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.org33968GAO: Federal Agencies' Rape Definitions Differ<p> Federal agencies can&#39;t agree on what rape is. According to a July report from the Government Accountability Office, this interagency confusion misleads the American public. The<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/678511.pdf&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1471976691701000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFDvAreTgIr-aedCMqwY2CXdIZZpg" href="http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/678511.pdf" target="_blank">report</a>, requested by Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, revealed vast differences in how the Departments of Education, Defense, Justice, and Health and Human Services define and collect data on rape and sexual assault.</p> <p> They found &quot;at least 10 efforts to collect data on sexual violence, which differ in target population, terminology, measurements, and methodology&quot; and &quot;23 different terms to describe sexual violence.&quot; The number of American rape victims in 2011 ranged from 84,175 per the FBI&#39;s Uniform Crime Reporting system to 1,929,000 according to the CDC&#39;s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. And according to watchdogs at GAO, this diverse array of rape statistics came in handy: &quot;Because there is wide variation in the results, entities that use federal data on sexual violence have a choice of which data to use, and entities reported using data that best suited their needs.&quot; Political needs seem to trump transparency, a core value of this administration.</p> <p> <strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;The GAO is correct that it is crucial to define sexual violence correctly and consistently,&quot; said Sabrina Schaeffer, director of the Independent Women&#39;s Forum, told THE WEEKLY STANDARD. &quot;Too often inflated figures and definitions drive alarmism and ultimately grow government in a way that fashions women as victims and men as abusers. Ultimately, the IWF wants to encourage a culture of responsibility among both men and women so that we can have a healthier and safer society with happier more stable relationships for everyone.&quot;</span></span></strong></p> <p> <strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">As a women&#39;s advocacy group, IWF has been consistently critical of the federal government&#39;s imprecise approach to combatting sexual violence. Reform-minded advocacy for a &quot;culture of responsibility&quot; might begin with reassessing the reckless characterizations derived from inconsistent definitions and misleading data. The famous&nbsp;</span></span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/12/17/one-in-five-women-in-college-sexually-assaulted-an-update/" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">one-in-five statistic</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">, for example, which the White House&#39;s&nbsp;</span></span><a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=http://itsonus.org/&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1471978878975000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHJQNdrWRQuzvX5QGksiT_GiDLNSg" href="http://itsonus.org/" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;It&#39;s On Us&quot; campaign</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&nbsp;popularized, depends in part on a broad definition of &quot;attempted sexual assault&quot; that includes varieties of sloppy &quot;unwanted contact&quot; nary a coed can avoid&mdash;a far cry from the FBI&#39;s definition of rape.</span></span></strong></p> <p> <cnt></cnt><cnt></cnt><cnt></cnt><cnt></cnt>GAO recommends that the agencies make their divergent methods publicly available.</p> http://iwf.org/media/2801194/Sabrina SchaefferTue, 23 Aug 2016 11:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDiffering Definitions Of Rape Create Opening For Misuse<p> Different federal agencies define rape differently, and activists looking to make it look like there&#39;s a rape &quot;epidemic&quot; occurring across the country can take their pick of data related to those definitions.</p> <p> The Government Accountability Office, in response to a request from Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, <a href="http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/678511.pdf">discovered the disagreement</a> among federal agencies of what is and is not rape. McCaskill herself is one of the biggest advocates for basing draconian legislation on of a broad definition that results in flawed statistics.</p> <p> The GAO found &quot;at least 10 efforts to collect data on sexual violence, which differ in target population, terminology, measurements, and methodology.&quot; It also found &quot;23 different terms to describe sexual violence.&quot;</p> <p> These definitions lead to vast differences in the number of victims of rape and sexual assault. The FBI&#39;s Uniform Crime Reporting system found 84,175 American rape victims in 2011, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention &mdash; using a much broader definition in a self-reported survey &mdash; estimated there were 1,929,000 victims in 2011. That&#39;s a 2,200 percent increase.</p> <p> While the FBI used actual reported crime statistics based on the legal definition of rape, the CDC used a definition so broad it included things like stolen kisses or merely &quot;unwanted contact&quot; that could have been the result of misread signals.</p> <p> Of course, those pushing an agenda that sexual assault and rape &mdash; especially on college campuses &mdash; has reached &quot;epidemic&quot; proportions will use the broader definition, even if it is only backed by a self-reported survey. They use this information to <a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/terrible-awful-campus-sex-assault-bill-is-back/article/2589589">promote bills</a> like the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which insists all accusers be believed and takes steps to ensure accused students have no ability to defend themselves.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">GAO watchdogs point out the problem with using various definitions, writing: &quot;Because there is wide variation in the results, entities that use federal data on sexual violence have a choice of which data to use, and entities reported using data that best suited their needs.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">This, says Independent Women&#39;s Forum Director Sabrina Schaeffer, is used for convenience.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;The GAO is correct that it is crucial to define sexual violence correctly and consistently,&quot; Schaeffer </span></span><a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/gao-federal-agencies-rape-definitions-differ/article/2003925?utm_content=bufferd86b7&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_campaign=buffer"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">told the Weekly Standard</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">. &quot;Too often inflated figures and definitions drive alarmism and ultimately grow government in a way that fashions women as victims and men as abusers. Ultimately, the IWF wants to encourage a culture of responsibility among both men and women so that we can have a healthier and safer society with happier more stable relationships for everyone.&quot;</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> The broadest definition of sexual assault &mdash; used by the CDC &mdash; has created alarmism through a series of surveys that are <a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/sorry-activists-another-flawed-survey-doesnt-prove-rape-culture/article/2581126">all flawed in similar ways</a> and continue to claim 1 in 5 college women as victims of sexual assault. These surveys lump everything from a stolen kiss to forcible rape into the category of sexual assault, even though the vast majority of women said they didn&#39;t report any incident because they didn&#39;t think it was serious enough.</p> <p> The GAO recommended that federal agencies make their differing definitions public. This could help in the short-term, as it would force zealous officials like McCaskill to explain what they&#39;re claiming is sexual assault. A better solution would be for all federal agencies to use one definition &mdash; a serious definition tied to the one used in the legal system. Maybe then we won&#39;t be branding our young people as rapists just for kissing someone.</p> http://iwf.org/media/2801217/Sabrina SchaefferTue, 23 Aug 2016 11:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPresidential Election, Poverty, & Helping Women Achieve Success • To The Contraryhttp://iwf.org/media/2801133/Sabrina SchaefferSat, 13 Aug 2016 12:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumCost Of College And Drop Outs Skyrocketing • Forbes On Fox http://iwf.org/media/2801130/Sabrina SchaefferSat, 13 Aug 2016 10:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumLibertarian Gary Johnson Vows To Replace Income Tax With Sales Tax • Forbes On Foxhttp://iwf.org/media/2801129/Sabrina SchaefferSat, 13 Aug 2016 10:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumClinton Or Trump's Connections To Russia More Concerning? • Forbes On Foxhttp://iwf.org/media/2801128/Sabrina SchaefferSat, 13 Aug 2016 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumClinton Vs. Trump On The Death Tax • Risk & Reward http://iwf.org/media/2801119/Sabrina SchaefferThu, 11 Aug 2016 10:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIs Trump's Child Care Tax Credit Proposal Enough To Win Over Women? • CNN Newsroomhttp://iwf.org/media/2801088/Sabrina SchaefferTue, 9 Aug 2016 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTrump Offers Child Care Tax Credit • Coast To Coast http://iwf.org/media/2801080/Sabrina SchaefferMon, 8 Aug 2016 14:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHillary's Biggest Challenge: Can She Turn Out The Liberal Base? • Happening Nowhttp://iwf.org/media/2800914/Sabrina SchaefferMon, 25 Jul 2016 13:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWill DNC E-mail Leaks Affect Voter Turnout In November? • Coast To Coasthttp://iwf.org/media/2800912/Sabrina SchaefferMon, 25 Jul 2016 11:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPresidential politics; sexual harrassement in the workplace + Fox News • PBS To The Contrary http://iwf.org/media/2800929/Sabrina SchaefferSun, 24 Jul 2016 08:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIvanka Trump's Step In The Right Direction Bringing Up Women's Issues • CNN Newsroomhttp://iwf.org/media/2800896/Sabrina SchaefferFri, 22 Jul 2016 09:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumInside Donald Trump’s Strategy To Win Back Women<p> NEW YORK CITY -- Since Kellyanne Conway joined the Donald Trump campaign three weeks ago, she has appeared on television an average of three times daily, projecting titanic optimism: Trump will win over America&rsquo;s women.</p> <p> Female voters, she declares on air, value a healthy economy and national security &mdash; issues on which Trump <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/192104/trump-leads-clinton-top-ranking-economic-issues.aspx">polls well</a>. Besides, <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/katiecouric/trump-advisor-kellyanne-conway-on-the-campaigns-appeal-to-women-and-more-134446521.html">she told Katie Couric</a> last Wednesday, &ldquo;a critical mass of women have not said they&rsquo;d vote for Hillary Clinton.&rdquo; Trump, she insists, will sway them with policies promoting job creation and safety.</p> <p> Behind the scenes, however, the woman hired to fix Trump&rsquo;s image with women adjusts her message, nudging the Republican presidential nominee to stop insulting his critics&rsquo; looks and display more compassion.</p> <p> National polls persistently reveal a dearth of support for Trump among half the nation&rsquo;s voters. All year long, at least 65 percent of women surveyed in The Washington Post-ABC polls have reported holding an &ldquo;unfavorable&rdquo; view of the Republican candidate. The most recent share, released last week, stands at 69 percent, compared to 59 percent of men. No candidate has won the presidency &mdash; or even come close &mdash; with so little support from women <a href="http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/resources/ggpresvote.pdf">since before 1980</a>.</p> <p> Female supporters also seem scarce on the ground. At the Republican National Convention this week, the &ldquo;Women Vote Trump&rdquo; event appeared <a href="http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/07/women-for-trump-event-rnc-empty.html">nearly empty</a>, according to photos reporters shared on Twitter. &ldquo;The crowd is so small,&rdquo; one attendee <a href="https://twitter.com/oliverlaughland/status/755068152049008640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">tweeted</a>, &ldquo;the panel are asking themselves most of the questions.&rdquo;</p> <p> On a recent afternoon, spooning chilled pea soup at a French restaurant near Times Square, Conway, 49, hints how she&rsquo;ll tackle this challenge. You can&rsquo;t just tell Trump what to do, she said. You have to give him options.</p> <p> She illustrates the point with a story about her 11-year-old daughter.</p> <p> When Claudia emerged from her room on Memorial Day sporting turquoise, Conway asked her to change into blue. &ldquo;She goes, &lsquo;Turquoise <em>is</em> blue.&rsquo; And it is. But it wasn&rsquo;t a shade available to Betsy Ross when she stayed up through the night sewing the damn flag.&rdquo;</p> <p> She chose not to argue with the preteen, which would have delayed their morning. Instead she laid out four Betsy Ross blue choices on her bed. &ldquo;Minutes later,&rdquo; she says, &ldquo;she came out in one of those shades.&rdquo;</p> <p> Conway follows the same approach with the Republican presidential nominee. Never command. That could insult him. Always make suggestions, backed with information in 10-second sound bites: Betsy Ross lacked turquoise. Female voters want compassion.</p> <p> Acting tough&nbsp;comes naturally to Trump. Compassion ... well, she says, he has it. They&rsquo;re working on showing it off. She withholds the details.</p> <p> Evidence of her influence appears in Trump&rsquo;s response to recent tragedies. After the deaths this month of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile &mdash;&nbsp;two black men fatally shot by police &mdash; and the killings days later of five Dallas officers, he released a statement that even opponents praised.</p> <p> &ldquo;This is a time, perhaps more than ever,&rdquo; Trump said, &ldquo;for strong leadership, love and compassion.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>&#39;Maybe it&#39;s just the mother in me&#39;</strong></p> <p> Though women have voted more Democratic than men since 1980, Trump&rsquo;s elusive female approval concerns his team. Mitt Romney&rsquo;s support from women in the Post/ABC polls during his 2012 campaign never dipped below 53 percent, though he ultimately received 44 percent of women&#39;s votes.</p> <p> On the eve of the 2008 convention, meanwhile, 55 percent of women said they had a favorable impression of John McCain, while 31 percent report similar faith today in Trump. Not that Clinton is enjoying glittering success among women: The same poll found 48 percent like her, while another 48 percent say otherwise.</p> <p> National polls broadcast a tight race, with Clinton holding a five-point lead over Trump, a <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-06-14/bloomberg-politics-national-poll-june-2016"><u>slight loss</u></a> of edge since June. The business mogul&rsquo;s deficit with women, however, has stayed consistently larger than his opponent&rsquo;s deficit with men.</p> <p> That could have something to do with his public treatment of women.</p> <p> Trump has called comedian Rosie O&rsquo;Donnell &ldquo;disgusting&rdquo; with a &ldquo;fat pig face&rdquo; and Arianna Huffington &ldquo;ugly inside and out.&rdquo; He asserted supermodel Heidi Klum is <a href="http://www.etonline.com/news/170120_donald_trump_disses_heidi_klum/"><u>&ldquo;no longer a 10.&rdquo;</u></a> He said Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly had &ldquo;blood coming out of her wherever.&rdquo; He threatened to &ldquo;spill the beans&rdquo; on former rival Ted Cruz&rsquo;s wife, Heidi, while retweeting an unflattering picture of her. Last week, he attacked the sanity of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, widely hailed as a feminist icon, claiming her &ldquo;mind is shot.&rdquo;</p> <p> Conway doesn&rsquo;t like the name-calling. &ldquo;Maybe,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;it&rsquo;s just the mother in me.&rdquo;</p> <p> But that&rsquo;s not the side of Trump she wants to talk about.</p> <p> She smiles broadly. She leans in close. Her blond hair falls over her red Karen Millen sheath dress. She wants to shift attention away from Trump&rsquo;s takedowns to his ideas.</p> <p> <strong>What women really want</strong></p> <p> The former Washington lawyer, who lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children, built much of her nearly three-decade career around a persistently difficult task. She aims to help conservative men snare the female vote, a feat no Republican presidential candidate has achieved since George H.W. Bush first sought the White House in 1988.</p> <p> Conway&nbsp;grew up in Atco, N.J., 43 miles northeast of Atlantic City. Her mother, grandmother and aunts raised her. The half-Irish, half-Italian women posted prints of the pope and the Last Supper on the walls. They prayed before meals. They celebrated faith and grinding work.</p> <p> She found her professional niche in 1988, working for Dick Wirthlin, Ronald Reagan&rsquo;s pollster, in the summer before she graduated from George Washington University Law School. Her first assignment was to demystify the gender voting gap: How could the GOP attract more women?</p> <p> In 1995, Conway founded The <a href="http://pollingcompany.com/about/staff/"><u>Polling Company/WomanTrend</u></a>, a consulting firm that specializes in market research. A decade later, she co-authored a book titled &ldquo;What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live.&rdquo;</p> <p> Like Trump, she has generated criticism over the years. She caught flack for telling women to embrace femininity, not feminism, in a 2011 speech at the Conservative Women&rsquo;s Network. She caught more in 2013 for advising a group of House Republicans to <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/gop-pollsters-stop-talking-about-rape-086358"><u>stop talking about rape</u></a>. (Her former client, 2012 Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, famously said women can&rsquo;t get pregnant during a sexual assault because their bodies &ldquo;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/us/politics/rep-todd-akin-legitimate-rape-statement-and-reaction.html?_r=0"><u>shut the whole thing down</u></a>.&rdquo;)</p> <p> And sometimes, spontaneously, she goes off message. Before a recent NBC appearance, a hair stylist brushed her blond&nbsp;locks&nbsp;and talked about someone going bald. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s okay!&rdquo; Conway said. &ldquo;Women in my focus groups, they say a bald man is trustworthy. He has nothing to hide.&rdquo;</p> <p> Conway met Trump in 2006, when she served on the condominium board at Trump World Tower in Manhattan. She said the mogul seemed surprisingly hands-on, showing up at meetings to hear the residents&rsquo; concerns. She thought then he was much kinder than his public persona suggested.</p> <p> He called her over the years, following a familiar prompt: <em>I saw you on Hannity. I saw you on CNN. What do you think of this?</em></p> <p> In March 2015, Conway said, they met to discuss his presidential bid. She declined to work for him, thinking: I&rsquo;m not sure if this guy would ever care about polling.&nbsp;She worried about how the public would perceive their partnership. &ldquo;Like, &lsquo;What are you doing there?&rsquo;&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Riding on a plane? Whispering in his ear about what he should say to women?&rdquo;</p> <p> She linked up instead with Sen. Ted Cruz and ran his super PAC, Keep the Promise. When Cruz&#39;s&nbsp;campaign collapsed, Trump called again. Conway realized he was a serious contender.</p> <p> His history of bullying women wasn&rsquo;t a dealbreaker. Trump&rsquo;s string of biting comments shouldn&rsquo;t hurt him more than it already has, she said.</p> <p> &ldquo;The more that people keep repeating the same insults, the more it invites him to very legitimately defend himself,&rdquo; Conway said. &ldquo;Women look at the full measure of the man, not just one comment.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>A tough job</strong></p> <p> Conway likes a challenge. Her past clients include Newt Gingrich, Cruz and Trump&rsquo;s pick for vice president, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who lost women <a href="http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2016/04/08/enough-gop-women-stick-gov-mike-pence/82749486/"><u>by five points</u></a> in his 2012 race. None have been popular with the demographic.</p> <p> &ldquo;With all due respect, Kellyanne is very good at understanding Republican women. But working with candidates like that and trying to not make them look like cave men &mdash; that&rsquo;s a tough job,&rdquo; said Katie Packer, a Republican strategist who worked on the Romney campaign.<strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;</strong>She has created a niche where candidates can check a box and say, well, they&#39;ve got a woman advising them.&rdquo;</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a deeper problem that goes beyond any single individual in Republican politics,&rdquo; added Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women&#39;s Forum, a conservative think tank in Washington. (Conway sits on the board.) &ldquo;Republicans for many years simply didn&rsquo;t take gender differences seriously. &lsquo;We can ignore certain issues, and that&rsquo;s fine.&rsquo; But it&rsquo;s been politically tremendously damaging.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> The polls support her point. Women have voted majority-Democratic in every presidential election since 1992.</p> <p> What makes Trump fare worse with women than, say, Romney ever did likely has little to do with policy, though. A man in power flinging gendered insults appears to register as more disturbing to female voters.</p> <p> In the Post-ABC poll, 56 percent of respondents said Trump is biased against women and minorities, while 39 percent said he was not. Women, though, were 10 points more likely to report this belief than men. They were also 21 points more likely to say they felt &ldquo;strongly&rdquo; the candidate is biased.</p> <p> Sarah Lenti, a Republican strategist and former aide to Condoleezza Rice, said Trump needs to act like a statesman to improve his numbers with women. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s like a wild animal,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;He can&rsquo;t control himself.&rdquo;</p> <p> Not that his behavior stopped him from drawing roughly 14 million voters. The kind of voters he still needs to win &mdash; moderate conservative and independent women &mdash; tell Lenti he would be more appealing with one tweak.</p> <p> &ldquo;The fix,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;is as simple as Trump starting to control himself.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>But ...</strong></p> <p> Trump joked about his woman problem in May at a speech before the National Rifle Association. &quot;I will say, my poll numbers with men are through the roof,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;but I like women more than men. Come on, women. Let&#39;s go.&quot;</p> <p> Enter Conway, whom Trump declared &ldquo;an expert on female consumers and female voters&rdquo; in a July 1 hiring announcement. She&rsquo;s among the highest-ranking women on his team, serving as both senior adviser and pollster.</p> <p> She conducts aggressive polling. She stays on the topics conservative women say they most care about, highlighting Trump&rsquo;s resolve to lift middle-class workers and tighten the border.</p> <p> On family issues and policies that disproportionately affect women, she frequently takes the traditional route. While Clinton has argued that paid maternity and paternity leave should be universal, Conway said Trump will likely leave that work up to the states. On reproductive issues, Conway considers Pence, who wants to outlaw abortion, an asset to the ticket. Trump has flipped positions on abortion at least four times, calling earlier this year for women who undergo the procedure to be punished. He later retracted the statement.</p> <p> There is at least one family policy she hopes will uniquely appeal to women, wading into an area typically owned by the left.</p> <p> Ivanka Trump, his oldest daughter, is leading the charge on a child-care plan, Conway said. She&rsquo;s meeting with academics on both sides of the ideological aisle. It will offer a conservative alternative to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/12/the-enormous-ambition-of-hillary-clintons-child-care-plan/"><u>Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s proposal</u></a>, which caps the expense at 10 percent of a household&rsquo;s income and funds the much of the cost with tax credits and subsidies.</p> <p> She won&rsquo;t disclose many details but said Trump will promote incentives for businesses &mdash; perhaps in the form of tax credits &mdash; to help take care of their employees&rsquo; child-care needs, which, she points out, could boost their bottom lines. Trump&rsquo;s tax plan, meanwhile, will include a $500 per family credit to help cover child-care costs.</p> <p> Gender, Conway says, doesn&rsquo;t determine what voters care about. Her research shows it does, however, play a role in how they cast their vote.</p> <p> &ldquo;We need to address women,&rdquo; Conway said, &ldquo;from the waist up.&rdquo;</p> <p> That means, to her, doubling down on conservative messaging, while acknowledging the issues that disproportionately affect women, and delivering it with a less disparaging tone.</p> <p> She often hears the same feedback from female voters about Trump, regardless of their background.</p> <p> &ldquo;They say, &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t always like what he says, or how he says it,&#39;&rdquo; Conway said. &ldquo;&lsquo;<em>But </em>I think he would change Washington. I think he would create jobs and balance budgets.&rsquo;&quot;</p> <p> She grins.</p> <p> &ldquo;I can work with the &lsquo;but.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> http://iwf.org/media/2800871/Sabrina SchaefferWed, 20 Jul 2016 13:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMike Pence Has Mocked Working Moms: ‘Sure, You Can Have It All’<p> Like so many politicians who&rsquo;ve leapt overnight into national scrutiny, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence now faces intense journalistic vetting &mdash; which tends to include an onslaught of cringeworthy throwbacks. One day after Donald Trump named Pence his pick for vice president, reporters unearthed a 1999 essay he penned characterizing&nbsp;Disney&rsquo;s &ldquo;Mulan&rdquo; as&nbsp;liberal propaganda.</p> <p> &ldquo;Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan&rsquo;s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts,&rdquo; Pence wrote <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/mister-ill-make-a-man-out-of-you?utm_term=.wnVb8jNVZ#.ohE65mWMO">in the op-ed</a>. &ldquo;Obviously, this is Walt Disney&rsquo;s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military.&rdquo;</p> <p> Next came fierce criticism of working mothers.</p> <p> &ldquo;Sure, you can have it all,&rdquo; he wrote in <a href="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2016/images/07/18/unknown.png">a 1997 letter </a>to the Indianapolis Star. &ldquo;But your day-care kids get the short end of the emotional stick.&rdquo;</p> <p> Pence of the past seems like he really wants women to just stay home. (His wife, we should note, is a longtime teacher.) That moral argument, of course, has disintegrated over time, considering female breadwinners <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/08/one-way-that-working-women-have-it-better-than-men/">now support 40 percent of American households</a>, and most families simply can&rsquo;t survive on one income.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s also trapped in worn-out gender stereotypes. Why aren&rsquo;t we blasting working dads, Past Pence?</p> <p> We&nbsp;don&#39;t know if Pence&rsquo;s views have since changed &mdash; Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks didn&rsquo;t respond to a request for comment. But if they haven&#39;t, he&#39;s increasingly out of step with his party. Last year, for example, Marco Rubio became the first GOP candidate to release a policy plan to make childcare more affordable, proposing <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2015/11/11/marco_rubio_s_meager_offerings_for_working_parents_are_still_the_best_in.html">new tax credits for working families</a>.</p> <p> Trump, for his part, plans to address childcare soon, providing an alternative to Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s plan, which would cap family spending on the service at 10 percent of household income. Details have yet to be released, but aides say Ivanka Trump, his oldest daughter, is leading the charge. She&rsquo;s a mother of three and executive vice president of development and acquisition at the Trump Organization.</p> <p> Pence&nbsp;did highlight a real concern in his essay, though, citing <a href="https://www.nichd.nih.gov/research/supported/seccyd/Pages/biblio.aspx"><u>a government study</u></a> that found children in daycare didn&rsquo;t show signs of slowed cognitive or linguistic development, but some showed less affection to their primary caretaker at home.&nbsp;</p> <p> Researchers today aren&rsquo;t worried about the emotional impact of daycare on kids &mdash; they&rsquo;re worried about the emotional impact of low-quality daycare on kids. In <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/15/the-brain-science-behind-britains-new-parenting-classes/"><u>a now-famous study</u></a>, Harvard neuroscientist Jack Shonkoff&nbsp;concluded&nbsp;that&nbsp;leaving toddlers alone for long periods of time, which can happen at overcrowded centers, sends them into a state of mental stress. That interferes with brain development, they wrote, and could determine how well they do in school or control impulses down the road.</p> <p> Guilt-tripping parents who must work to feed their babies isn&rsquo;t the solution, though. Modern policy architects say America&rsquo;s childcare is too expensive for parents, while daycare centers offer workers fast-food wages.</p> <p> Those on the left want to see a massive public investment into childcare, which would attract more skilled caretakers and open more quality slots for children. Those on the right, which historically avoided this conversation, have started to propose conservative alternatives, including tax credits for business that provide care on-site.</p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;For years now, Democrats have been saying: We are focused on women in the workplace,&rdquo; Sabrina&nbsp;Schaeffer, executive director of the conservative Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum,</span></span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/conservatives-frustrated-by-gops-drop-in-working-womens-votes/2015/06/19/e2c5e736-0f84-11e5-adec-e82f8395c032_story.html"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><u><span style="background-color:#ea425b;"> has told me</span></u></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">. &ldquo;For whatever reason, Republicans keep ignoring these issues. It&rsquo;s the absolute worst thing they can do. They need to understand, engage and offer better solutions. They can&rsquo;t be afraid.&rdquo;</span></span></strong></span></p> http://iwf.org/media/2800863/Sabrina SchaefferTue, 19 Jul 2016 16:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum