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News/Commentary, Blog posts and publications(...)IWF RSS Feminism: Democrats perpetuate the myth that society, our schools, and the workplace are inherently unfair to women and girls today • Bill Cunningham Show SchaefferWed, 30 Jul 2014 08:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWinning women and debunking the 'War on Women' • WDUN Morning Talk with Joel Williams SchaefferWed, 30 Jul 2014 08:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAre Democrats trying to lock women into a relationship with big gov't? • The Source w/ Ezra Levant SchaefferTue, 29 Jul 2014 10:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumQuestions raised over airline safety after air disasters • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 26 Jul 2014 16:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTaxpayer dollars paying for corporate welfare overseas • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 26 Jul 2014 16:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumObamaCare: Fraudulent policies getting approved & getting subsidies • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 26 Jul 2014 16:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum‘Run Liz Run’: Stuck in the Age of Folk<p class="p1"> <span class="s1">Democrats know how to reach voters. I&rsquo;m not talking about using better data or GOTV techniques &ndash; I mean how to reach people emotionally. That&rsquo;s exactly the point of the new video &ndash; &ldquo;<a href=""><span class="s2">Run Liz Run</span></a>&rdquo; &ndash; promoting Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Set to a catchy folk-song it&rsquo;s a portrait of enthusiastic supporters carrying signs and cheering for the Senator as she gives a passionate speech at the progressive Netroots Nation conference. It makes you feel hopeful, excited about the prospects of seeing a woman in the White House, and paints politics as accessible.</span></p> <p class="p1"> <span class="s1">Despite the video&rsquo;s positive vibe, however, it&rsquo;s clear supporters of Liz Warren view life in America as inherently unfair. &ldquo;Run Liz Run&rdquo; calls for a &ldquo;leader who won&rsquo;t stand for all the Wall Street bull&mdash;-;&rdquo; stresses that &ldquo;people think the system is rigged because it is,&rdquo; and reminds us that &ldquo;nobody got rich on their own, not nobody.&rdquo; The video skillfully pits Americans against one another &ndash; a technique Warren has already perfected, by using the word &ldquo;fighting&rdquo; with great frequency &ndash; without ever making the viewer feel angry.</span></p> <p class="p1"> <span class="s1">Of course, &ldquo;Run Liz Run&rdquo; conforms to the tradition of folk songs. It&rsquo;s speaking to the &ldquo;oppressed&rdquo; &ndash; workers, minorities, women &ndash; with a message that a president Warren can help us overcome our social and economic hardship. And it&rsquo;s the discordant effect that makes folk songs like &ldquo;Run Liz Run&rdquo; powerful. Bob Dylan&rsquo;s comforting voice asking <i>&ldquo;</i>how many times must the cannon balls fly/ Before they&rsquo;re forever banned?<i>&ldquo;</i> Or Marlo Thomas singing <i>&ldquo;</i>Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free<i>&ldquo;</i> in the eponymous song from the playful children&rsquo;s album <i>Free To Be You and Me</i>. Folk songs are meant to resonate with everyday Americans, and Warren&rsquo;s agenda is meant to address their adversity.</span></p> <p class="p1"> <span class="s1">It&rsquo;s not surprising Warren supporters are using this tried and true technique, as little has changed in progressive politics over the half-century since the 1960s folk resurgence of Dylan, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell. Instead of evolving and improving, the disheartening message of inequality and victimhood remains the mainstay for Democrats like Warren &ndash; and especially for liberal women&rsquo;s groups who will actively support her and her big-government agenda.</span></p> <p class="p1"> <span class="s1">This is not to suggest we don&rsquo;t have challenges in America today, or that there isn&rsquo;t a need to strengthen our economy, build stronger communities, and streamline our government. There has always been and always will be a need to improve the American experiment. But lost in the folksy style of &ldquo;Run Liz Run&rdquo; is how Warren&rsquo;s feel-good policies of raising the minimum wage, passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, advocating for government-run schools (and naturally limiting choice and freedom in education), forcing resources into green-only energy solutions, and pushing for &ldquo;free&rdquo; benefits for women in ObamaCare will actually help improve the lives of more Americans.</span></p> <p class="p1"> <span class="s1">Even with the best song, perpetuating the narrative that women are a victim class, or that workers are oppressed by corporations, doesn&rsquo;t strengthen society. It&rsquo;s simply a tool used to encourage even greater dependence on the state, and to give government even more control over our lives.</span></p> <p class="p1"> <span class="s1">We have real challenges in this country that require a conversation and perhaps even a &ldquo;revolution&rdquo; of sorts. But instead of turning failed progressive policies into a soundtrack, we need Americans to rise up against government largesse and advance policies that improve the country while staying true to our founding ideals of liberty and individualism.</span></p> <p class="p1"> <span class="s1"><i>Sabrina L. Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum and a contributor to the forthcoming IWF book, &ldquo;Lean Together: An Agenda for Greater Economic Security, Stronger Communities, and Smarter Government.&rdquo;</i></span></p> SchaefferWed, 23 Jul 2014 13:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWomen & Funding: The Gross Misconception Over "Gender Differences"<p> I couldn&rsquo;t be more excited that women and political giving is the topic of conversation today. Two articles appeared yesterday that has the media spinning: <a href="">Politico</a> asked why women don&rsquo;t give the same big dollars that men do. And <a href="">Roll Call</a> asked why conservative and Republican women&rsquo;s groups are underfunded. Two different, but related issues, but both come down to &ldquo;gender differences.&rdquo;</p> <p> As the head of a free market women&#39;s organization, I&#39;m well-aware of the fundraising challenges that exist on the Right. As I consider IWF&#39;s growth over the past few years &ndash; and our upward trajectory moving forward -- I&#39;m cautiously optimistic that the tide is changing, and that more people in the liberty movement see the value of a women&rsquo;s organization and the need to reach more women with a limited government message.</p> <p> But the fact remains that we are David to the Progressive&rsquo;s Goliath. Women&rsquo;s groups dominate the Progressive political landscape. Emily&#39;s List may be the Queen Bee, but they are not the only group in town. The National Organization for Women, American Association of University Women, National Women&#39;s Law Center, National Council for Research on Women, Women&#39;s Voices Women Vote (or, Voter Participation Center), the League of Women Voters, and the Institute for Women&#39;s Policy research -- just to name a few -- are research, grassroots, and fundraising machines.</p> <p> These women&#39;s groups take gender seriously and they know how to spend their millions of dollars. Most on the Right have no idea how effective these organizations have been in targeting and mobilizing women voters and ultimately in promoting big-government policies. (The League of Women Voters, for instance, was at the forefront of political GOTV experiments more than a decade ago -- something Republicans still lag far, far behind on.)&nbsp;</p> <p> The biggest problem in attracting women donors and building stronger women&rsquo;s organizations on the Right is the gross misconception over &ldquo;gender differences.&rdquo;</p> <p> Most of us on the Right still believe there are real&nbsp;and&nbsp;significant,&nbsp;biological differences between boys and girls/men and women. Yet when it comes to politics, we actively ignore that there&rsquo;s any difference at all in how a man or woman might behave: what might motivate them to give, what issue might be most persuasive, what kind of messenger or mode of contact might be most effective.</p> <p> The Right needs to recognize that thinking about and talking to women &ndash; whether it&rsquo;s potential donors or voters &ndash; is not the same thing as pandering or playing &ldquo;gender politics.&rdquo; Women make up 54 percent of the voting population, yet the Right fails to consistently engage with them.</p> <p> I don&rsquo;t blame women donors who don&rsquo;t want to be sidelined into helping with a &ldquo;women&rsquo;s effort.&rdquo; They&rsquo;re right. Too often engaging with women <em>is</em> a tangential effort &ndash; an afterthought. But speaking to women shouldn&rsquo;t take place in a breakout session. It shouldn&rsquo;t be an &ldquo;end of the campaign&rdquo; GOTV effort. It shouldn&rsquo;t be a women&rsquo;s &ldquo;happy hour.&rdquo; And it shouldn&rsquo;t mean trotting out women as an accessory.</p> <p> If the right wants to solve its &ldquo;women&rdquo; problem, it needs to bring in more women donors, fund more organizations like the IWF which focuses on sophisticated messaging research and targeting women in the middle, and most of all stop confusing effective communication with the pandering of the Left.</p> <p> We all know it&rsquo;s not enough to have good communications; but our side is selling&nbsp;universal&nbsp;principles and policies that are gender-neutral and good for all citizens. And that&rsquo;s a fundraising pitch both men and women ought to be able to get behind.</p> <p> <em>Sabrina L. Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> SchaefferWed, 23 Jul 2014 11:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDrone Debate: Should we lift commercial drone ban & crack down on recreational use? • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 12 Jul 2014 11:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMore Fraud: Is it time to tie in work requirements for food stamps? • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 12 Jul 2014 11:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumBorder Breakdown: Has corruption become a mainstay due to too big government? • Cavuto SchaefferTue, 8 Jul 2014 15:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFinance Crackdown: Does Wall Street need reform? Who will it affect? • Cavuto SchaefferMon, 7 Jul 2014 16:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMinimum wage hikes putting student jobs in danger • Cavuto SchaefferMon, 7 Jul 2014 15:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEmployer-based insurance is the real problem with American health care system • Cavuto SchaefferMon, 7 Jul 2014 15:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIndependence: Time to end employer & govt-provided health coverage? • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 5 Jul 2014 10:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum