Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS 25k Families In Public Housing Above Income Cutoff • Forbes On Fox SchaefferSat, 6 Feb 2016 15:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSyrian Refugees Entering Canada To Sneak Across US Border • Forbes On Fox SchaefferSat, 6 Feb 2016 15:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTrump, Carson: Cruz Used Unfair Campaign Tactics • Forbes On Fox SchaefferSat, 6 Feb 2016 15:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew IA Voicemails: Critics Question Cruz Camp's Tactics, Honesty • CNN Newsroom SchaefferFri, 5 Feb 2016 09:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAmerican University’s Conservative Feminists Receive Backlash<p> <em>By Kara Bettis, New Boston Post</em></p> <p> WASHINGTON &ndash;&nbsp;At American University in the nation&rsquo;s capital, a division has emerged&nbsp;among the college&rsquo;s female students&nbsp;between those who regard themselves as progressive feminists and those who align themselves with feminism&rsquo;s more conservative wing.</p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">The controversy arose earlier this year when the university&rsquo;s chapter of &nbsp;</span></span><a href=""><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Network of Enlightened Women</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;"> (NeW), a conservative women&rsquo;s group, posted an announcement for a talk on Feb. 8 by Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum (IWF) executive director </span></span><a href=""><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Sabrina Schaeffer</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">.</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">The IWF, whose staff members contribute regular columns to the NewBostonPost, is a nonpartisan, educational organization that advocates &ldquo;equity feminism,&rdquo; a term popularized by philosopher </span></span><a href=""><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Christina Hoff Sommers</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;"> to distinguish &ldquo;traditional, classically liberal, humanistic feminism&rdquo; from &ldquo;gender feminism,&rdquo; which rejects the idea that </span></span><a href=""><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">biological differences between the sexes</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;"> should have social or political significance.</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> According to NeW&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="">Facebook </a>event page, Shaeffer plans to discuss &ldquo;conservative feminism, the wage gap, and gender politics on college campuses&rdquo; in her remarks at American next week.</p> <p> Conservative student newspaper <a href="">The College Fix</a> obtained Facebook screenshots of American students who slammed the event as damaging to women&rsquo;s causes.</p> <p> &ldquo;When I hear &lsquo;conservative feminism&rsquo; I think &lsquo;white feminism&rsquo; &ndash; empowerment when it&rsquo;s convenient and ignoring POC [people of color],&rdquo; one female student reportedly wrote, &ldquo;Plus the added horror of supporting those who trample on reproductive rights.&rdquo;</p> <p> According to the Fix, another female student shared the network&rsquo;s Facebook page on her account, stating: &ldquo;Sure NeW, you can &lsquo;enlighten&rsquo; me through your &lsquo;Gentlemen Showcase&rsquo; or tell me abortion as a right is unnecessary, but I will just call this group out for what it really is &ndash; telling women to be content with inequality and be brainwashed into thinking conservatism is empowering.&rdquo;</p> <p> In a <a href="">statement</a> on the organization&rsquo;s website,&nbsp;NeW&rsquo;s American University chapter president Krista Chavez&nbsp;said,&nbsp;&ldquo;We do not choose this path because it is &lsquo;convenient. We uplift each other and debate in an environment where we do not insult or undermine each other.&rdquo;</p> <p> Although the women of the network are mostly right-of-center, they nevertheless consider themselves &ldquo;feminists,&rdquo; something Chavez thinks makes perfect sense. &nbsp;&nbsp;&ldquo;The idea of conservative being pro-woman is certainly not &lsquo;oxymoronic,&rsquo;&rdquo; she said in her statement.</p> <p> &ldquo;Identifying as a conservative does not make us &lsquo;brainwashed&rsquo; or &lsquo;content with inequality.&rsquo; It actually means that we have considered both sides of the issues, analyzed the arguments, and come to different conclusions that may not identify with modern liberalism or liberal feminism.&rdquo;</p> <p> The university&rsquo;s chapter of conservative feminists also plans to co-host a lecture by conservative political strategist <a href="">Karl Rove</a> with the university&rsquo;s college Republican group, an event that has also been heavily criticized, including by student news website <a href="">The Rival</a>.</p> <p> Chavez joined the Republican group&rsquo;s president, Stuart Algood to <a href="">defend</a> their event on Facebook.</p> <p> &ldquo;We very proud to bring different conservative speakers to create a message that encourages free speech, intellectual diversity, and civil discourse among all AU students. A person must hear from all sides of the issues in order to form a proficient argument,&rdquo; the two organization leaders wrote.</p> <p> &ldquo;There is nothing wrong with hearing a different point of view, and we hope that all critics and supporters will join us to create a constructive discussion about political strategy.&rdquo;</p> SchaefferThu, 4 Feb 2016 12:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEstablishment Brawl, Trump's NH Ground Game, HRC's Hit On Speaker's Fees • After The Bell SchaefferThu, 4 Feb 2016 09:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat Women Really Want to Talk About<p> If past experience is any indication, Saturday&rsquo;s Republican presidential primary debate at Saint Anselm College won&rsquo;t discuss the issues facing women in the workplace.</p> <p> We&rsquo;re not talking about the misleading gender pay gap, but about the 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the country and the challenges they face right now.</p> <p> Women-owned businesses account for more than 30 percent of all enterprises in the country, and they are growing faster than any other demographic. Between 1997 and 2014, the number of businesses in the U.S. increased by 47 percent. The number of women-owned firms increased by 68 percent &ndash; more than one and a half times the national average. Women entrepreneurs helped lead the country out of the Great Recession.</p> <p> Legislators could accelerate the success of women-owned small businesses by addressing the overtaxation and overregulation that are preventing them from even greater success. A recent poll conducted by the Job Creators Network of over 400 small business owners finds that two-thirds of respondents say taxes threaten the viability of their businesses. Three in five say the same about regulations. As a result, just one in five respondents say they plan to hire new employees next year.</p> <p> American businesses face the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, and compliance costs are two-thirds higher for small businesses because they don&rsquo;t have the accounting or financial experts to handle the complexity of taxes. In the World Bank&rsquo;s<a href=""><em>&nbsp;Doing Business&nbsp;</em></a>report, the U.S. ranks number 53 among countries in the category &ldquo;ease of paying taxes.&rdquo;</p> <p> And Competitive Enterprise Institute data shows the number of regulations published in the Federal Register has shot up from around 4,300 in 1993 to more than 90,000 in 2014. Small business owners are feeling the pinch: Complying with federal regulations costs small firms around $12,000 per employee.</p> <p> Yet in the rare instances that policymakers or commentators raise women&rsquo;s workplace issues it is to harp on the gender pay gap &ndash; the claim that women earn just 79&nbsp;cents for every dollar a man earns. But this claim is disingenuous at best and downright fallacious at worst. It compares all of the women in the workforce against all the men in the workforce, without taking into account the different choices women make.</p> <p> It doesn&rsquo;t compare surgeons to surgeons, or accountants to accountants. It doesn&rsquo;t consider the fact that more men choose to be engineers and more women choose to be social workers, or that more men care about climbing the career ladder, while more women want to spend time raising a family. New research conducted by the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum finds that women are willing to take a pay cut of between $5,000 and $10,000 if they are given more flexibility with work schedules. With all these things considered, the so-called pay gap virtually disappears.</p> <p> In an attempt to highlight the real challenges facing women in the workplace, the Job Creators Network&nbsp;and the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum are holding a&nbsp;<a href="">What Women Really&nbsp;Want To Talk About&nbsp;town hall</a>&nbsp;meeting in Concord, New Hampshire on Friday, the day before the debate. It will feature several female business leaders, including local businesswoman Teresa Rosenberger, who will explain the challenges their small businesses face first hand, and will be moderated by CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover.</p> <p> Increasingly, women&rsquo;s issues and business issues are becoming intertwined to the point where it would be foolish to not to address them together. Women now&nbsp;make up a disproportionate amount of new business creation without the help of overbearing regulations regarding their pay. It&rsquo;s past time for candidates to emphasize that such workplace regulations are the problem, not the solution.</p> <p> <em>Elaine Lutz is&nbsp;chief&nbsp;marketing officer at the Job Creators Network. Sabrina Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</em></p> SchaefferThu, 4 Feb 2016 08:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum“Oxymoronic”: Liberal AU Students Can't Tolerate "Conservative Feminism" Event<p> Aren&rsquo;t liberal college students tolerant? Well, the ones at American University showed just how hypocritical they can be.</p> <p> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong><span style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="background-color: rgb(234, 66, 91);">The&nbsp;</span></span><a href=""><span style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="background-color: rgb(234, 66, 91);">campus&rsquo; Network of enlightened Women chapter&nbsp;(NeW)</span></span></a><span style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="background-color: rgb(234, 66, 91);">&nbsp;is hosting the executive director of Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, Sabrina Schaeffer. The&nbsp;</span></span><a href=""><span style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="background-color: rgb(234, 66, 91);">event</span></span></a><span style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="background-color: rgb(234, 66, 91);">&nbsp;will take place on campus Feb. 8 and is set to discuss &ldquo;conservative feminism,&rdquo; and has been advertised as &ldquo;a conservative take on feminism.&rdquo;Well, to those liberals on campus, there can be no such thing. The event is not compulsory. Students who disagree though are free to attend and perhaps learn something new from such a perspective, or maybe they&rsquo;ll decide they are fine with their own take on feminism. That&rsquo;s fine. Denouncing an event because it doesn&rsquo;t find your mindset is&nbsp;</span><em><span style="background-color: rgb(234, 66, 91);">not</span></em><span style="background-color: rgb(234, 66, 91);">&nbsp;fine, however &mdash; or at least not tolerant.</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> The College Fix&nbsp;<a href="">reported&nbsp;</a>on some of these intolerant students:</p> <p> In Facebook screenshots obtained by&nbsp;The College Fix, one commenter, a male student, said the term &ldquo;conservative feminism&rdquo; is &ldquo;oxymoronic.&rdquo; A female student added: &ldquo;When I hear &lsquo;conservative feminism&rsquo; I think &lsquo;white feminism&rsquo; &ndash; empowerment when it&rsquo;s convenient and ignoring POC [people of color], plus the added horror of supporting those who trample on reproductive rights.&rdquo;</p> <p> A third female student also shared NeW&rsquo;s Facebook page with peers, stating: &ldquo;Recently having heard about this new group on campus, the &lsquo;Network of Enlightened Women.&rsquo; Not sure how this conservative group is &lsquo;enlightening&rsquo; women.&rdquo;</p> <p> &ldquo;&hellip; Sure NeW, you can &lsquo;enlighten&rsquo; me through your &lsquo;Gentlemen Showcase&rsquo; or tell me abortion as a right is unnecessary, but I will just call this group out for what it really is &ndash; telling women to be content with inequality and be brainwashed into thinking conservatism is empowering.&rdquo;</p> <p> In response to all the negative attention, Krista Chavez, the president of the NeW chapter issued a statement on NeW&rsquo;s website. It is full of&nbsp;thoughtful ideas throughout, which unfortunately her liberal peers don&rsquo;t seem to be able to comprehend. The whole statement is worth reading, but notably begins&nbsp;by mentioning:</p> <p> The Network of enlightened Women at American University (NeW at AU) seeks to promote a welcoming community of women who speak freely and openly about their beliefs to empower each other. This includes learning about conservative ideas.</p> <p> The chapter&rsquo;s Facebook page also shared the statement earlier Thursday.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div id="fb-root"> &nbsp;</div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> <div class="fb-post" data-href="" data-width="500"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <blockquote cite=""> <p> Clarifying NeW at AU&#39;s message #NeWNation</p> Posted by <a href="">Network of enlightened Women - American University</a> on&nbsp;<a href="">Thursday, February 4, 2016</a></blockquote> </div> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Red Alert Politics reached out to NeW to ask what this says about conservative feminism, and what it also says about liberals and their views.</p> <p> Taylor McCarty, who is a campus program associate with the group, pointed out that &ldquo;sometimes&nbsp;the best learning experiences take place outside of the classroom.&rdquo; She also spoke specifically about what this means for NeW events:</p> <p> Anyone who attends NeW events has the opportunity to learn something if they approach it with an open mind. Students with views across the political spectrum benefit from engaging with a conservative speaker. One benefit of college is exposing students to a variety of ideas and that should include ideas they disagree with. Our campus leaders on campuses across the country tell me that other students often thank them for giving them the opportunity to learn about conservative ideas. NeW makes intellectual diversity a priority.</p> <p> On whether or not this speaks to a trend of his conservatism women and their idea of feminist is regarded, McCarty shared that &ldquo;I think these sort of inflammatory comments reflect a glaring hypocrisy in liberal feminism today.&rdquo; She spoke further of such hypocrisy in that &ldquo;the Left prides itself on being inclusive, but we have seen time and time again that this only applies to those with whom they agree. NeW shows that being conservative and pro-woman are not mutually exclusive terms.&rdquo;</p> <p> NeW president, Karin Agness also shared her view:</p> <p> For more than a decade, NeW has played an important role in bringing conservative voices to campus and fostering intellectual diversity. There is a demand for this on campus, which is why NeW has grown. NeW tells women that it is ok to be a conservative woman.</p> <p> The NeW chapter at&nbsp;American University has been active in other ways as well. They are co-sponsoring an event with the AU College Republicans to host Karl Rove later this month. Such a selection, as the College Fix and McCarty both mentioned, has not gone over well, and also brought&nbsp;<a href="">harsh, profanity-laced reactions on the Rival</a>, a student-run website.</p> <p> Nevertheless, despite the backlash, NeW continues to be a platform for conservative women and ideas. As Agness reminds everyone, it really&nbsp;<em>is</em>&nbsp;&ldquo;ok to be a conservative woman.&rdquo;</p> SchaefferThu, 4 Feb 2016 08:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat Boston Gets Right About Pay Equity<p> The issue of pay equity and the so-called &ldquo;wage gap&rdquo; continues to be a core issue for progressive feminists and the Democratic Party. This past Friday <a href="">President Obama set out new rules</a> to require large companies to report salaries based on race, gender and ethnicity, allowing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to more aggressively target companies they perceive as discriminating &ndash; a gross overreach of federal power. (<a href="">See more here on what Carrie wrote on this for National Review</a>.) And we can be sure that this issue will persist through the 2016 presidential election.</p> <p> Of course the &ldquo;gender wage gap&rdquo; &ndash; the idea that women are only paid 79 cents for every dollar a man is paid &ndash; is terribly overstated. If you control for any number of factors that go into determining an individual&rsquo;s salary (from education to experience to time spent at the workplace) this gap shrinks to about 4-6 cents. (<a href="">You can get caught up on all of this here</a>.)</p> <p> Still it&#39;s true that a small gap persists -- some of which <em>might</em> be explained by discrimination. Although there are other theories about what else might be behind this small difference in pay &ndash; from the fact that <a href="">women choose to take more time out of the workforce to have families</a> and that women are less likely than men to negotiate.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s why a new initiative in Boston caught my attention. <a href="">NPR&rsquo;s Morning Edition reported t</a>oday on a municipal project to provide negotiation workshops for 85,000 women over the next five years.</p> <p> While much of this is driven by politics and will sit well with the city&rsquo;s progressive base. Boston&rsquo;s Mayor Marty Walsh also sees a new revenue stream. As he told NPR, &ldquo;By increasing the amount of money that women have that will be spent on their families and spent on living and not having to cut back on certain areas &ndash; that will have a big impact.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p> Many liberal feminists are wary of suggesting there&rsquo;s <em>anything</em> women might be doing &ldquo;wrong,&rdquo; and are more focused on legislation as a solution. But Boston&rsquo;s Executive Director of Women&rsquo;s Advancement Megan Costello has a more optimistic (and realistic) perspective. She told NPR that &ldquo;part of the problem is that women don&rsquo;t ask&rdquo; and giving them the tools to do so is &ldquo;a start.&rdquo; I couldn&rsquo;t agree more.</p> <p> Certainly there are some serious problems with Boston&#39;s project -- namely the city is working under the assumption that there is, in fact, a gender wage gap of 21-cents, which is widely accepted as inaccurate. (<a href="">And don&rsquo;t just take my word on it</a>.) And Boston is perhaps ignoring the multi-million dollar industry that <em>already</em> exists to help women earn more and get the corner office. Sheryl Sandberg&rsquo;s Lean In is just the tip of a massive iceberg that includes books, videos, conferences, training seminars and more. (In fact, Boston has perhaps unknowingly already picked up on some of the language from this industry, using Mika Brezinski&rsquo;s line (and book title) &ldquo;Know Your Value.&rdquo;)</p> <p> Still I applaud the city for thinking more creatively, and more importantly for giving women more agency. In the end, some women will choose to maximize their pay while other women will be happy to tradeoff higher salaries for more flexibility (and perhaps let their spouse be the breadwinner) &ndash; and that&rsquo;s OK. (See what IWF learned <a href="">Women REALLY Want in the Workplace here</a>.)</p> <p> What&#39;s most important is that women (and men) have both the skills and freedom to make the choices that serve them best. And Boston may just get that.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> SchaefferTue, 2 Feb 2016 00:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat Happens If Hillary Loses IA & NH? • Coast To Coast SchaefferThu, 28 Jan 2016 13:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHillary, The Candidate Of Women — And Hypocrisy<p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In a slew of tweets over the last 18 hours, Hillary Clinton has brought the gender pay gap to the forefront of her presidential campaign, begging the question: What on earth is she thinking?</p> <p> Her feigned indignation is an acute example of the pot calling the kettle black. Hillary herself has a long history of paying her own female staffers less than their male counterparts.&nbsp;Clinton, the left&rsquo;s champion of women, paid her female Senate staffers 72 cents to every dollar that male staffers were paid.</p> <p> When Clinton was a senator, the median annual salary for a woman working in her office was $15,708.38 less than the median salary for a man. So she can&rsquo;t have it both ways &mdash; fighting for equal pay for women yet not paying her own female staffers equal to her male staffers.</p> <p> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt=" photo Male-Female-comparison_zpsy8w1e4iy.png" border="0" src="" /></a></p> <p> What&rsquo;s more, the progressive Left, as well as Hollywood liberals, have been pushing the false &ldquo;gender wage gap&rdquo; narrative that women receive 77 cents to every dollar that men earn. Time and time again, this falsehood has been refuted by economic experts.</p> <p> &ldquo;No matter how many times this wage gap claim is decisively refuted, it always comes back,&rdquo; said American Enterprise Institute resident and host of &ldquo;The Factual Feminist,&rdquo; Christina Hoff Sommers. &ldquo;The bottom line: the 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure or hours worked per week. When such relevant factors are considered, the wage gap narrows to the point of vanishing.&rdquo;</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> Not only is Clinton at fault here, but the White House is as well. We&rsquo;ve heard the same tired rhetoric and talking points from Obama and his administration. In 2014, it was reported that the average White House male employee earns $88,600 while the average female earns $78,400 &mdash; a 13 percent difference.</p> <p> Obama has gone to great lengths to propose and advocate for legislation such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Clinton supports, that would supposedly narrow the fictional pay gap between men and women. Needless to say, Obama should&rsquo;ve taken a look into his own administration before spearheading such an initiative.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> It&rsquo;s 2016. The days of dismissing the pay gap as a &quot;women&#39;s issue&quot; are over. <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="">January 24, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What&rsquo;s more, according to the Pew Research Center, women are earning more post-secondary degrees than their male counterparts, but somehow liberal progressives still rally around a ridiculous gender disparity.</p> <p> Hillary knows part of her claim to the presidency is her status as the first woman who would hold the office. It can&rsquo;t be based, as many have pointed out, on a roster of achievements, which seem hard to locate. And so, despite the hypocrisy, she plows ahead.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;Hillary Clinton understands that women -- especially unmarried women -- are a critical voting bloc, and she has been laser-focused on them from the minute she launched her campaign,&quot; said Sabrina Schaeffer, Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum executive director. &quot;Like so many Democrats, she has presented the workplace as hostile to women and continues to insist that issues like the so-called wage gap and paid leave are limiting women&rsquo;s success.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Schaeffer added, &quot;Of course it&rsquo;s well-known that the &lsquo;wage gap&rsquo; is grossly overstated. And voters ought to be reminded that while Hillary Clinton will frame this discussion in terms of protecting women, she is pushing for legislation that will ultimately increase the cost of employing women and limit women&rsquo;s choices and success.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> Once overall &quot;equal pay&quot; is mandated, women will have to be paid more for normally lower-paying jobs, making it less tempting to hire them.</p> <p> Hillary&rsquo;s hypocrisy doesn&rsquo;t stop at the gender wage gap issue. She has a long history of silencing her husband&rsquo;s accusers of sexual misconduct, even though on the campaign trail she pretends to be an advocate and champion for victims of sexual assault.</p> <p> Hillary is pandering to female voters, especially those in Iowa, hoping they will cast their ballots for her because of her gender. In the hours leading up to tonight&rsquo;s Democratic town hall, Hillary&rsquo;s final pitch to Iowa voters, her abysmal record when it comes to women haunts her &ndash; or it should.</p> SchaefferMon, 25 Jan 2016 14:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSuccess Is Never Enough For Some 'Feminists,' Including Sheryl Sandberg<p> If Alexis de Tocqueville were alive today, he would be fascinated by the emergence of a new political &ldquo;association&rdquo;: the rise of female entrepreneurs of the highest level, who lament inequalities facing women today and have made it their public purpose to push for women&rsquo;s &ldquo;success.&rdquo;</p> <p> From the Tory Burch Foundation&rsquo;s Empowering Women conference to Mika Brzezinski&rsquo;s Know Your Value program to the World Economic Forum, women leaders in politics, business, media, fashion, and technology regularly gather to talk about how women need to stand up to implicit (and explicit) bias in the workplace, resist the urge to fall into traditional roles, and better &ldquo;embrace ambition.&rdquo;</p> <p> Most recently Facebook COO and new-famed women&rsquo;s right&rsquo;s activist Sheryl Sandberg spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. During the session <em>Progress Towards Parity </em>she made the startling statement that &ldquo;we have a toddler wage gap.&rdquo; Explaining further she noted: &ldquo;We assign our chores to our children in the United States, and it can be worse in other parts of the world &hellip;The boys are taking out the trash, it takes less time than cleaning the dishes and they get bigger allowances. We start out in our homes with these very different expectations and the time spent on these tasks is incredibly important.&rdquo;</p> <p> I&rsquo;m sure I&rsquo;m not alone in thinking that Sandberg is grasping at straws in a quest to stay relevant. Do we really think that asking our sons to take the garbage out and asking our daughter&rsquo;s to help set the dinner table is reinforcing negative gender stereotypes? Is it really telling our daughters they can &ldquo;only&rdquo; be early childhood educators but not Wall Street titans? Is it telling our sons that they can get away with less work for the same &ldquo;pay?&rdquo;</p> <p> No.</p> <p> To put this into context, <a href="">time</a> and <a href="">time</a> and <a href="">time again</a>, I&rsquo;ve been sympathetic to Sandberg&rsquo;s message to women that they should &ldquo;Lean In&rdquo; to work. I&rsquo;ve applauded her for stressing ways women can better help themselves succeed in the professional arena, without an emphasis on government. And I have criticized traditional feminists who accuse Sandberg of being a &ldquo;pompom girl for feminism.&rdquo; Initially she had a message that ought to have resonated with all women &ndash; from the stay at home mom trying to find purpose in her new life as mother to the woman headed toward the c-suite.</p> <p> Were he alive today, de Tocqueville would certainly acknowledge that women &ndash; who even in the early 19<sup>th</sup> century he recognized occupied &ldquo;a loftier position&rdquo; than anywhere else in the world &ndash; have enjoyed more educational, professional, and financial success than ever before. Still for this &ldquo;Female Entrepreneurs Club&rdquo; success is still described as forever remaining an arms-length away. They&rsquo;ve taken a page from gender feminists and are never satisfied with women&rsquo;s choices or their success. For these women it&rsquo;s not sufficient that more women graduate medical school than men, because too many choose to be pediatricians rather than surgeons. It&rsquo;s not enough that more women elect to be veterinarians than men &ndash; because not enough women are coders in Silicon Valley. And it&rsquo;s not enough that women are choosing to do just about everything, because in Brzezinski&rsquo;s words, for instance, women still &ldquo;get in our own way.&rdquo;</p> <p> The goal posts in this new feminist paradigm continue to shift. No longer is it sufficient for women to pursue their interests in business, medicine, law or media; but we must in fact being making choices that lead to <em>parity&mdash;</em>equal numbers of men and women in all walks of life.</p> <p> This ignores simple fact that, on average, men and women &ndash; no matter how balanced the circumstances &ndash; have different strengths and preferences, and are going to make different choices.&nbsp;</p> <p> Sandberg needs to accept that most women don&rsquo;t want to be leaders at a Fortune 100 company. Not long ago Pew Research found that only 23 percent of working moms would <em>choose</em> to work full time if it were an option. The reality is that most women <em>have </em>to work. Many want to pursue careers and be successful; but many also want to have some balance in their lives, see their families, and perhaps even enjoy some of the domestic arts of cooking and keeping their home in order that Sandberg almost certainly looks down on.</p> <p> Sandberg and her fellow female entrepreneurs should spend a little less time misstating facts about the so-called &ldquo;wage gap&rdquo; and more time going back to her original message: that asserting oneself &ndash; whether at home or in the workplace &ndash; staying focused on specific goals, and building important relationships will help all women succeed in what they <em>choose</em> to do.</p> <p> <em>Sabrina Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</em></p> SchaefferMon, 25 Jan 2016 12:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum“Toddler Wage Gap”: Sandberg Says Inequality Starts With Kids’ Chores<p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Feminists in the workplace just keep finding new issues to harp on. In her op-ed&nbsp;in Forbes, Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, shares how </span></span><a href=""><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;Success if Never Enough For Some &lsquo;Feminists,&rsquo; Including Sheryl Sandberg.&rdquo;</span></span></a></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Schaeffer begins with a mention as to how &ldquo;fascinated&rdquo; Alexis de Tocqueville would be, if he were alive today, by &ldquo;the rise of female entrepreneurs of the highest level, who lament inequalities facing women today and have made it their public purpose to push for women&rsquo;s &ldquo;success.&rdquo;&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">She also mentions the regular gatherings and talks &ldquo;about how women need to stand up to implicit (and explicit) bias in the workplace, resist the urge to fall into traditional roles, and better &ldquo;embrace ambition.&rdquo;&rdquo; Why don&rsquo;t we let women do so for themselves though, especially those who </span><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">want </span></em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;to fall into traditional roles,&rdquo; and who know their situation and means better than those like Sheryl Sandberg.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, and, as Schaeffer also describes her, &ldquo;new famed women&rsquo;s right&rsquo;s activist.&rdquo; While at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, during the &ldquo;Progress Towards Parity&rdquo; session, her comments were typical but no less frustrating.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> She spoke of &ldquo;a toddler wage gap&rdquo;:</p> <p> We assign our chores to our children in the United States, and it can be worse in other parts of the world&hellip; The boys are taking out the trash, it takes less time than cleaning the dishes and they get bigger allowances. We start out in our homes with these very different expectations and the time spent on these tasks is incredibly important.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Schaeffer notes that she&rsquo;s surely &ldquo;not alone in thinking that Sandberg is grasping at straws in a quest to stay relevant.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s putting it politely. Schaeffer also emphasizes that she has &ldquo;been sympathetic to Sandberg&rsquo;s message to women that they should &ldquo;Lean In&rdquo; to work.&rdquo; She has also applauded her efforts which don&rsquo;t reply on the government, and criticized those who have criticized Sandberg before.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Bringing it back to Tocqueville, Schaeffer notes that he would point out American women &ldquo;have enjoyed more&hellip; success than ever before.&rdquo; But, there is an even more important connection to that, which Schaeffer makes herself:</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> Still, for this &ldquo;Female Entrepreneurs Club, success is still described as forever remaining an arms-length away. They&rsquo;ve taken a page from gender feminists and are never satisfied with women&rsquo;s choices or their success&hellip; And it&rsquo;s not enough that women are choosing to do just about everything, because in Brzezinski&rsquo;s words, for instance, women still &ldquo;get in our own way.&rdquo;</p> <p> Oh please, <em>please,</em> Sandberg, just go back to your job at Facebook if you&rsquo;re going to be making such statements. It&rsquo;s embarrassing that one so high up in the social media world is speaking about the United States before such a large crowd. This woman is clearly successful. What happened where she has to lecture on how &ldquo;the time spent on these tasks is incredibly important.&rdquo; Only in a fantasy feminist world it is. If feminists really wanted to do women a favor, they would leave them alone and stop spewing such irrelevant points.</p> SchaefferMon, 25 Jan 2016 07:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSanders' Surge In Polls Sparks Debate Over Spending Plans • Forbes On Fox SchaefferSat, 23 Jan 2016 09:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumStudents Ask Gov To Forgive $164M In Loan Debt • Forbes On Fox SchaefferSat, 23 Jan 2016 08:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum