Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News/Commentary, Blog posts and publications(...)IWF RSS Feminism Jumped the Shark?<p> A new <a href="">video</a> &ldquo;F-bombs for Feminism&rdquo; made the rounds on social media yesterday.</p> <p> (In case the title didn&rsquo;t alert you, be warned that this is not something you necessarily want to watch without headphones!)</p> <p> Following in the footsteps of Beyonc&eacute; who last year made the &ldquo;shocking&rdquo; comment that &ldquo;gender equality is a myth,&rdquo; &ldquo;F-bombs for Feminism&rdquo; is a ridiculous attempt to wake people up to women&rsquo;s rights. The group FCKH8 gathered a group of little girls wearing princess dress-up clothing and using &nbsp;&ldquo;offensive&rdquo; language to bring attention to all the &ldquo;really offensive&rdquo; ways our patriarchal society is discriminating against and mistreating women.</p> <p> And they play all the big hits: pay inequality, rape and sexual assault, and being pretty.</p> <p> FCKH8 makes use of all the usual statistical suspects: &ldquo;<em>Women make 23% less than men for the exact same f*cking work</em>.&rdquo; And, &ldquo;<em>One out of five women will be sexually assaulted or raped by a man. Stop telling girls how to dress and start teaching boys not to f*cking rape</em>.&rdquo;</p> <p> And no feminist video would be complete without a confused section on women&rsquo;s bodies, suddenly wanting to turn the conversation <em>away from</em> (wait, I&rsquo;m confused) our bodies? Funny how it was the feminists who were leading the parade of <a href="'s-Talk-about-this-%22Slutwalk%22-Stuff">slut walks around the globe</a>, and I heard crickets from feminists when <a href=";sa=U&amp;ei=BppHVIDdB8Se8QGQrIAg&amp;ved=0CAYQFjAA&amp;client=internal-uds-cse&amp;usg=AFQjCNEEyIzVWRLXOhMNmeNyrdWn8ebIVw">Miley Cyrus embarrassed herself</a> gyrating and twerking nearly nude at the MTV Music Awards last year. Ugh. I wish they&rsquo;d get their message straight on that one.</p> <p> I won&rsquo;t bother trying to counter the section on pay equality. If a reader really wants to learn about the wage gap they can read <a href="">IWF&rsquo;s endless work on the subject here</a>. And if you&rsquo;re interested in a <em>thoughtful</em> conversation about sexual violence and rape &ndash; a serious criminal act that shouldn&rsquo;t be made light of by little girls with attitude &ndash; you can <a href="">read this publication IWF put out after our event on the same issue</a>.</p> <p> What I will comment on is that we&rsquo;ve allowed the conversation about gender and equality in America to get to this point.&nbsp; The video closes out with &ldquo;adult&rdquo; women offering the message: &ldquo;Instead of cleaning these girls&rsquo; mouths out with soap, maybe society should clean up it&rsquo;s act.&rdquo; Wow &ndash; how mature. Do they really think that life in America is truly this awful? And do they think average women who are working hard each day and taking care of their families will really relate to this?</p> <p> What&rsquo;s actually offensive is <em>not</em> that they&rsquo;ve used little girls in this way. Yes, it&rsquo;s crass and sad, but I&rsquo;m not losing sleep over an eight year old yelling &ldquo;f*ck&rdquo; at me. The real crime here is the message they&rsquo;re promoting to women and girls. As their name suggests, American society and the workplace are openly hostile to women. Women are regularly and consistently mistreated, paid unfairly, and not rewarded for their accomplishments. They perpetuate the myth that women &ndash; and little girls &ndash; are all victims and men are all perpetrators. Good luck having any kind of healthy relationship with that mindset! And in true feminist form, they have removed all agency from women, making them &ndash; oh, perfect! &ndash; child-like victims!</p> <p> IWF understands there are women and their families who face real economic challenges &ndash; especially at a time when the economy is still teetering on stability and failed government policies are limiting our choices over health care, education, even saving for retirement. And we think there are real, substantive ways we can improve things for women. (See our new book <a href="">Lean Together here</a>.) But life in America is pretty good. <a href="">Women have an unprecedented opportunity to learn, to work, and to succeed</a>. And women are increasingly outpacing men educationally, professionally, even financially.</p> <p> The only thing that should be <em>shocking</em> in this video is how openly political and vitriolic the conversation about women &ndash; and by extension women voters &ndash; has become. From the War on Women to FCKH8 gender feminists have started to show their true colors in which anger and resentment drive their motivations rather than good will. One can only assume liberal feminists see their relevance rapidly fading away and are grasping at straws. But really it looks like feminism has finally jumped the shark.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> SchaefferWed, 22 Oct 2014 09:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHow Republicans Are Peeling Women Away from Democrats<p> <a href="">Headlines this week</a>&nbsp;warn that Democrats might not have a stronghold on the &ldquo;women&rsquo;s&rdquo; vote this November.</p> <p> This is good news for a lot of reasons, but it suggests that there has been a real effort by women&rsquo;s groups like the&nbsp;<a href="">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</a>&nbsp;&ndash; and others&nbsp;<a href="">like the Susan B. Anthony List</a>&nbsp;&ndash; to take charges of sexism and a &ldquo;War on Women&rdquo; head on.</p> <p> In 2012, at the height of the Democrat&rsquo;s manufactured &ldquo;War on Women&rdquo; campaign, the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum conducted&nbsp;<a href="">a randomized controlled experiment to learn more about how to talk about the wage gap and proposed Paycheck Fairness Act</a>.</p> <p> Even then, when Democratic vitriol was fierce, we learned that the War on Women narrative wasn&rsquo;t a silver bullet. Our experiment randomly assigned respondents to one of four treatments or a control group in which they read competing arguments about the wage gap and Paycheck Fairness Act. Across all five conditions only 34 percent of women agreed there really was a Republican &ldquo;War on Women.&rdquo;</p> <p> Even more important, however, is that our research demonstrated that it is essential for our side to respond on major &ldquo;women&rsquo;s&rdquo; issues like equal pay. Certainly we want more women to understand the facts behind the small wage gap &ndash; why it exists, what women can do about it, and how government interference will make things worse &ndash; but we also learned that the impact of responding on equal pay had a cascading effect. Pushing back on the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act ultimately dampened the effect on the larger &ldquo;War on Women&rdquo; rhetoric.</p> <p> The very act of having a&nbsp;<em>debate</em>&nbsp;&ndash; of creating a two-sided flow of information &ndash; reduced political support for President Obama among women who had voted for him in 2008 by 12 points, from 87 to 75 percent and&nbsp;<em>boosted</em>&nbsp;support for Romney by 12-points from 13 percent to 25 percent.</p> <p> And this negative impact also affected support for&nbsp;<em>other</em>&nbsp;big-government policies.&nbsp;The debate over the PFA, where respondents read about&nbsp;the economic impact the proposed law would have, actually reduced support among Obama voters for ObamaCare and the president&rsquo;s&nbsp;comprehensive economic plans.</p> <p> Political behavior research tells us that it&rsquo;s disruptive when women receive a competing argument. Voters hearing new information begin to question their previous understanding of the issues, and are more likely to seek out more new information.</p> <p> This election season we&rsquo;ve seen many more groups &ndash; especially conservative women&rsquo;s groups &ndash; actively engage in the conversation. This is a tremendous step in the right direction, and we&rsquo;re apt to see a real difference at the polls next month.</p> <p> <em>Sabrina L. Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> SchaefferTue, 21 Oct 2014 07:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella, women, and the pay gap • The Bill Cunningham Show SchaefferSun, 19 Oct 2014 12:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumQuestions over Saudis' motive as it pumps more oil and drives down prices • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 18 Oct 2014 11:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDefense dept. declares climate change an "immediate" threat to security • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 18 Oct 2014 11:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhere is the protocol? Ebola positive nurse had CDC green light to fly • Cavuto SchaefferWed, 15 Oct 2014 09:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEbola Fears: Is Ebola impacting the market? • Cavuto SchaefferWed, 15 Oct 2014 09:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWar on Women; Yes Means Yes; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz • PBS To The Contrary SchaefferSun, 12 Oct 2014 10:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumKiller Swings: Ongoing culture of alarmism at school scrapping swing sets • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 11 Oct 2014 10:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat Microsoft’s CEO Gets Right about Workplace Culture<p> Women&rsquo;s groups and media have jumped on Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, whose comments about women and the pay gap caused a stir this week. Nadella told an audience at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix that women shouldn&rsquo;t necessarily ask for a raise; rather, they should have &ldquo;faith that the system will give you the right raises as you go along.&rdquo;</p> <p> Nadella clearly lacked a familiarity and nuance with the topic of the wage gap. And I&rsquo;ll suggest to anyone talking about women in the workplace that they don&rsquo;t ever use the words &ldquo;karma&rdquo; and &ldquo;super powers&rdquo; without it being ironic. Still while Nadella made some awkward statements, they were mixed in with some important truths that have been overlooked.</p> <p> I&rsquo;ve written extensively about the need to encourage women to be more aggressive when negotiating salary and asking for raises. While you can go too far, most women don&rsquo;t go far enough. (See chapter four in the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum&rsquo;s new book&nbsp;<em><a href="">Lean Together</a></em>&nbsp;for more.)</p> <p> But before everyone pounces on Nadella, he gets something right. I would never tell women &mdash; or men &mdash; to simply &ldquo;trust the system&rdquo;; but for those who listened long enough, Nadella addresses a larger problem that often plagues men and women, especially younger workers. This is the idea that good work should immediately be rewarded. In an age where everyone can have a voice through social media, there&rsquo;s a tendency to think that getting an A, graduating from a good college, publishing an article makes you special or ready for more responsibility and a higher salary. Nadella&rsquo;s point was that it takes time to earn respect, to earn your employer&rsquo;s trust, and ultimately to earn higher wages.</p> <p> He&rsquo;s walking a fine line &mdash; and he might want to get a whole lot more familiar with the topic of the wage gap &mdash; but if we want to have an honest conversation about women&rsquo;s success in the workplace, we should broaden the scope of the debate. Women&rsquo;s success &mdash; like men&rsquo;s &mdash; is not simply calculated in dollars and cents, but in her long-term goals and aspirations.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s always a good thing to encourage women to take advantage of the tools that are available to them &mdash; and there&rsquo;s a multi-million dollar industry directed toward helping women succeed in the workplace &mdash; and to make more girls more comfortable talking about money and their position within a company. But let&rsquo;s not think all it takes is asking for a raise.</p> <p> <em>&mdash;</em>&nbsp;<em>Sabrina L. Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.&nbsp;</em></p> SchaefferFri, 10 Oct 2014 14:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAmerican Jihadist: Preserving civil liberties while protecting securities • Cavuto SchaefferTue, 7 Oct 2014 08:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMoney Grab? Another round of charges against banks for currency manipulation • Cavuto SchaefferTue, 7 Oct 2014 08:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIs the CDC feeding the panic and hysteria around Ebola? • Cavuto SchaefferTue, 7 Oct 2014 08:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPolitical Correctness Run Amok? FCC considering "Redskins" ban • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 4 Oct 2014 11:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAuthorities treating beheading as workplace violence, not act of terror • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 4 Oct 2014 11:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum