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 RSShttp://iwf.org/images/email-logo.pnghttp://www.iwf.org33968Another Reason Men Earn More: How Far They Go For Their First Job<p> Women and men make different choices about the number of hours to work (even when working full time), industries, specialties, physical risks to take on, and how much time to take off.</p> <p> Those are the factors that we mostly hear about when people explain the wage gap statistic that consistently shows that men, on average, still earn more than women do. This new study adds another factor to the mix, how far men and women move for their first job:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> We used data from more than 115,000 resumes &mdash; 54,000 women and 61,000 men &mdash; and found that on average women move 318 miles from their college for their first jobs, while men move 370 miles&hellip;.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> According the Census data, this larger search area brings in&nbsp;an additional 3,873,908 jobs total&hellip;</p> <p> Access to more job possibilities means that men also have the potential to find higher paying options. It&rsquo;s another reason that men end up earning more than women do.</p> <p> This study is similar to one I wrote about here on working men having longer commutes, on average, than women do. Once again, it shows men tend to be willing to take on big burdens&mdash;longer drives and moves&mdash;in order to increase their pay.</p> <p> Different societal expectations for the sexes may explain why women and men make these different choices. Certainly, working women may feel they can&rsquo;t take on longer commutes because their assume the bulk of family responsibilities. Similarly, young women may feel that a longer move away from college (and potentially from home and family) would be considered unacceptable.</p> <p> Yet this research and new factor to consider still chips away at the suggestion that workplace discrimination is the root cause of the wage gap. This is important information for young women to have. If earning more is the goal, they ought to consider expanding a job search to include new cities. That&rsquo;s far more actionable advice than the Left&rsquo;s focus of blaming intractable sexism for the wage gap.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2803465/Carrie L. LukasFri, 21 Apr 2017 11:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Impact of Short-Term Rentals on Neighborhoods • Garrison Radio http://iwf.org/media/2803458/Carrie L. LukasFri, 21 Apr 2017 08:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhy Liberals Shouldn’t Give Up on the Flag—And Conservatives Shouldn’t Want Them To<p> They&rsquo;re everywhere! That&rsquo;s how my son put it, when counting American flags, after we moved back to the United States last summer after living for several years in Germany. Driving down Virginia&rsquo;s shopping-plaza-strewn Route 7, my kids pointed out a gargantuan flag whipping over a car dealership. That led to a competition of who could spot the most flags, and they had trouble keeping count.</p> <p> It wasn&rsquo;t just that we&rsquo;d been out of the country that made seeing American flags a novelty. It was the flags themselves.</p> <p> We&rsquo;d come from a country that rarely displayed its national colors. On a trip to downtown Berlin, we&rsquo;d see a German flag on the Bundestag and one or two on other official government sites, but you&rsquo;d almost never see a business with a German flag displayed on a pole just as a part of its decorations and landscape.</p> <p> There&rsquo;s an obvious reason for this: Germans are acutely aware of (and ashamed by) their country&rsquo;s history of rabid nationalism, which was intertwined with atrocities, and so consciously avoid anything that smacks of zealous patriotism. The only exception I saw to this unwritten rule in Germany was during the World Cup soccer matches, when people everywhere decorated their cars; painted their faces with yellow, red and black stripes; and hung German flags in store windows. The hoopla surrounding the country&rsquo;s soccer team&mdash;and pride in its tremendous achievements on the field&mdash;seemed to be a safe expression of national pride, which would otherwise be considered out of bounds.</p> <p> Coming home to the abundance of American flags flying on people&rsquo;s porches, on school grounds, and in front of so many businesses, was a welcome reminder of the exceptionalism of our country. America is undoubtedly an imperfect place with a complicated history, but the meaning of our flag goes beyond mere national or ethnic identity. It is, rather, the symbol of an idea: A government of free people dedicated to protecting individual rights and liberty. This greater meaning continues to endure and to inspire.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s why I&rsquo;m saddened by stories like <a href="http://ijr.com/2017/04/849630-boy-scouts-unfurl-huge-american-flag-atlanta-braves-kids-day-nbc-reporter-calls-way-political/">this</a> one about a newscaster implying there&rsquo;s something inherently political, even inappropriate, about the unfurling of a flag before a baseball game. Or even <a href="http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article145130714.html">this one</a>, which made headlines on the Drudge Report, about the student government at the University of California, Davis deciding that flying the flag at their their meetings is no longer a requirement. Of course, the actual events sound mundane. Reportedly, for example, the UCSD student government hadn&rsquo;t been displaying a flag anyway, so the decision to change the rule was more a nod to reality than an objection to the flag itself. Yet it fed an unfortunate and growing sense that the American flag is becoming a partisan symbol, rather than a unifying one.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s bad news for everyone. <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/2007/06/27/who-flies-the-flag-not-always-who-you-might-think/">Pew Research</a> studied how widespread flag displays are in America. And while they found some groups were more flag-waving than others, it wasn&rsquo;t always in ways you&rsquo;d expect:</p> <p> Older Americans &ndash; especially those ages 65 and older &ndash; are far more likely to say they display the flag than are those under age 30. Racial and political differences in flag flying also are substantial: Fully 67% of whites say they display the flag, compared with just 41% of African Americans. In addition, 73% of Republicans say they display the flag at home, work, or on their car; this compares with 63% of independents and 55% of Democrats.</p> <p> Notably, significantly more Northeasterners and Midwesterners fly the flag than do residents of the South or the West. Roughly seven-in-ten residents of the Northeast (69%) say they fly the flag, compared with 67% in the Midwest, 58% in the South, and 57% in the West.</p> <p> That research was done in 2007. I wonder how different the findings would be today. Since then, we&rsquo;ve seen <a href="http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/07/10/seeing-an-american-flag-can-shift-voters-towards-republicanism/#.WPhhele-SRs">studies</a> indicating that just seeing an American flag makes voters more likely to vote Republican, and we&rsquo;ve had some bitter elections leaving many people feeling alienated from their fellow citizens.</p> <p> As a conservative, there may be benefits for the team for which I tend to root having the flag associated with its brand. But as an American, the downsides to the flag becoming just a political symbol are huge. The flag should represent our shared history, dedication to founding principles, respect for American institutions, and aspirations for our country&rsquo;s future. Parties may have different visions of what that future looks like and how to get there, but we should still all feel comfortable honoring what the stars and stripes means. Giving up that shared symbol, allowing it to morph into representing one party&rsquo;s vision, can only fracture us further.</p> <p> I hope the political left in particular will take this to heart. It&rsquo;s more important for the flag to fly at liberal institutions like the University of California campuses or <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/11/28/veterans-protest-at-massachusetts-college-that-removed-us-flags.html/">Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts</a>, than anywhere else. The flag needs to remain a fixture of apolitical civil institutions like public schools, baseball fields, and libraries. Yes, you can support the right of people to burn the flag without punishment, too. But outside of protesting, fly it in honor of the first amendment rights it represents. Americans of all political leanings shouldn&rsquo;t forget the values we all share. Let&rsquo;s work to ensure our flag continues to represent those core American ideals.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2803451/Carrie L. LukasThu, 20 Apr 2017 11:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhy Country Music Values are Better than Pop Music Nihilism<p> Even for those who don&rsquo;t care much about music&mdash;like me&mdash;the songs we hear are an important element of the culture that surrounds us. In recent years, most of what I have heard has been dictated by my oldest, tween-age daughter. She&rsquo;s programmed all the top 40 pop music stations into our van&rsquo;s radio, so I&rsquo;ve been saturated in Adele, Pink, Taylor Swift, Katie Perry, Justin Bieber and a bunch of others whose names I don&rsquo;t know, but whose songs I (sadly) could easily recite.</p> <p> I try to pay close attention to the lyrics. Most pop stations seem to be good about policing songs for truly inappropriate content (like swearing and explicit sexual references), but I find myself constantly having to evaluate shades of gray. Many songs seem fine, but then include throw away allusions to casual sex and substance abuse. Flo Rida&rsquo;s hit &ldquo;My House&rdquo; is mostly a harmless recitation of the benefits of staying at home for a party, rather than going out, but a few stanzas in, the song makes clear that this partying involves undressing:</p> <blockquote> <p> Morning comes and you know that you wanna stay;<br /> Close the blinds, let&rsquo;s pretend that the time has changed;<br /> Keep our clothes on the floor, open up champagne.</p> </blockquote> <p> Others are far more explicitly sexual, like Ed Sheeran&rsquo;s &ldquo;Shape of You,&rdquo; which starts with &ldquo;The club isn&rsquo;t the best place to find a lover, so the bar is where I go,&rdquo; and gets worse from there. Or Elle King&rsquo;s &ldquo;Ex&rsquo;s &amp; Oh&rsquo;s&rdquo; with its endless double entendres. I try to switch the station whenever anything seems over-the-line, but often end up just hoping that the worst of the lyrics went over my kids&rsquo; heads.</p> <p> Now, I have a more permanent solution in mind. A few days ago, our family took a road trip and as soon as we left the Washington, D.C. area we found that our radio choices had shifted. Gone were the multitude of pop stations, and country music dominated instead. We listened. My oldest was pleasantly surprised by how much she liked the country songs (which she had assumed would be lame), but I was mostly struck by the complete difference in content and imagery the songs relied upon. Over several hours, there wasn&rsquo;t one song that had me cringing or worrying about whether my kids were hearing something they shouldn&rsquo;t.</p> <p> In fact, most of the songs had explicitly positive messages: The singers sang about being grateful for what they have, appreciating their partners and aging together. There was a song about the need to treat women (including your mother) with respect; another Carrie Underwood song about a man who had hoped for a son, but had a daughter who became the center of his world. There were mentions of holding hands, husbands and wives, backyards, driveways, and prayers. I&rsquo;m sure beer was in there too, but in the context of barbecues and good times in a way that seemed perfectly wholesome and reminiscent of an America that too much of pop culture scorns as fundamentally uncool.</p> <p> Most of the country singers we heard on the radio were men, but their songs were overwhelmingly respectful and pro-woman. They didn&rsquo;t fixate on women&rsquo;s looks or evoke either over-the-top sexiness or antiquated ideas of femininity, but rather painted pictures of women as strong, full-of-life, complicated individuals. Take Dylan Scott&rsquo;s &ldquo;My Girl,&rdquo; which could earn applause from women&rsquo;s studies professors:</p> <blockquote> <p> She looks so pretty with no makeup on<br /> You should hear her talkin&rsquo; to her momma on phone<br /> I love it when she raps to an Eminem song<br /> That&rsquo;s my girl<br /> Man her eyes really drive me crazy<br /> You should see her smile when she holds a baby<br /> I can honestly say that she saved me<br /> My girl, yeah</p> </blockquote> <p> Urban feminists often assume that rural and southern areas are hotbeds of sexism, where women are treated with less respect than women in the enlightened north and coasts enjoy. Yet if the songs they produce are any indication, women receive far more respect in country music than is typical in rap, pop or house music.</p> <p> I&rsquo;m sure true aficionados of country can come up with counter examples of raunchy country songs that rival pop and rock in terms of kid-unfriendliness and mistreatment of women. Yet the impression left by a casual listener is that country music tends to highlight values you&rsquo;d actually hope seep into your kid&rsquo;s mind, rather than desperately hoping they&rsquo;ll tune out.</p> <p> Country music certainly isn&rsquo;t perfect: I don&rsquo;t think I heard a song that used the construction &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t,&rdquo; rather consistently reinforcing the incorrect &ldquo;it don&rsquo;t&rdquo; usage. But I&rsquo;ll take bad grammar in a song about loving your wife over pop culture&rsquo;s nihilism any day.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2803390/Carrie L. LukasThu, 13 Apr 2017 08:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumUnited Airlines Incident & Students Fear Chick-fil-A • Tucker Carlson Tonight http://iwf.org/media/2803381/Carrie L. LukasWed, 12 Apr 2017 09:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum‘Wage gap’ isn’t a conspiracy<p> Last week, emails poured in, informing me that women are paid much less than men for the same work. I started to get indignant about this injustice. And I don&rsquo;t even buy the rhetoric over the wage gap.</p> <p> No one should stand for being paid less for equal work. That&rsquo;s the definition of unfair. And today&rsquo;s women are hyper-attuned to fairness.</p> <p> Tuesday marked Equal Pay Day, the day into a year when women&rsquo;s earnings match what men earned the previous year. Statistics show women in 2015 <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/03/gender-pay-gap-facts/">earned 80 percent </a>of what men earned, when looking at full- U.S. workers.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s a fact. But there&rsquo;s a reason it&rsquo;s true &mdash; and it&rsquo;s not discrimination in the majority of cases, even though liberal politicians and interest groups would have you believe otherwise.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not a myth, but a harsh reality that as far as we&rsquo;ve come, we still have work to do to ensure women are paid equally for doing the same job,&rdquo; wrote U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn. She marked the day by co-sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act, perennial legislation that promises to close loopholes in existing laws.</p> <p> <img border="0" height="1" src="file:////Users/Michele/Library/Group%20Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/msoclip1/01/clip_image001.gif" width="1" /></p> <p> But those who promulgate the wage gap distort the &ldquo;less pay for the same job&rdquo; claim. That&rsquo;s not what&rsquo;s happening at all.</p> <p> The generic wage statistics don&rsquo;t compare pay and gender for the same jobs. Instead, they use median salaries of all full-time men and women in all jobs.</p> <p> Women overall do earn less than men largely because of the career choices they make.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s because women are more likely than men to prioritize flexible hours and time off. And the Department of Labor data <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf">shows</a> that women working full-time put in fewer hours than their male counterparts. Also, men traditionally take the most dangerous jobs and account for nearly all workplace fatalities.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s the big reason the wage gap stubbornly remains the same, despite five decades of having the Equal Pay Act and Civil Rights Act. Those federal laws offer women the ammunition they need to battle discrimination when employers go astray.</p> <p> If employers honestly thought they could get away with paying women less for the same work, the opportunity cost would be too great for most businesses not to hire more women, says Gary Wolfram, a professor of economics at Hillsdale College. Consequently, women would be in stronger demand, and the market would increase their pay over time.</p> <p> The &ldquo;gap&rdquo; for women of color is even larger. Yet this points to other, more serious underlying issues. Blaming the wage discrepancy won&rsquo;t help these women.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&#39;s a distraction from the real problem,&rdquo; says Wolfram. &ldquo;Why are the labor skills poor for certain groups?&rdquo;</p> <p> Not understanding the real forces behind the wage gap &mdash; including education and tougher family decisions women have to make &mdash; invites additional regulation to get the government involved in defining what work and professions are &ldquo;equal.&rdquo; That will lead to an avalanche of litigation and increased costs for businesses. Translation: fewer jobs.</p> <p> <strong><a alt="http://iwf.org/news/2803307/A-New-Date-for-Equal-Pay-Day-%E2%80%94-but-the-Same-Old-Misleading-Data--" href="http://iwf.org/news/2803307/A-New-Date-for-Equal-Pay-Day-%E2%80%94-but-the-Same-Old-Misleading-Data--" title="http://iwf.org/news/2803307/A-New-Date-for-Equal-Pay-Day-%E2%80%94-but-the-Same-Old-Misleading-Data--"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">, managing director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, believes telling women there is a wage gap doesn&rsquo;t empower them, but rather holds them back.</span></span></strong></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Making the pay gap someone else&rsquo;s fault draws attention away from encouraging women to make choices that would boost their paycheck, including choosing more demanding and higher paying careers. Art majors probably aren&rsquo;t going to make as much as engineers, for example, whether they are men or women.</span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Lukas does recommend that women do more to negotiate their salaries and be less reticent about asking for raises.</span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;You need information to make smart choices,&rdquo; she says.</span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">And that information should be based on facts, not myths.</span></strong></span></p> <p> ijacques@detroitnews.com&nbsp;</p> <p> Twitter: @Ingrid_Jacques</p> http://iwf.org/media/2803355/Carrie L. LukasMon, 10 Apr 2017 09:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRep. Barbara Comstock: “We need more young women” in politics <p> As part of &lsquo;Equal Pay Day,&rsquo;&nbsp;young women across the country are discussing how they are affected by the purported gender wage gap in the United States.</p> <p> A congresswoman from Virginia says despite the job availability and&nbsp;positive qualifications of women in her district, women have been opting out of career-oriented jobs, choosing instead to focus on&nbsp;their lives at home with their families. A&nbsp;<a href="http://redalertpolitics.com/2017/04/03/free-choose-millennials-embrace-traditional-gender-roles/">recent study&nbsp;</a>shows this trend happening, even among millennials. This trend is even affecting who is choosing to run for office.</p> <div data-dy-embedded-object="true" id="dyId234e815b3f38aa13"> <div data-adid="smart_object_232015||1071|||" data-dy-att-method="0" data-dy-att-seq="87139" data-dy-exp-id="240880" data-dy-var-id="7574928" data-dy-ver-data="2823289::41:1491414282030:87139:87139:2:4"> <div style="clear:both;"> <p> &ldquo;It is so hard to get women to run [for office],&rdquo; Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) said at an Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum event last month. &ldquo;Right now we have 5 open seats&hellip; four of them are hard-core Republican seats. Thus far, we only have one woman [willing to run].&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p> The congresswoman&nbsp;often sees women with the qualifications and opportunities to take on leadership positions, who opt for supportive staffer roles instead.</p> <p> &ldquo;We need to get more young women engaged at an early age, seeing themselves as being a public figure, being able to run for office,&rdquo; she told&nbsp;<em>Red Alert</em>. &ldquo;I think we just need to put that idea in their head maybe a little earlier.&rdquo;</p> <p> But the buck doesn&rsquo;t stop at politics. Comstock started a junior- and high school program with the intent of exposing young women to female leaders&nbsp;in all fields, she told&nbsp;<em>Red Alert</em>. The Young Women Leadership P<a href="https://comstock.house.gov/services/young-women-leadership-program-application">rogram</a>&nbsp;is open to all young women, but prioritizes women in her district. The congresswoman also&nbsp;works closely with the nonprofit&nbsp;<a href="http://www.iwf.org/">IWF</a>&nbsp;to empower women on a national level.</p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas, the managing director at IWF, told&nbsp;</span><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Red Alert</span></em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&nbsp;the organization strives to empower women in as many areas of their lives as possible.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;It is interesting to me how much the mainstream media focuses only on abortion,&rdquo; Lukas said. &ldquo;But that&rsquo;s not all that women care about. Women care about being able to find a job, find a good school, to get healthcare that serves their needs. That&rsquo;s what we focus on.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> http://iwf.org/media/2803329/Carrie L. LukasWed, 5 Apr 2017 12:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumA New Date for Equal Pay Day — but the Same Old Misleading Data <p> According to the National Pay Equity Committee, Equal Pay Day &mdash; the feminist-created holiday meant to signify how far into the year women have to work to make up for last year&rsquo;s wage gap &mdash; falls on April 4 this year. That&rsquo;s the first Tuesday of the month, rather than the second Tuesday, as it has been in years past.</p> <p> Is this a nod to women&rsquo;s progress, and recognition that women&rsquo;s earnings as a percentage of men&rsquo;s has crept up in recent years? Perhaps. But then again, maybe not.</p> <p> Accuracy about statistics has never been this movement&rsquo;s strong suit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 the average full-time working woman earned 83 percent of what the average full-time working man earned. That&rsquo;s up from about 80 percent in 2004. If you assume that the 2016 wage gap is roughly the same as 2015 and follow the Equal Pay Day math, then women would need to work about 44 more days in 2017. Allowing for weekends and holidays, that means Equal Pay Day should have taken place in the second week of March, not April.<br /> But the far bigger flaw in Equal Pay Day logic is the assumption that the Department of Labor statistic showing the differences in men and women&rsquo;s average earnings is evidence of discrimination&rsquo;s role in our economy. The holiday&rsquo;s champions use the mantras &ldquo;equal pay for equal work&rdquo; and &ldquo;83 cents on the dollar&rdquo; to imply that women are regularly being paid less than men for the same work.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s just not what the statistic tells us. The Department of Labor doesn&rsquo;t compare two co-workers, one male and one female, but rather simply tallies up the median earnings of all full-time working women and all full-time working men and compares the two.</p> <p> The Department of Labor ignores, for example, that the average man working full-time spends two hours more each week on the job than does the average full-time working woman. It shouldn&rsquo;t be a surprise &mdash; or considered unfair &mdash; that someone who works longer hours also earns more money. They also don&rsquo;t take into account differences in industry, years of experience, education, and specialty. Men suffer the overwhelming majority of workplace deaths and major injuries. To get people to take on dangerous and physically grueling jobs, businesses have to sweeten the pot with higher pay. Men even have longer commutes on average than women do. They often take on the extra commuting burden in order to take a job that pays more.<br /> <br /> In studies that take these and other relevant factors into account, the wage gap shrinks, leaving just a few percentage points unexplained. People can debate why men and women continue to make such different choices about work, and why women end up making choices that lead to lower pay. Undoubtedly, the extra responsibilities women take on at home are a big part of the equation. Understanding how these decisions affect earnings and expected earnings in the future is important information for people &mdash; particularly young women &mdash; to have as they plan their careers and family life.</p> <p> And of course discrimination remains a factor in some workplaces, which is why there are laws on the books that allow workers to sue employers who treat them unfairly. We need to continue to encourage businesses to provide equal opportunity and treatment to men and women.</p> <p> Yet the public should reject the tired logic of the feminist movement that seems intent on denying that women ever make any progress and convincing the next generation of women that America is overwhelmingly sexist and they are doomed to being consistently shortchanged. Why else would they insist on exaggerating issues like the wage gap and misleading the public about what these statistics mean?</p> <p> The good news is that women are an increasingly educated and accomplished segment of our society; they are becoming leaders in business, academia, and the political sphere, as well as leading their communities, nurturing the next generations, and creating new paradigms for balancing work and family life. Now that&rsquo;s something to celebrate.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>&mdash; Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <br /> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2803307/Carrie L. LukasTue, 4 Apr 2017 14:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum‘Fearless Girl’ is just an excuse for women to sulk<p> So many people have gotten it so wrong about &ldquo;Fearless Girl.&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/03/07/this-little-girl-wont-take-any-wall-street-bull/">The statue of a pint-size female</a>, arms planted defiantly on her hips as she stares down the rendering of a bull charging through New York City&rsquo;s Financial District, has morphed into a kind of feminist Rorschach test.</p> <p> The metallic minor is widely seen as a symbol of girl power in the face of virulent alleged sexism. Or, an epic cry against gals&rsquo; supposed pay inequity as compared to dudes&rsquo; throughout America, particularly in the monetary sector.</p> <p> The 4-foot-tall artwork, erected in honor of International Women&rsquo;s Day last month and&nbsp;<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/03/24/fearless-girl-may-get-a-new-nyc-home/">originally scheduled to be removed Sunday</a>, was even&nbsp;<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/03/27/fearless-girl-an-ad-worthy-of-don-draper/">branded in a Post editorial</a>&nbsp;as an ingenious advertising gimmick worthy of &ldquo;Mad Men&rsquo;s&rdquo; Don Draper, cooked up by Boston-based State Street Global Advisors investment company.</p> <p> Oops.</p> <p> State Street employs just a handful of women in top executive positions, even fewer than the abysmal numbers posted by other Wall Street firms.</p> <p> And yet, some &ldquo;Fearless&rdquo; critics, myself included, aren&rsquo;t buying into the sculpture&rsquo;s defeatist message. We see the bronze babe as representing something else: A blow to the collective gut of the fairer sex.</p> <p> Why, in this age of unprecedented social, political and economic gains enjoyed by those living and working as females, should we be expected to wallow in victimhood?</p> <p> Yet &ldquo;Fearless Girl,&rdquo; which Mayor de Blasio last week&nbsp;<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/03/27/fearless-girl-will-stay-on-wall-street-until-2018/">guaranteed will stand its ground in lower Manhattan</a>&nbsp;through February 2018, while others push for permanent residency, is more than attracting the eyeballs and cellphone cameras of tourists and city residents alike.</p> <p> The unmoving girl child perpetrates myths of women&rsquo;s powerlessness, while fomenting self-pity and anti-male sentiment that helps no one.</p> <p> Ironically, that bull statue was never intended as an expression of male power &mdash; but of American prosperity and strength.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s a problematic sense you get from the statue &mdash; the American economy is trying to run this girl over,&rsquo;&rsquo; Carrie Lukas, managing director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum think tank, told me.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;American women are more likely than any women on earth to be managers in corporations. They can run for office, start a new business, work hard and earn a lot,&rsquo;&rsquo; she said. They even can choose to be stay-at-home mothers.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> Warren Farrell, Ph.D., was a devoted feminist who, for three years in the 1970s, was the first and only man elected to the board of directors of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women.</p> <p> Then he started writing books, including 2005&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Why-Men-Earn-More-Startling/dp/0814472109?tag=nypost-20">&ldquo;Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap &mdash; and What Women Can Do About It,&rsquo;&rsquo;</a>&nbsp;which nuked the gospel of male earnings superiority, and made him persona non grata on the liberal speaking circuit. Farrell revealed that young, never-married, childless women earned 117 percent of the sum raked in by similar dudes.</p> <p> Blasphemy!</p> <p> His source? It wasn&rsquo;t some fringe men&rsquo;s-rights group, but the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s been an article of faith by feminists and the administration of former President Barack Obama that gals earn less than guys &mdash; the pay disparity recently was pegged at 79 cents for females compared to each dollar raked in annually by males. But when one factors in things such as education level or years of experience, the pay gap starts to vanish. It dwindles completely when one considers that women lose earning power voluntarily when they jump off the fast track or scale back careers to become mothers.</p> <p> That doesn&rsquo;t entirely explain the lack of women on Wall Street. But Farrell says that, too, can be chalked up to choice.</p> <p> &ldquo;Many people [in finance] work 60, 70 hours a week,&rdquo; he said. He conducted a study that determined many women who achieve high salaries, as opposed to men, tend to kick back in favor of more satisfying, and lower-paying, work-life balances.</p> <p> I can think of better places that &ldquo;Fearless Girl&rdquo; should live as a celebration of womanly achievement, not a sign of defeat. How about Harvard Yard? Women today earn about 60 percent of postsecondary degrees. Or the grounds of NASA? Working there from the 1940s, African-American female mathematicians were instrumental in putting Americans in space and white men on the moon, as depicted in the flick &ldquo;Hidden Figures.&rdquo;</p> <p> How about Chappaqua, home of Hillary Clinton, the first female major-party candidate for president of the United States?</p> <p> Where she exists today, &ldquo;Fearless Girl&rdquo; is an insult to women as well as men.</p> <p> <strong>No &lsquo;vice&rsquo; in Mike&rsquo;s life</strong></p> <p> Leftists are off-base here.</p> <p> A Washington Post profile of Vice President Mike Pence&rsquo;s wife Karen &mdash; the nation&rsquo;s second lady, &mdash;&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/30/mike-pence-doesnt-dine-alone-with-other-women-and-were-all-shocked/?utm_term=.ebbfc4493bf4">contains this nugget</a>: &ldquo;In 2002, Mike Pence told The Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won&rsquo;t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.&rdquo;</p> <p> The fury expressed from the left about the food and booze rules of the evangelical Christian couple (there&rsquo;s no reason to believe they&rsquo;ve changed since 2002) is sad.</p> <p> The veep was accused of keeping women down in the workplace. Would critics be happier if Mike Pence bragged about his sexploits? I hope not.</p> <p> <strong>&lsquo;Safe&rsquo; bet Rikers plan won&rsquo;t fly</strong></p> <p> New York City&rsquo;s massive jail complex on Rikers Island is a violence-plagued hellhole. Yet a&nbsp;<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/03/30/plan-to-shut-down-rikers-island-revealed/">plan to close Rikers within a decade</a>, championed by a blue-ribbon panel and announced by Mayor de Blasio Friday, rattled New Yorkers&rsquo; fears that the lockup would be replaced by potentially risky facilities in our neighborhoods.</p> <p> Hizzoner gave almost no plan specifics, saying the falling city crime rate should result in cutting the jail population from 10,000 to 5,000. Unless and until our safety is assured, I won&rsquo;t trust this scheme.</p> <p> <strong>Prof&rsquo;s sick US-hate</strong></p> <p> A professor from Drexel University in Philadelphia, whose tweets include a holiday-eve outrage in which he&nbsp;<a href="http://nypost.com/2016/12/26/professor-under-fire-for-white-genocide-tweet/">wrote that all he wanted for Christmas was &ldquo;white genocide,&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;has disgraced himself again.</p> <p> Associate prof George Ciccariello-Maher, Ph.D.,&nbsp;<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/03/31/professor-wanted-to-vomit-after-passenger-gave-seat-to-soldier/">spewed on Twitter last week</a>&nbsp;that he wanted to &ldquo;vomit&rdquo; at the sight of an airline passenger giving up his first-class seat to a uniformed member of the American military &mdash; later explaining that he was upset by reports of Iraqi civilian casualties.</p> <p> This anti-American, anti-white racist isn&rsquo;t fit to teach.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/media/2803309/Carrie L. LukasTue, 4 Apr 2017 09:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumClimate Change Can Cause PTSD; Gender Equality Reversal? • Tucker Carlson Tonight http://iwf.org/media/2803303/Carrie L. LukasMon, 3 Apr 2017 15:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHere’s to All the Men Who Help Women Reach the Finish Line<p> For all the downsides of social media, an upside is its ability to draw attention to otherwise overlooked stories of personal triumph and human kindness.</p> <p> You may very well have already seen&nbsp;<a href="http://people.com/sports/three-men-help-exhausted-stranger-cross-philadelphia-half-marathon-finish-line/" target="_blank">this video</a>&nbsp;of three runners participating in the &ldquo;Love Run&rdquo; half marathon in Philadelphia who stopped to help an exhausted woman cross the finish line. At first, two runners try to help her continue by providing support under her arms. But as her legs turn to jelly, another runner stops to join the two men, picking up the collapsing runner and carrying her. Even more kindly, the man stops to set her down steps before the finish line so that she can have the satisfaction of completing the race on her own two feet.</p> <p> There are many obvious positive messages to take from this video: With all the negative stories we hear about crime and conflict, it&rsquo;s easy to forget that the overwhelming majority of people are not only decent, but also kind and willing to help someone in need. The video is a reminder to always see the bigger picture of a situation. The runners who stopped may have been shooting for personable best times, but were wise enough to recognize that those goals were less important than helping someone else, a fellow runner who had come so far and needed help to complete her journey.</p> <p> Self-sacrifice, empathy, and kindness are a big part of the video&rsquo;s appeal, but what also struck me was the men&rsquo;s physical strength. The men who stopped to help this woman were all willing to physically carry her, along with their own weight. One was even able&mdash;after having run 13 miles himself already&mdash;to scoop her up in his arms and carry her the rest of the course.</p> <p> Most discussions of men&rsquo;s strength today are about how it can be a threat to women. That&rsquo;s certainly true, but this video made me think about how frequently men&rsquo;s strength is used for women&rsquo;s protection and advancement, and how underappreciated this phenomenon is.</p> <p> Discussion of the differences between men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s physical strength rarely draw much attention these days, though it manifests itself subtly in the traditional divisions of labor that remain in most households and the economy. Generally, women do more of the housework, but men are more likely to do the heavy lifting and assume whatever physical danger may be necessary. They haul out the garbage and move the furniture, get on the roof to clean the gutters and under the car to change the tire on the side of the highway.</p> <p> American women mostly get to take for granted that the men around them won&rsquo;t use their physical advantages against them. And even more than that, we expect that men would defend us against other men who would seek to overpower us. By custom, we teach our sons to never, ever hit a girl, and encourage them to recognize that part of being a good man is defending a woman or weaker person against an attack or physical threat.</p> <p> Of course, violence against women remains a problem today. Too many men flout norms, abuse women, and take advantage of them sexually. We need to continue to work to change this. But at least in America, we have a strict legal code to hold such men who abuse women accountable. For good reason, this problem&mdash;the violent crimes that men too often commit&mdash;receives most of the public&rsquo;s attention. But while of course we work to improve this situation, it&rsquo;s also important not to ignore how often men&rsquo;s strength is used to women&rsquo;s advantage. Men are our front-line soldiers protecting women&rsquo;s interests against enemies abroad; they are the majority of our police officers and firefighters, risking their lives to protect ours. They are working in our sewer systems and power plants, on bridges and trains to keep our economy functioning.</p> <p> A lot of time is spent building awareness of all the ways that women&rsquo;s contributions to society are overlooked. Women work without pay to raise the next generation, help sick family members, and volunteer in our schools and communities in countless unseen ways that make neighborhoods and civil society work. Given the history of discrimination against women, such awareness-raising is important. Yet men do a lot of underappreciated work too. Progressive feminists and women&rsquo;s studies professors tend to paint a picture as if all men are smoking cigars in board rooms, raking in unearned pay, while women toil thanklessly. That&rsquo;s a gross distortion of men&rsquo;s experience. Most men are working hard for no more than adequate pay in jobs that make the economy go round, but that don&rsquo;t bring much glory.</p> <p> There should be a counterpart to that saying that behind every successful man is a woman. We should recognize that women&rsquo;s advancement rests on a society that keeps men&rsquo;s power in check, and good men are instrumental to protecting women&rsquo;s rights and progress. After all, the sexes aren&rsquo;t runners competing in a winner-take-all contest, but are rather partners helping each other through life&rsquo;s journey.</p> <p> I&rsquo;m grateful to those Philadelphia runners for so perfectly reminding us all of that.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2803299/Carrie L. LukasMon, 3 Apr 2017 11:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRochester NOW: Still unequal pay for equal work<p> Some Rochester coffee shops are joining dozens of retailers across the country to stand with women&rsquo;s groups protesting the gender pay gap.</p> <p> Roughly 300 businesses in at least 25 cities plan to offer discounts or special offers to women and, in some cases, men, on Tuesday, which is Equal Pay Day.</p> <p> The date &mdash; April 4 &mdash;&nbsp;&nbsp;symbolizes how many days longer it takes a woman to earn the same salary as a man. While the gap has shrunk somewhat in recent years, a woman could expect to work 95 more days this year to earn the same salary as a man.</p> <p> This despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, when a full-time working woman made 59 cents for every dollar of her male peers. If that progress continued, women would earn the same pay as men by 2059.</p> <p> &quot;This is one day a year,&quot;&nbsp;said Jaclyn Richard, president of the Rochester chapter of the National Organization of Women. &quot;We are just trying to make some noise. We are just doing this to (bring) some kind of attention because I think people need to be educated.&quot;</p> <p> Currently, women on average are paid 20 percent less than men in the United States,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pay-equity.org/">according to the National Committee on Pay Equity.</a>&nbsp;Black women earn roughly 30 percent less with Hispanic women earning about 39 percent less.</p> <p> Annual median pay in New York state&nbsp;for men is $52,124 and $46,208 for women,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aauw.org/aauw_check/pdf_download/show_pdf.php?file=The-Simple-Truth">according to a report from the American Association of University Women.</a>&nbsp;Those figures put New York at the top with Delaware as having the smallest gap in the county.</p> <p> Some differences in pay can be explained by work experience, taking time off to raise children and working in careers that have more flexible hours but lower earning potential. However, the gap stubbornly pops up in range of occupations and industries.</p> <p> Richard said the gap may exist for some simply because they don&#39;t seek to negotiate better pay when the opportunity arises.</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YE9wnpePsKU?feature=oembed" width="480"></iframe><br /> <br /> &quot;It&#39;s hard to tell what the reason is,&quot; she added.</p> <p> While few dispute the gap, not everyone agrees at how big it is.</p> <p> The Census Bureau says women earn about 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, based on median full-time worker salaries. The gap is roughly the same when it comes to weekly or hourly wages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">However, the politically conservative Independent Women&#39;s Forum disputes that a pay gap exists, pointed to how statistics show the median &mdash;&nbsp;or midpoint &mdash;&nbsp;of salary distributions.</span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;The economy is not a battle between the sexes,&quot; Carrie Lukas, managing director of the group, said in a statement. &quot;And the public should reject the tired logic of the feminist movement that seems intent on denying that women ever make any progress.&nbsp;That&rsquo;s just not what the statistic tells us.&quot;</span></strong></span></p> <p> The Rochester Chapter of the National Organization of Women plan to protest Tuesday morning outside the Coffee Connection, 681 South Ave.</p> <p> Meanwhile, the Coffee Connection along with the Greenhouse Caf&eacute;, 2271 E. Main St., and 1872 Caf&eacute;, 431 W. Main St., plan to offer specials for women.</p> <p> The local chapter of NOW and the University of Rochester Susan B. Anthony Center are sponsoring an Equal Pay Day discussion at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Morel Hall 321 on the University of Rochester campus.</p> <p> For more, visit the local NOW chapter at&nbsp;<a href="http://rochesternow.org./">rochesternow.org.</a></p> <p> <em>TCLAUSEN@Gannett.com&nbsp;</em></p> <p> <em>Includes reporting by Jessica Guynn of USA Today.</em></p> http://iwf.org/media/2803356/Carrie L. LukasMon, 3 Apr 2017 09:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIvanka Trump Appointed White House Advisor • EWTN News Nightly http://iwf.org/media/2803287/Carrie L. LukasFri, 31 Mar 2017 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumShould Classrooms Eliminate Toys?<p> If you were told you were going to a second grade class party, you&rsquo;d probably expect to hear the kids before you ever entered the room. There would be laughter, kids talking loudly, and a lot of horsing around. If there weren&rsquo;t organized party activities, you&rsquo;d expect kids to be playing. Depending on what&rsquo;s around, they might be using Legos or other blocks, dolls or action figures, or be engaged in some kind of make-believe game.</p> <p> Yet today that&rsquo;s not always true. When my son came home with the good news that his class had reached some milestone and was being rewarded with a class party, he asked if he could bring a tablet with him so he could play video games during the party. Not a chance, I told him, there are far better things for you to do at a class party&mdash;like actually play with your friends&mdash;than zoning out and playing Minecraft.</p> <p> He&rsquo;s used to being told he can&rsquo;t play video games, but this time he was particularly crestfallen. There will be nothing else to do, he explained: All the other kids will have their tablets or phones with them and won&rsquo;t want to play. Later I read the email sent by his teacher telling parents the rules for the party&mdash;kids were free to bring art supplies or &ldquo;personal devices&rdquo; for their use, but no other kinds of toys were allowed.</p> <p> I can sympathize with the teacher, who I&rsquo;m sure wanted the kids to have a good time but without the chaos and mess of a true party. And, in my mind, there&rsquo;s nothing wrong with kids occasionally vegging out playing a mindless game or watching TV. Our school also uses technology as a part of instruction, which I understand and appreciate can help the learning process. But since kids typically get way more screen time than they need after school hours, it seems part of a school&rsquo;s job is to keep the kids engaged without those crutches whenever possible.</p> <p> As I was lamenting what to do about my son&rsquo;s party, I read this article in&nbsp;<em><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/03/the-toy-free-kindergarten/520905/" target="_blank">The Atlantic</a></em>&nbsp;on how preschools in Germany (known as Kitas) are moving in the other direction and removing toys entirely from their classrooms to force children to interact socially and come up with their own games. The author, Sarah Zaske, who lives in Berlin, described her son&rsquo;s experience when his Kita made the move to becoming toy-free:</p> <blockquote> <p> For several weeks, the toys would disappear, and the teachers wouldn&rsquo;t tell the children what to play. While this practice may seem harsh, the project has an important pedagogic goal: to improve the children&rsquo;s life skills to strengthen them against addictive behaviors in the future.</p> <p> &ldquo;Without any toys, children have the time to develop their own ideas,&rdquo; said Elisabeth Seifert, the managing director of Aktion Jugendschutz, a Munich-based youth nonprofit that promotes this project. &ldquo;In toy-free time, they don&rsquo;t play with finished toys. They develop their own games. They play more together, so they can better develop psychosocial competencies.&rdquo;</p> <p> According to Seifert, these competencies include understanding and liking oneself, having empathy for others, thinking creatively and critically, and being able to solve problems and overcome mistakes. And the sooner children learn such life skills, the better, according to Aktion Jugendschutz.</p> </blockquote> <p> Little long-term research on the effect of the &ldquo;toy-free&rdquo; program exists, but some analysis suggests it&rsquo;s associated with positive outcomes, including better coping habits that discourage addictive behavior. Parents of kids at the Kita report mixed experiences&mdash;winter months when outside play was limited bred enough boredom and frustration that they cut the no toy program short. But others, like the article&rsquo;s author, found their children becoming more independent, confident, and able to self-entertain with the greater use of imagination.</p> <p> The no toy policy seems unnecessarily extreme to me. Blocks and animal figurines aid in imaginative play but still require the kids to be active participants, using those tools to entertain themselves and to augment a world they build with their imaginations. Such toys can be used alone, but certainly aren&rsquo;t a deterrent to social interaction in the way that video games are. Kids can use simple toys in group games and activities, helping bond them in a jointly-made imaginary world. Yet if I had to pick one of the extremes I&rsquo;d far prefer my children&rsquo;s school take the no toy route rather than enable addiction to technology by encouraging the use of tablets and video games during school hours.</p> <p> I sent my son to school with a clay set, rather than a tablet, for his class party. He reported that two other kids showed up without any electronic device, and one friend decided not to use the tablet she brought and play clay with him instead. He sounded a little surprised: We had a pretty good time doing it, he told me. That didn&rsquo;t surprise me at all.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2803277/Carrie L. LukasThu, 30 Mar 2017 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFor Ivanka Trump, Rising Profile Comes With Backlash<p style="margin-left:12.0pt;"> WASHINGTON &mdash; She has a West Wing office, facetime with world leaders and unrivaled access to the president. And as Ivanka Trump&#39;s White House role grows, so does the backlash.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> Ivanka Trump, a first daughter with first-in-recent-history influence, has become fodder in a heated national conversation about gender politics and ideological beliefs. While she has won fans for her interest in advancing women, critics have questioned her qualifications, her power, her politics and her ethics.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> Trump showed Wednesday she is sensitive to some of the discussion.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> After weeks of resisting a formal role in her father&#39;s White House, she said she would become a federal employee, although an unpaid one. The decision was aimed at quieting ethics experts who noted her informal role allowed her to avoid filing financial disclosure forms and other transparency requirements.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> In a statement announcing the decision, Trump said she had &quot;heard the concerns&quot; of critics and was working with the White House to address &quot;the unprecedented nature of my role.&quot; She previously planned to work out of a West Wing office in a more informal capacity, while voluntarily following ethics rules.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> Asked about the criticism of her White House work, Trump acknowledged in a statement to the Associated Press that she &quot;wouldn&#39;t be here in Washington if my father wasn&#39;t elected president.&quot; But she added, &quot;I want to add positive and meaningful value and people will be able to judge with time if I&#39;ve been successful in that goal.&quot;</p> <p style="margin-left:12.0pt;"> It is difficult to find first family members who have raised similar levels of public fascination and broad debate, particularly among political women.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> Some of the toughest knocks, although not all, are coming from liberals who think Ivanka Trump has done too little to temper the president&#39;s conservative agenda. Trump has seized on a set of typically progressive issues, notably family leave and child care, leading many to assume she did not share her father&#39;s nationalistic politics. Since her father took office, she has staged several events relating to women and workforce development, but avoided all public comment on her father&#39;s travel ban, border wall, proposed budget cuts or the rollback in climate-change regulations.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> &quot;For every woman who held out hope that maybe Trump isn&#39;t going to be so bad, or that she&#39;d be able to curtail the worst of his impulses, it hasn&#39;t happened,&quot; said novelist Jennifer Weiner.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> That view was captured in a &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot; send-up that featured her in an advertisement for a perfume called &quot;Complicit.&quot; A voiceover called it &quot;the fragrance for the woman who can stop all this ... but won&#39;t.&quot;</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> Ivanka Trump&#39;s defenders argue that the first daughter is being held to an unfairly high standard. <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas, managing director of the conservative Independent Women&#39;s Network, said &quot;a lot of this criticism of her overlooks that she is a pretty accomplished woman in her own right.&quot;</span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> Trump, a 35-year-old mother of three, previously held executive roles at the Trump Organization and running her self-named lifestyle brand that offers clothing and jewelry. She relinquished those positions to come to Washington, though she retains ownership of her brand.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> Trump&#39;s influence in the White House has cemented quickly. Alongside husband Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to the president, she has become almost a fixture in the building. She has at times hosted events similar to those held by past first ladies: This week she welcomed female entrepreneurs to the White House, spoke to girls about STEM education and announced an official trip to Germany. But she&#39;s also sat in on meetings with foreign leaders, including a recent session with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> While her influence in the tumultuous White House remains opaque, she is very close to her father, who joined her at a round table this week and praised her work on women&#39;s economic issues. Noting an invitation for Ivanka Trump to attend a summit in Berlin, the president said she will be &quot;working on similar issues with Chancellor Merkel.&quot;</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> Ivanka Trump&#39;s promise to advocate for pro-family proposals has been met with some skepticism. She has limited political experience and scant support from Republican lawmakers. Critics note she remained silent about the White House-backed health care legislation, which would have blocked federal payments for a year to Planned Parenthood and could have reduced access to maternity and pediatric care. As that bill unraveled last week, she was on vacation in Aspen with her family.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> &quot;Ivanka Trump is a woman, who happens to be a mom, who works,&quot; said Juliet Williams, a professor of gender studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. &quot;That is really not the same caliber of qualifications to install her as a leader of this administration&#39;s efforts to address challenges facing working women.&quot;</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> Still, some more liberal women have offered support. Trump was praised last month by Anne Marie Slaughter, who five years ago wrote a popular essay in The Atlantic magazine on why she left a job in the State Department to spend more time with her family. She took to Twitter to defend Trump against criticism of the childcare policy offered during the campaign.</p> <p style="margin-left:12.0pt;"> Slaughter tweeted that if Trump &quot;could actually get something like this through, it would be real &amp; important progress.&quot;</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> And the first daughter is winning people over. Dyan Gibbens, owner of Trumball Unmanned, which provides data services to the energy industry, came away from two White House meetings impressed with Trump.</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> &quot;She&#39;s composed, she&#39;s confident, she&#39;s well spoken, she&#39;s well-educated, which are all the traits we want our daughters to have,&quot; Gibbens said. &quot;Give her a chance.&quot;</p> http://iwf.org/media/2803275/Carrie L. LukasThu, 30 Mar 2017 08:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum