization for Women, and other organized feminist groups will promote the idea that additional federal legislation, such as the Paycheck Fairness Act or Fair Pay Act, is needed to ensure women are paid equally in the workplace.</p> <p> Of course, Equal Pay Day is part of the narrative that women face rampant discrimination in the workplace and in turn, positions government action as the solution.</p> <p> But women of all backgrounds and political stripes should review the facts about equal pay, and question the broader narrative.</p> <p> For starters, let&rsquo;s get some things straight.</p> <p> Everyone wants equal pay for women. This isn&rsquo;t a discussion about whether women should be paid equally or whether it is wrong for an employer to discriminate in pay against women. That&rsquo;s been the law of the land for more than a half century. The 1963 Equal Pay Act made sex-based discrimination in pay illegal. Additionally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made workplace discrimination based on sex illegal.</p> <p> Sisters selling the Equal Pay Day narrative argue that women make 83 cents for every dollar a man makes in the U.S. economy, thus implying that American employers are guilty of widespread discrimination.</p> <div _nghost-c33="" ng-version="5.2.0" vest-pocket=""> <fbs-carousel _ngcontent-c33=""> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> <div aria-hidden="true" data-slick-index="6" tabindex="-1"> <div _ngcontent-c33="" data-ga-track="Vest Belt 1 Click" style="margin-left:5px;"> <vestpocket _ngcontent-c33="" _nghost-c34=""><vestpocket-label _ngcontent-c34="" _nghost-c35="" data-ga-track="Vest Belt 1 Click"></vestpocket-label></vestpocket></div> </div> </div> </fbs-carousel></div> <p> But the basis for the 83-cent per dollar statistic is&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" target="_blank">U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>&nbsp;data that actually measures median earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs.</p> <p> This statistic does not compare two people in the same job, but overall earnings of women and men. It also does not compare two people making the same labor choices, such as hours worked or education.</p> <p> Advocates of the Equal Pay Day narrative don&rsquo;t include this fine print in their advertising.</p> <p> But who really wins when women are taught that they are victims of rampant discrimination in the economy?</p> <p> The answer: supporters of increased government intervention in businesses.</p> <p> Women should recognize the Equal Pay Day narrative as a political tool for a particular point of view about how government should affect our lives in the workplace. After all, new legislation in this area often drastically expands the role of government in employer-employee relations and business decisions. Even&nbsp;<em>The Washington Post</em>&nbsp;recognized the downsides to one popular piece of legislation offered by Democrats, the Paycheck Fairness Act, in&nbsp;<a data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" href="" target="_blank">an editorial</a>, noting that this legislation &ldquo;would allow employees and courts to intrude too far into core business decisions.&rdquo;</p> <p> This Tuesday, don&rsquo;t fall for the misleading Equal Pay Day narrative. Women don&rsquo;t pay a nearly 20 percent tax in the workplace just because they are women. Women are smarter than that.</p> AgnessTue, 10 Apr 2018 07:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumClaiming Economic Violence Doesn't Help The Cause Of #MeToo Or Equal Pay<p> Hollywood actresses speaking out probably stopped more women from becoming Harvey Weinstein&#39;s victims. They also sparked the important #MeToo conversation.</p> <p> This movement has exposed and taken down industry titans for sexual harassment and sexual assault. And it has served as a catalyst for reevaluating how women are treated in the workplace. We all agree that women shouldn&rsquo;t face physical violence at work, whether sexually motivated or not.</p> <p> But just months after Weinstein&rsquo;s victims started a national discussion on sexual harassment and sexual assault, the conversation is being diverted to a different issue.</p> <p> As often happens with popular causes, opportunists are now piggybacking on the #MeToo campaign to exploit it for their own purpose. What started as women (and some men) coming together to share their stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault at the hands of powerful men and calling for much-needed change is being manipulated into a movement that equates pay differences with physical violence. In a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">guest column for&nbsp;<em>The Hollywood Reporter</em></a>,&nbsp;Tarana Burke,&nbsp;Ai-jen Poo&nbsp;and&nbsp;Monica Ramirez, three activists who attended the Golden Globes with actresses, wrote:</p> <p> The Golden Globes felt historic. Because it felt that perhaps gender equity might be within reach after decades of work to bend the arc toward justice, but we were quickly reminded that violence comes in many forms, from physical and the emotional to the economic. While Hollywood is trying to address its problem with sexual violence, we want to underscore that the failure to pay women fairly is another way of exacting violence on women workers by devaluing their worth and contributions.</p> <p> These activists are equating the idea that women get paid less than men for the same work with &ldquo;sexual violence&rdquo; by referring to it as economic violence (hat tip to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Emily Jashinsky</a>). But these are very different things, particularly when one understands the misleading analysis that has been used to convince many women they face widespread pay discrimination at work.</p> <p> Those who argue that women make less on the dollar that men earn frequently point to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>&nbsp;data as evidence. But the statistic at issue (<a href="" target="_blank">83 cents here</a>) measures the median earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs. It does not compare two similarly situated people. For example, it doesn&rsquo;t factor in many of the choices that women and men make&mdash;including education, years of experience and hours worked&mdash;that influence earnings.</p> <p> In&nbsp;<em>The Hollywood Reporter</em>&nbsp;op-ed, the three activists write: &ldquo;The average&nbsp;wage gap for women overall is 80 cents to the dollar,&rdquo; citing a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">National Women&rsquo;s Law Center Fact Sheet</a>&nbsp;that also compares median earnings of full-time workers.</p> <p> Although the limitations of using this comparison as evidence of rampant discrimination has been debunked, some on the political left continue to cite it as a justification for more workplace regulations and oversight. There is a downside to more regulations, which impacts women. Greater regulations impose costs on businesses, the same businesses that women start and hire women.</p> <p> Any actual or perceived pay inequality isn&rsquo;t the same thing as physical violence. Equating the two belittles victims of violence. And it hurts the momentum to root out sexual assault by turning a cause we can all rally behind into a partisan issue.</p> AgnessTue, 16 Jan 2018 15:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Seven Most Ridiculous College Protests Of 2017<p> There has been no shortage of political protests this year. And especially on college campuses. Here are the top seven most ridiculous college protests of 2017.</p> <p> <strong>7. University Of Pennsylvania Graduate Students Stage A &ldquo;Work-In&rdquo;</strong></p> <p> In past years, students have organized a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_self">&ldquo;shit-in&rdquo;</a>and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_self">&ldquo;cry in.&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;This year, graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">protested the Republican tax bill in Congress</a>&nbsp;with a &ldquo;work-in.&rdquo; Participants were called on to sit outside the Offices of the President and Provost and &ldquo;read, or grade, or do any kind of work to demonstrate how vital our work is the Penn community.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>6. University Of Cincinnati Students Protest The &ldquo;State Of The Nation&rdquo;</strong></p> <p> College students today point to a myriad of school administration or national policies as &ldquo;triggers&rdquo; to protest. But some University of Cincinnati students seemed to run out of identifiable policies. So they decided to just showcase their general unhappiness by protesting the &ldquo;state of the nation,&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">as reported by&nbsp;<em>The College Fix</em></a>. It was a silent protest,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">according to one student</a>, so that participants could &ldquo;force people to witness our experiences without creating room for debate or differing opinions.&rdquo;</p> <p> <fbs-ad ad-id="article-0-inread" position="inread" progressive=""></fbs-ad>Shutting down debate and diversity of opinion is the opposite of what should be happening on campuses.</p> <p> <strong>5. University Of California, Berkeley Students Protest Mid-Term Exam</strong></p> <p> At the University of California, Berkeley, four students demanded a take-home essay rather than an in-class exam,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">as reported by&nbsp;<em>Campus Reform</em></a><em>.&nbsp;</em>These students disrupted the exam. When the professor offered to talk with the students outside the classroom, the protesters decided to complain to the Department of Ethnic Studies instead.</p> <p> <strong>4. Reed College Students Stage A Sit-In For Divestment</strong></p> <p> Reed College students&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">staged a sit-in</a>&nbsp;in the administrative building calling for divestment from Wells Fargo &ldquo;because of the company&rsquo;s ties to private prisons, &lsquo;police militarization&rsquo; and the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.&rdquo; The students&rsquo; demands were rejected&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">in a statement</a>that recognized that, &ldquo;Regardless of any private beliefs held by the members of the Investment Committee, Reed College operates according to a long-standing principle (stated in its Investment Responsibility Policy) of eschewing any political or social justice positions that do not directly affect the fulfillment of its educational mission.&quot;</p> <p> <strong>3. Brown University Alumni And Students Protest Female CEO Receiving Honorary Degree</strong></p> <p> With a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"> petition</a>, Brown University community members called for the University to change course and not award an honorary degree to PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi because she &ldquo;is not only an advisor to Donald J. Trump, she makes $29.8 million a year selling junk food produced with links to child labor, human rights abuses, and deforestation.&rdquo; More specifically, the organizers complained that (1) as a member of President Donald Trump&rsquo;s Strategy and Policy Forum of business leaders, Nooyi is &ldquo;complicit in the current administration&rsquo;s racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, and anti-environment agenda;&rdquo; (2) PepsiCo &ldquo;appropriates social movements;&rdquo; and (3) &ldquo;PepsiCo&rsquo;s supply chain is riddled with irresponsibly produced palm oil.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>2. University Of Wisconsin-Madison Students Organize A &ldquo;Bonerfide Penis Arts Fest&rdquo;</strong></p> <p> The Cocks Not Glocks student group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison protested Young Americans for Freedom hosting Katie Pavlich to speak on the Second Amendment with a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">&ldquo;Bonerfide Penis Arts Fest.&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;The protest entailed signs of &ldquo;dick art that has ZERO literary, artistic, political, educational, or scientific value.&rdquo; Participants were also encouraged to tie a dildo to their backpack.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The Facebook event page</a>&nbsp;included a picture of a protester holding a &ldquo;Time to be hard-on gun culture&rdquo; sign with a penis drawing and read:</p> <p> <fbs-ad position="inread" progressive=""></fbs-ad>Bring your favorite art supplies! We will provide a giant roll of craft paper and a megaphone. Make crappy dick art with us! Write dumb dick poems! Give us bad anatomy lessons! Facts about sexuality and sexual assault don&rsquo;t matter to Katie or YAF, so they don&rsquo;t matter to us either. Get up and present your work and we&rsquo;ll give you a free new protest dildo from Good Vibrations.</p> <p> <strong>1. Arizona State University Students Protest For Credit</strong></p> <p> Students enrolled in a &ldquo;Global Politics of Human Rights&rdquo;&nbsp;class were&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">given the option</a>&nbsp;of a group project instead of a final paper. No surprise that they chose the group project. They decided to organize a protest, forming a human &ldquo;wall against hate!&rdquo; with a political agenda.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">As reported by the&nbsp;<em>Arizona Republic</em></a>, &ldquo;[t]he focus was opposition to many of President Donald Trump&rsquo;s policies, with deportations and a call for a new border wall the major focuses.&rdquo;</p> <p> Students were given credit for protesting Trump&rsquo;s policies. That sums up the state of affairs on campus today.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> AgnessSun, 31 Dec 2017 10:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumConservative Women Are Women Too<p> In the latest attack on Republican women, comedian Chelsea Handler&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">tweeted</a>&nbsp;out a video to promote her Netflix show mocking White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders&rsquo; looks. The video spoofs Sanders providing a make-up tutorial, and includes a joke that President Donald Trump asked a Sephora employee to turn Sanders into a woman.</p> <p> This mean-spirited ad is from the same comedian who holds herself up as a champion of the women&rsquo;s empowerment movement, for example, by leading the Women&rsquo;s March in Park City, Utah last January.</p> <p> Handler could have criticized Sanders&rsquo; politics or policy positions. Instead, she promoted an attack on the White House Press Secretary suggesting she is not a woman. The attack shows how liberals often see conservative women&mdash;as not fully developed women at all.</p> <p> <fbs-ad ad-id="article-0-inread" position="inread" progressive=""></fbs-ad>Handler&rsquo;s approach to confronting a woman with right-of-center views isn&rsquo;t an outlier. In October, Democrat Steve Krieg used a similar tactic when attacking Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York in his effort to unseat her:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> But Elise, I recognize her, I&rsquo;m not going to say as a little girl, I recognize her as a child. And it has nothing to do with her age. I see her as a child because she&rsquo;s a child. She thinks like a child. She has people set things up for her, she has people put their words in her mouth and she happily repeats them. And I think recognizing her, I would go after her in that way. And I apologize if that&rsquo;s mean but that&rsquo;s how I would do it.</p> <p> Stefanik is a Harvard graduate and the youngest woman elected to Congress. But to her Democrat challenger, she is a child. Why? Because she holds Republican views. And thus, to this Democrat, there is no way she is a fully formed adult woman capable of choosing her own positions.</p> <p> Prominent figures on the Left get a free pass with this line of reasoning, even the most powerful female voices.</p> <p> Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, for example,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_self">claimed that women who voted against her were bullied by men.</a>&nbsp;And Former First Lady Michelle Obama&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">told an audience that</a>, &ldquo;Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.&rdquo;</p> <p> Conservative women are used to facing criticism that includes claims they aren&rsquo;t educated or their minds aren&rsquo;t fully formed.</p> <p> Such views imply that women aren&rsquo;t capable of evaluating policy positions. But women can and do choose to be conservative and vote Republican. They do so for a number of reasons and based on a number of issues. Whether it is advocating for the repeal of regulations to boost the economy or health care reform, women support conservative public policies because they believe such plans are best for America. And they choose their policy views independently.</p> <p> It is time for modern-day self-proclaimed feminists to recognize that part of the success of the true feminist movement in this country is that women are empowered to think for themselves&mdash;and that means that they won&rsquo;t all think or vote the same.</p> <p> Disagreement is a sign of women&rsquo;s advancement. As much as Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s supporters viewed her defeat as a failure of feminism, in many ways it was a sign of how far we have come. Women vote based on issues, not on whether the candidate is male or female.</p> <p> Conservative women aren&rsquo;t men dressed up as women. Conservative women aren&rsquo;t children. Conservative women aren&rsquo;t victims bullied into voting a certain way by men.</p> <p> Conservative women are women too.</p> AgnessMon, 18 Dec 2017 09:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhy Conservative Women Are Persisting<p> Former First Lady Michelle Obama <a href="">told an audience this week that</a>, &ldquo;Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.&rdquo; This follows remarks from Hillary Clinton herself similarly <a href="">criticizing women</a> who voted against her as being weak.</p> <p> It is as if these former First Ladies believe no woman could ever choose to oppose a liberal politician if the politician happens to be a woman. And that if a woman decides to be conservative, she doesn&rsquo;t count as a woman any longer. The hashtag #ShePersisted doesn&rsquo;t seem to apply when it&rsquo;s conservative women standing up or liberal women doing the silencing. Unfortunately, this attitude is often widespread on American college campuses.</p> <p> In partnership with <em>Campus Reform</em>, the Network of enlightened Women (NeW) (see affiliation in my bio) asked students at George Washington University <a href=";">on video</a> what they thought about conservative women and how conservative women are treated on campus. When asked &ldquo;what would you say about conservative women,&rdquo; students replied:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;Not many nice things&hellip;needing more enlightenment.&rdquo;</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;The conservative women are sortof looked at as anti-women.&rdquo;</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;Personally, I think they&rsquo;re just like not educated or maybe hiding something. I don&rsquo;t know, there has to be something wrong.&rdquo;</p> <p> One student said of the campus response to conservative women, &ldquo;This kindof sucks, I feel like if you are a conservative woman&hellip;people don&rsquo;t really respect you as much and they are kindof harsh to you.&rdquo;</p> <p> Yes, it does &ldquo;suck.&rdquo; This is why NeW launched a <a href="">#ShesConservative social media campaign</a>&nbsp;this month as part of which college women wearing &ldquo;This Is What A Conservative Looks Like&rdquo; shirts submit photos and essays and then share them on social media with the hashtag #ShesConservative. These women are standing up proudly for conservatism, showing that conservative women exist on campus and encouraging more young women to speak out as conservatives.</p> <p> In her essay, Danielle Root, a senior at the University of South Florida, wrote:</p> <p> I&rsquo;m not going to lie; being a conservative woman in this day and age is a very tough thing. You have to constantly put up with the interrogation from your &lsquo;fellow&rsquo; students as to why you think the way you do; like you have a disease of some sort.</p> <p> Andrea Maldonado, a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University, wrote:</p> <p> Stepping into the highly liberal climate of my college campus freshman year I was presented with some challenges that I never expected. As a conservative woman, I quickly realized that my opinion was automatically regarded as incorrect or at the very least uninformed. From professors and their snide in-class comments to the brazen judgements of other students, it was made very clear that a conservative opinion was not welcome. It blew my mind that a community full of such diverse and intellectual individuals could only support a limited range of views.</p> <p> Danielle and Andrea are right. It&rsquo;s tough being a conservative woman in some circles. It&rsquo;s time for the campus environment to change so that fewer women have an experience like Danielle or Andrea.</p> <p> That change starts with feminism. In her essay, Emily Hall, a senior at Harvard University, explains why feminism is partly to blame:</p> <p> I am conservative. I am a woman. I am an undergraduate student at Harvard. These three parts of my identity are not in conflict with one another; yet, their intersection too often is questioned by my peers. It seems as though the numerous intelligent, conservative, female role models go unnoticed by most women on campus today. Instead, feminism has devolved into a mass of identity politics and an intersectionality that feels like a contest to see who suffers from the most victimhood. That&rsquo;s not my feminism&mdash;it&rsquo;s not what I believe in and it&rsquo;s not what my many role models believe in. I&rsquo;m proud to instead be part of a movement that can lift up women without driving down men, a movement that celebrates the accomplishments of incredible, trailblazing women like Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice, Carly Fiorina, and Nikki Haley.</p> <p> #ShesConservative is just a snapshot of that movement. It&rsquo;s a way to show that we are proud of being conservative and we aren&rsquo;t afraid to stand up to the liberal orthodoxy on college campuses and in young professional circles across the country.</p> <p> Obama and Clinton need to learn that they don&rsquo;t have a monopoly on the women&rsquo;s empowerment movement. Many women self-identify as conservative specifically because they believe conservative policies are better for women. These are the women who are truly persisting in today&rsquo;s political climate.</p> AgnessFri, 29 Sep 2017 06:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhy Clinton Shouldn't Blame Women For Her Election Loss<p> Hillary Clinton was the first woman to win one of the major party nominations for President of the United States. There are many positive lessons she could teach women candidates and women who aspire to run&mdash;it&rsquo;s too bad that she is instead spending her time accusing women voters of being weak, and effectively discouraging other women from trying to run.</p> <p> In her new book out this month, <em>What Happened</em>, Clinton casts blame on a variety of different people and groups for her loss, including women. In a <a href="">NPR book publicity interview</a>, Clinton recounted a conversation she had with Sheryl Sandberg, author of <em>Lean In </em>and someone at the forefront of the discussions about women in leadership:</p> <p> And Sheryl ended this really sobering conversation by saying that women will have no empathy for you, because they will be under tremendous pressure&mdash;and I&rsquo;m talking principally about white women&mdash;they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for &ldquo;the girl.&rdquo; And we saw a lot of that during the primaries from Sanders supporters, really quite vile attacks online against women who spoke out for me, as I say, one of my biggest support groups, Pantsuit Nation, literally had to become a private site because there was so much sexism directed their way.</p> <p> I don&rsquo;t know who these women are that Clinton believes are being cajoled by the men in their lives into voting against her. The women I know vote for the person they think is the best candidate. Sometimes that is the same person as their significant other, sometimes it&rsquo;s not.</p> <p> Clinton set herself up as a trailblazer throughout her presidential campaign, with constant talk of breaking down glass ceilings and winning the highest office in the land on behalf of women. Yet Clinton herself has a pretty dismal view of women, suggesting that women don&rsquo;t&mdash;and can&rsquo;t&mdash;evaluate the policy positions of candidates and then make the decision of who to vote for on their own.</p> <p> Clinton isn&rsquo;t the first feminist to suggest that women are still, nearly 100 years after winning the right to vote, being used by men at the ballot box. <a href="">Gloria Steinem gave a similar explanation</a> for why young women were choosing Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary season in a Bill Maher interview: &ldquo;When you&rsquo;re young, you&rsquo;re thinking: &lsquo;Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p> That&rsquo;s profoundly insulting to the young women who supported Sanders based on the principled belief that he would have made the best candidate and was superior to Clinton, as a true outsider and advocate of radically transforming the American economy. Frankly, it&rsquo;s the kind of sexism and belittlement of women that feminists are supposed to resoundingly reject.</p> <p> Early feminists fought so that women could vote for the best candidate&mdash;regardless of whether that candidate was a man or a woman. That&rsquo;s a very different vision than Clinton&rsquo;s version of feminism&mdash;that women should always vote for the female candidate no matter what the voter thinks of her positions.</p> <p> Maybe instead of trying to explain why she lost as a female candidate, Clinton might look around and learn from some successful female candidates. A <a href=""><em>New York Times </em>piece</a> headlined, <em>The World&rsquo;s Most Powerful Woman Won&rsquo;t Call Herself a Feminist, </em>describes how Angela Merkel, Germany&rsquo;s Chancellor, has taken a different approach as a female candidate than Clinton:</p> <p> Angela Merkel has spent her political career playing down her gender: shunning a feminist label, offering modesty, caution and diligent preparation as an implicit contrast to male swagger. The chancellor seems to be coasting to re-election next Sunday as the most powerful woman in the world.</p> <p> Not emphasizing the &ldquo;she&rdquo; part of her candidacy might have worked for Clinton or it might not have, but it&rsquo;s refreshing to see a politician whose instinct isn&rsquo;t to focus on gender identity first and blame sexism for every stumble.</p> <p> While it would be tough for Clinton to celebrate women voting for someone else, in some ways, it is a victory for women that women aren&rsquo;t a monolithic voting bloc, but instead vote for a variety of candidates based on a variety issues.</p> <p> Ultimately, part of competing with men is learning how to handle both victory and defeat. Clinton&rsquo;s post-election defeat blame game shows that&rsquo;s a lesson that at least one woman hasn&rsquo;t mastered.</p> AgnessMon, 18 Sep 2017 10:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIvanka Backs White House Plan To Pause Obama-Era Equal Pay Reporting<p> The White House announced this week that it won&rsquo;t move forward with an Obama Administration rule requiring businesses to collect and report employee pay data by sex, race and ethnicity.</p> <p> The <em>Wall Street Journal <a href="">reports</a></em> that Neomi Rao, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs said, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s enormously burdensome. We don&rsquo;t believe it would actually help us gather information about wage and employment discrimination.&rdquo;</p> <p> I have no doubt that the people working at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs want women to be paid equally to men. The difference between these Trump Administration officials and their Obama Administration predecessors is that the current officials are paying more attention to the costs as well as benefits of any rule. Yes, this rule would create more information for the government, though it&rsquo;s unlikely it would capture what role discrimination plays in workplaces.</p> <p> But it would also impose major costs. Under this rule, private employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees would be required to submit pay data by sex, race and ethnicity across 12 job categories. This rule doesn&rsquo;t just require checking another box or two, but imposes real paperwork and hours costs on employers. The <a href="">Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimated</a> that collecting and reporting this data would impose an annual burden of more than 1.8 million hours on filers, costing more than $53 million. That&rsquo;s money that companies won&rsquo;t be able to use for hiring workers, raising pay or expanding operations.</p> <p> Some will argue that&rsquo;s a small price to pay if it helps ensure equal pay for women. Unfortunately, the idea that this would help that cause is a stretch. After all, these data points don&rsquo;t paint the entire picture of compensation packages or pay decisions. It is an imperfect comparison. Compensation packages often include more than just pay&mdash;health care benefits, 401(k) contributions, flexible hours and more can be part of compensation discussions. Worse, this requirement could make our workplaces more rigid, with employers less willing to provide flexibility as part of job packages for fear of how that might look on reports.</p> <p> Employers consider many factors beyond just title and hours worked in deciding pay&mdash;most obviously performance. That isn&rsquo;t collected in the data. Just like with the wage gap data, which simply compares the wages of full-time working women and men, these numbers won&rsquo;t reflect significant differences in work choices that individuals make. The wage gap data, for example, does not factor in education, years of experience and hours worked, all of which influence earnings.</p> <p> You can be for equal pay and against this regulatory burden. I am. And so is Ivanka Trump</p> <p> Trump is self-described on Twitter as an &ldquo;advocate for the education &amp; empowerment of women &amp; girls.&rdquo; She regularly weighs in on issues related to women and girls, including discussions about sex-based discrimination in workers&rsquo; pay.</p> <p> In April, the First Daughter <a href="">tweeted</a> for Equal Pay Day, a fictitious holiday promoted by feminists that supposedly marks how much longer women must work in the next year to catch up to what men earned in the previous year:</p> <p> <a href="">#EqualPayDay</a>&nbsp;is a reminder that women deserve equal pay for equal work. We must work to close the gender pay gap!&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p> &mdash; @IvankaTrump</p> <p> In her prime-time <a href="">speech at the Republican National Convention</a>, she also addressed equal pay:</p> <p> As a mother myself, of three young children, I know how hard it is to work while raising a family. And I also know that I&#39;m far more fortunate than most. American families need relief. Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties, they should be the norm. Politicians talk about wage equality, but my father has made it a practice at his company throughout his entire career.</p> <p> He will fight for equal pay for equal work, and I will fight for this too, right along side of him.</p> <p> Yet, with this announcement, Trump said in a statement <a href="">as reported by</a> the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>:</p> <p> Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results. We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, OMB, Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.</p> <p> It is a positive step in the equal pay discussion that one of the leaders in the women&rsquo;s empowerment movement is recognizing the costs and negative consequences of additional government rules. Too often leaders of women&rsquo;s movements and efforts buy into the simplistic idea that government regulations can solve problems cost-free, but the truth is that they often do more harm than good. It is nice to see this Administration taking those into account.</p> AgnessTue, 5 Sep 2017 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat Women Want 97 Years After Winning The Right To Vote<p> Friday marks the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, in 1920.</p> <p> Unlike many women around the world, American women have a voice in politics and policy. Women throughout the nation are influencing legislation, helping hold leaders accountable, and running for office, including to be President of the United States.</p> <p> The media often implies that women have uniform political views. But they don&rsquo;t: Women made up a majority of voters in the last presidential election and voted based on a variety of issues.</p> <p> After the 2016 election, <a href="">a poll</a> by <em>The Economist</em>&nbsp;and YouGov&nbsp;found that less than a fifth of female voters agreed on one issue as being the most important. Eight different issues received 5% or more in response to a question to identify &ldquo;the most important issue for you&rdquo;&mdash;the economy at 17%, social security at 15%, health care at 14%, terrorism at 12%, the environment at 8%, education at 8%, immigration at 6%, and abortion at 5%.</p> <p> In 2017, I asked a group of women who all advocate for policies that maximize freedom what motivates them to vote and why women should take voting and participating in the political process seriously.</p> <p> United States Representative Susan Brooks said:</p> <p> It is so important for the future of our country to have strong female leaders in public service. Women have certainly left their marks in America&rsquo;s history books and a lot has been accomplished by women, for women, since the 19th&nbsp;Amendment of the Constitution granted women the right to vote 97 years ago. I want to encourage all of us to consider how much farther we can go in the next 100 years. Today, women in public service can easily be characterized as red, white and few. When women have the same opportunities and access to the same resources as men, we all benefit. We need more women to support our female leaders. We need to serve as mentors for the next generation of female leaders. We need to encourage women of all ages to pursue leadership and take that big leap&nbsp;by running for public office.</p> <p> Leslie Hiner, Vice President of Programs at EdChoice, explained why she votes:</p> <p> I vote because it&rsquo;s my duty as a citizen&mdash;and I do love the privilege of being a citizen of the United States. I&rsquo;m motivated as a conservative to help elect candidates who will respect and preserve our free market economy, adhere to the rule of law, and value life and individual liberty. I care most about these issues: Educational freedom and school choice because our next generation of leaders must be educated well enough to understand free markets, defend separation of powers, and possess the character and ability to think independently, and religious liberty because it is essential to preserving our freedom; this is non-negotiable.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas, President of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, explained why health care is a key issue for her:</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Our country has moved toward letting government control our health care system.&nbsp; Increasingly government is not only paying for or subsidizing most people&rsquo;s health insurance, but regulating every aspect of health care, which is discouraging innovation and leading to higher health care costs. This needs to change. It needs to change not only so that Americans can enjoy a better health care system, but also to help restore government to its proper role in our lives and in society.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> Alison Winters, Senior Policy Fellow at Americans for Prosperity, focused on economic freedom:</p> <p> We should celebrate the 19th Amendment which gave women an important right&mdash;to be treated no differently than any other citizen when selecting our country&rsquo;s leaders.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s a fundamental tenant that the rule of law in a free society should apply equally to all. I do find it ironic that the 16th Amendment which granted Congress the right to tax income including women&rsquo;s&mdash;should they have any&mdash;was ratified before the 19th&nbsp;Amendment.&nbsp;Women who are entrepreneurs and business owners, really all Americans,&nbsp;would greatly benefit from tax reform that makes our code simpler, more efficient, and more fair.</p> <p> Rachel Greszler, Research Fellow in Economics, Budget and Entitlements at The Heritage Foundation, also stressed the importance of economic policies:</p> <p> I vote because I believe that government programs and Americans&rsquo; increased dependency on them have left individuals, families, and our nation less free and less prosperous. I vote because I believe natural consequences and rewards are the best kind and the government is limiting both through massive welfare and social insurance programs (that encourage people to make poor choices) as well as crony spending, excess regulations and high marginal taxes (that discourage hard work and entrepreneurship).</p> <p> Natalie Foster, Host of Love At First Shot on NRA TV, said:</p> <p> Nothing in the world is more important to me than my family and our founders empowered us by ensuring our God given right to defend ourselves and our loved ones. Though too many mistake it for a dividing line,&nbsp;I emphatically believe that our Second Amendment right is a uniting force.&nbsp;It applies to all law-abiding Americans regardless of color, faith, class, gender, etc and I&rsquo;m so grateful to be able to protect it for generations to come with every vote I cast.</p> <p> And Lisa Daftari, Editor-in-Chief of <em>The Foreign Desk</em>, mentioned national security:</p> <p> The most important things to us as thriving young women are issues like the economy, which inevitably will affect our growth and opportunities available to us and of course, national security, which determines our safety and existence. These are the two issues that are most important to me, as a woman covering the plight of women around the world. I am extremely cognizant of the freedoms and opportunities we have.</p> <p> Different issues motivate different women to vote&mdash;no surprise. Heather Mac Donald, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of&nbsp;<em>City Journal, </em>cautioned against women voting just based on sex:</p> <p> I vote not as a conservative woman but as a conservative&hellip;.Ideally, any voter should seek to return the country to the meritocratic principle and to replace identity politics with a focus on personal responsibility and bourgeois self-discipline.</p> <p> Since the 1964 election, the number of female voters has been greater than the number of male voters. It is the duty of all voters, regardless of sex, to become educated on issues and make sure to advocate for policies that secure our basic liberties. We owe that to the women and men who fought for the 19th Amendment.</p> AgnessThu, 17 Aug 2017 08:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew Position Will Fundamentally Change The Experience Of Men At Princeton<p> What does it mean to be a Princeton man? Regardless of how you might answer that question today, it will be drastically changing in the near future if Princeton University has anything to say about it.</p> <p> Princeton is the latest university to provide specific programming to try to change men on campus, and is currently looking to hire an &ldquo;<a href="">Interpersonal Violence Clinician and Men&rsquo;s Engagement Manager</a>.&rdquo; In addition to providing clinical support for the men at Princeton, &ldquo;[t]he Manager will develop and implement men&rsquo;s programming initiatives geared toward enhancing awareness and challenging gender stereotypes&hellip;&rdquo;</p> <p> This position will be housed in the Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources &amp; Education office. While of course it is important for universities to foster an environment of mutual respect between the sexes and not tolerate violence on campus, this position reeks of a larger concerted effort to reject any form of masculinity and label men as inherently toxic.</p> <p> Here&rsquo;s one responsibility Princeton&rsquo;s new hire will have:</p> <p> Leads and expands a violence prevention initiative, Men&rsquo;s Allied Voices for a Respectful and Inclusive Community (MAVRIC), promoting an environment for healthy male social development by challenging belief systems and social constructs that contribute to violence and offering alternative options.</p> <p> All responsible parents try to teach their sons and daughters how to grow up to be respectful adults, and make sure that respecting others is part of their &ldquo;belief system&rdquo; and committing violence against women isn&rsquo;t. Yet Princeton administrators seem to assume that this isn&rsquo;t the norm and that the cause of sexual violence on campus is that American men as a whole are raised to be violent toward women. In fact, culturally, there are many social constructs (ones that ironically liberal feminists often try to breakdown), like the idea of chivalry, that encourage men to treat women with even more respect. Somehow, I doubt this concept will receive much attention during this violence prevention initiative.</p> <p> These male-focused positions popping up on campus are just the latest in the Left&rsquo;s ongoing effort to use college campuses to inculcate social change and advance their political agenda. In fact, Princeton makes it pretty explicit that candidates for this position need to be rooted in progressivism. Two of the &ldquo;essential qualifications&rdquo; include, &ldquo;Masters or doctorate in social work, psychology, women&rsquo;s and gender studies, public health, or related graduate degree,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Able to balance strong commitment to social justice with a capacity to navigate complex organizational systems.&rdquo;</p> <p> Women&rsquo;s studies departments emerged out of the women&rsquo;s movement of the 1960s and 1970s and have established themselves as one of the most dependable tools of the Left on campus. And the term &ldquo;social justice&rdquo; has been taken over by the Left to mean supporting liberal causes and ideas. In other words,</p> <p> the job description itself signals an unmistakable political agenda.</p> <p> Princeton is hardly alone in its drive to take action against &ldquo;toxic masculinity.&rdquo;</p> <p> Last year, the Duke Women&rsquo;s Center launched the&nbsp;<a href="">Duke Men&rsquo;s Project</a>, which a leader of the program described as, &ldquo;[The goal of the initiative is to] critique and analyze their own masculinity and toxic masculinities to then create healthier ones.&rdquo; The Project includes a nine-week course to &ldquo;create a space of brotherhood fellowship dedicated to interrogating male privilege and patriarchy.&rdquo; Similarly, the <a href="">UNC Men&rsquo;s Project</a> &ldquo;works to promote healthier&nbsp;masculinities&nbsp;on campus and to shift the culture of masculinity toward more non-violent norms.&rdquo;</p> <p> And Brown has a webpage dedicated to &ldquo;<a href="">Unlearning Toxic Masculinity</a>&rdquo; in part to create, &ldquo;safe spaces for men to unpack all of the things they have learned about masculinity and what it means to be a man. The goal is to&nbsp;help&nbsp;those socialized as men to&nbsp;unlearn some of the notions that have led to such profound harm being enacted toward others and toward themselves.&rdquo;</p> <p> There is nothing wrong with studying what it means to be a man and encouraging a healthier culture to help men flourish. Yet we should be weary of new college positions and programs that seem to have a political agenda&mdash;one that seeks to demonize men and masculinity and to push our country further Left.</p> AgnessWed, 26 Jul 2017 14:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumExcluding Conservatives From Female Empowerment Campaigns Is Bad Politics And Bad Business<p> GoldieBlox, a company promoting engineering as a career to young girls, launched a new #BeLikeHer campaign today. The hashtag campaign celebrates female role models in sports, politics and STEM fields, and encourages participants to post a photo with a sign naming their favorite female role model above the hashtag.</p> <p> This sounds like a positive, uplifting campaign that we could all get behind.</p> <p> But the <a href="">first image in the 2 minute 35 second video</a> is a re-creation of the Women&rsquo;s March with young girls wearing pink pussy hats and holding signs that say, &ldquo;A Woman&rsquo;s Place Is In The Revolution,&rdquo; &ldquo;She Persisted,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Resister!&rdquo;</p> <p> The liberal bias of the campaign immediately turns off conservative women like me. After all, the Women&rsquo;s March wasn&rsquo;t a march for all women. It was a progressive political effort. A&nbsp;<a href="">SurveyMonkey national poll</a>&nbsp;conducted January 26 through 30 found that a large majority of marchers voted for Hillary Clinton&mdash;79 percent said they voted for Clinton, 8 percent said they voted for Jill Stein and 5 percent said they didn&rsquo;t vote. Of course, the video does not include any images of Republican politicians advocating on behalf of women.</p> <p> ngIf: initialized &amp;&amp; active</p> <p> Later in the video, Clinton is featured as a &ldquo;She-ro&rdquo; and Michelle Obama is named. There is no doubt that the company picked a political side&mdash;just readhis accompanying <a href="">blog post</a>&nbsp;that explains why Clinton is included:</p> <p> While Hillary Clinton didn&rsquo;t become the next U.S. president, her campaign ignited women to stand up, march and make their voices heard. Across the U.S. (and around the globe),&nbsp;<a href="">millions</a>&nbsp;came out in over 600 cities, across 60 countries on all continents. People poured into streets to fight for a host of issues, including women&rsquo;s rights, immigration reform, racial equality, and much more.</p> <p> ngIf: vestpockets &amp;&amp; !sidebar_expanded</p> <p> Certainly, the Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate is a role model for many young girls, but so are some female Republican leaders. There is no reason to leave out all Republican women, such as Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao or U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.</p> <p> Women&rsquo;s empowerment efforts should stop excluding conservative women. They shouldn&rsquo;t limit the pool to Democrats. Young girls who look up to Carly Fiorina can go into STEM fields too. Fiorina ran a technology company and champions a more inclusive version of feminism.</p> <p> <a href="">GoldieBlox&rsquo;s mission</a> is to help more young girls get into STEM fields:</p> <p> GoldieBlox is the award-winning children&rsquo;s multimedia company disrupting the pink aisle in toy stores globally and challenging gender stereotypes with the world&rsquo;s first girl engineer character. Through the integration of storytelling and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) principles, GoldieBlox creates toys, books, apps, videos, animation and merchandise; the tools that empower girls to build their confidence, dreams and ultimately, their futures.</p> <p> This one-sided political video isn&rsquo;t anything new for GoldieBlox. Their <a href="">&ldquo;Girl power 2015&rdquo; video</a> showcases little girls dressing up as famous women. The second girl is dressed as Clinton with an announcement, &ldquo;Hillary is in the house,&rdquo; and the next is &ldquo;Notorious RBG,&rdquo; short for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Once again, no Republican women are featured.</p> <p> Ensuring girls have the opportunity to pursue their career dreams shouldn&rsquo;t be a partisan issue. GoldieBlox is a private company that purposely may be appealing to liberal parents to buy its toys.</p> <p> For companies like GoldieBlox, including right-of-center women in their effort to empower young girls would be good politics and good business. Conservatives want young girls to have the chance to become engineers just as much as liberals do. And beyond politics, GoldieBlox should remember that conservatives buy toys too. But some probably won&rsquo;t if they realize that the company is perpetuating the unfortunate stereotype that only liberals represent women.</p> AgnessTue, 18 Jul 2017 08:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum