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 Trump's Tax Reform Even Happen? • Coast To Coast SchaefferTue, 18 Apr 2017 14:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumShort-Term Rentals Could Turn Our Communities into Commercial Zones<p> When my husband and I were out house-hunting recently, the Realtor explained that many homeowners on the street rent out their finished basements on a nightly or weekly basis to help offset high mortgages.</p> <p> Imagining our three young children playing in the yard, we left and realized we need to ask a lot more questions before buying our next house.</p> <p> We&rsquo;ve chosen to take on a hefty mortgage in order to raise our family in a convenient and safe community. Now we&rsquo;re outgrowing our little colonial and are looking to move up in size.</p> <p> But I was taken aback to learn that my prospective new residential hamlet, just minutes from my current home, could be operating&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="">more like a hotel</a>.</p> <p> When I looked into the issue further, I learned many actual homeowners don&rsquo;t even live at a residence, but rather used them exclusively to rent on a per-night basis.</p> <p> That would mean that we wouldn&rsquo;t have any idea who our new &ldquo;neighbors&rdquo; might be.</p> <p> And it would almost certainly also mean more noise, traffic and garbage that we did not sign up for &mdash; as well as a lack of neighborhood cohesion that we value.</p> <p> Free enterprise and innovation are key to a healthy society.</p> <p> The sharing economy has certainly opened up whole new pathways for economic growth and competition.</p> <p> New businesses like Airbnb offer families &mdash; especially women &mdash; low-cost ways to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="">bring in revenue</a>.</p> <p> And these kinds of opportunities help a lot of families make ends meet, especially in urban centers like ours where the cost of living can be steep.</p> <p> But the housing rental industry doesn&rsquo;t exist in a vacuum. It also affects neighbors and communities.</p> <p> As a homeowner, it alarmed me to imagine living on a street with a constant revolving door of residents.</p> <p> In our current cul-de-sac, we know all our neighbors, and they respect that there&rsquo;s a street full of children often outside on their scooters or drawing with chalk.</p> <p> But it was clear that wouldn&rsquo;t be the case if we moved into this new neighborhood.</p> <p> The concerns I&rsquo;m describing for a residential street also affect condominiums and apartment buildings, where the problem can be even more pronounced given shared walls and living space.</p> <p> Not surprisingly, this short-term rental phenomenon is not just occurring in our city, but across the country, including Texas.</p> <p> A report by CBRE, a commercial real estate services firm, found a growing number of supposedly residential properties being rented out just like hotels on sites like Airbnb in cities across the country.</p> <p> According to the report, 81 percent of Airbnb&rsquo;s U.S. revenue &mdash; $4.6 billion &mdash; comes from whole-unit rentals where the owner is not present during the time of the rental.</p> <p> With little to no oversight from the law, the landlords who run these hotel businesses put the safety and security of our neighborhoods at risk.</p> <p> State Sen.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="">Kelly Hancock</a>, R-North Richland Hills, has filed&nbsp;<a href=";Bill=SB451" target="_blank" title="">SB 451</a>, a bill that would greatly restrict a city or county&rsquo;s ability to adopt or enforce a local law to prohibit the use of a residential property as a short-term rental.</p> <p> I don&rsquo;t expect everyone to want the same thing as I do in my neighborhood &mdash; some cities and communities are going to be comfortable with more flexible laws about short-term rentals.</p> <p> But a bill like this means homebuyers who want a more traditional community with long-term residents, that limits (or at least regulates) short-term rentals, would not be able to shop with their feet.</p> <p> I&rsquo;m not much of a neighborhood busy-body, but residents ought to have the right to choose the kind of community they live in.</p> <p> My husband and I purposely chose to buy in a community that did not have an HOA or burdensome local ordinances that dictated the color of our mailbox, rooftop or fence style.</p> <p> But that doesn&rsquo;t mean that I don&rsquo;t want to protect my investment (and my children).</p> <p> To protect the interest of neighbors and communities, localities should consider requiring people renting out apartments, condos and even houses like a hotel to register with the city so we know who is coming in and out of our neighborhoods, and so they can share not only in the neighborhood&rsquo;s great restaurants and shops, bike trails and parks but also in the tax burden.</p> <p> The sharing economy is disrupting certain industries, waving in some much-needed competition.</p> <p> But it&rsquo;s creating legitimate concerns and challenges as well that we can&rsquo;t just brush under the rug.</p> <p> In addition to protecting innovation and economic growth, we also have to protect private property, which is at the heart of a free society, and give homeowners the option not to live in what essentially become commercial areas.</p> <div> <p> Sabrina L. Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> SchaefferWed, 12 Apr 2017 09:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumShaping the Conversation: A Discussion About Paid Family and Medical Leave • AEI SchaefferTue, 4 Apr 2017 11:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMike Pence honored with "Working for Women" award<p> One conservative group is using Women&#39;s History Month to honor a top target of feminist opprobrium.</p> <p> <cnt>This March, the Independent Women&#39;s Forum is&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">recognizing</a>&nbsp;Vice President&nbsp;<a data-action="auto_keyword" data-label="mike pence" href="" target="_blank">Mike Pence</a>&nbsp;with its &quot;Working for Women&quot; award for being a &quot;consistent [champion] of the economic reforms that women need most.&quot; IWF, a prominent conservative nonprofit organization, says it decided to honor the vice president based on &quot;his long commitment to advocating for limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility.&quot; These policies, IWF believes, &quot;ultimately enable economic growth and human flourishing.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>The organization sees Pence as a leader who &quot;values free markets, works to create a more dynamic and innovative work world, and celebrates the valuable contributions women make to society.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> After Pence was named to the Republican ticket last July, the National Organization for Women&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">slammed</a>&nbsp;him as a &quot;determined and ruthless general in the war on women.&quot; Over the course of his political career, the Pence&#39;s staunch record of pro-life policymaking has driven relentless attacks from the feminist movement.</p> <p> <cnt>IWF, on the other hand, believes the Trump-Pence administration will actually work to advance women&#39;s causes. Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer told the&nbsp;<em>Washington Examiner</em>, &quot;There are strong signs that this is an administration that understands that micromanaging the workplace would likely lead to unintended consequences, and that we ought to pursue solutions that do not place undue burdens on employers and that allow for maximum flexibility and salaries for workers.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> When asked whether the administration has been receptive to IWF&#39;s policy goals, Schaeffer says the administration has actually reached out to them for input.</p> <p> <cnt>&quot;We have been pleased that both the administration and allies on the Hill have consistently reached out to the Independent Women&#39;s Forum for our input on critical issues like paid leave and childcare, as well as other policies like health care,&quot; she remarked. &quot;We hope to continue to have a seat at the table moving forward.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>In an&nbsp;<a href=";utm_content=58cbf39e04d3017f2e08a5bb&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=twitter" target="_blank">op-ed</a>&nbsp;earlier this month, IWF Managing Director Carrie Lukas encouraged conservatives to &quot;follow Ivanka&#39;s lead&quot; and &quot;focus on supporting White House reforms that help women and are consistent with conservative principles.&quot;</cnt></p> <p> <cnt>Like Ivanka Trump, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who is on a temporary leave of absence from IWF&#39;s board of directors, has&nbsp;<a href="!" target="_blank">signaled</a>&nbsp;an interest in working on women&#39;s issues.</cnt></p> <p> Though liberal feminists would never agree, the Trump administration is well-positioned to advance policies that may work to restore the Republican Party&#39;s reputation on women&#39;s issues. If Pence continues &quot;working for women&quot; as vice president by implementing free market policies that benefit families, organizations such as NOW will have a much harder time claiming he&#39;s a general in the so-called war on women.</p> <p> <em><cnt>Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.</cnt></em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> SchaefferThu, 23 Mar 2017 11:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIWF defends giving Mike Pence “Working for Women” Award <p> IWF defends giving Mike Pence &ldquo;Working for Women&rdquo; Award</p> <p> When&nbsp;<em><a href="">Playboy</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">Teen Vogue</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">New York Magazine</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">Mic</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">Vice</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">Raw Story</a></em>, and&nbsp;<a href=""><em>Jezebel</em>&nbsp;</a>all attack you &mdash; you must be doing something right.</p> <p> Left-wing magazines&nbsp;<a href="">loved that Chelsea Clinton is a &ldquo;Lifetime Impact&rdquo; honoree</a>&nbsp;for doing literally nothing. However, they are piling on the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum (IWF) for giving Vice President Mike Pence the&nbsp;<a href="">&ldquo;Working for Women&rdquo; Award</a>. He is set to get the award on Wednesday evening at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, D.C.</p> <p> Some of the attacks are funny.&nbsp;<em>Playboy&nbsp;</em>said the situation is like &ldquo;an actual episode of Parks and Recreation in which Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, is passed over as her city&rsquo;s &lsquo;Woman of the Year&rsquo; in favor of her boss, Ron Swanson, a man.&rdquo; Other attacks were angrier.</p> <p> Jezebel called Pence, &ldquo;a prolapsed anus in a hairpiece.&rdquo;&nbsp;<em>Raw Story&nbsp;</em>said he &ldquo;opposes the personal liberty of women.&rdquo;&nbsp;<em>NY Mag&nbsp;</em>said he was &ldquo;crusading against abortion rights.&rdquo;<em>&nbsp;Vice</em>&lsquo;s headline read, &ldquo;After Years of Undermining Women, Pence Will Receive &lsquo;Working for Women&rsquo; Award.&rdquo;</p> <p> These articles&nbsp;cannot imagine why an organization would give an award to someone who isn&rsquo;t liberal on what are perceived as &ldquo;women&rsquo;s issues.&rdquo; Of course, IWF was the first to say &ldquo;all issues are women&rsquo;s issues.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s their point as an organization &mdash; fighting for women&rsquo;s empowerment in all areas of governance.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Sabrina Schaffer, the Executive Director of IWF, sent&nbsp;</span><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Red Alert&nbsp;</span></em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">the following statement responding to these attacks:</span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">For 25 years, the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum has responded to the progressive feminist narrative that women are a victim class in need of constant government protection. But what&rsquo;s often left out of the conversation is how government&rsquo;s heavy hand can have a negative effect on women&rsquo;s progress and success.</span></em></strong></span></p> <p> <strong><em><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">IWF understands that there are women and their families who face challenges, which is why we produced our&nbsp;</span></span><a href=""><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Working for Women report</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&nbsp;last year &mdash; which offers sensible policy reforms without growing government&rsquo;s influence &ndash; and why we work tirelessly with lawmakers, policy experts, and the public to promote these ideas.</span></span></em></strong></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Women&rsquo;s History Month is a time to celebrate and recognize women&rsquo;s progress. America&rsquo;s history as a land of opportunity has been crucial to women&rsquo;s advancement &mdash; our dynamic, market-based economic system has helped ensure that women ?prosper and continue to break down barriers. And we want women?&rsquo;s progress? to continue? so they can choose their path to success and happiness. ?&nbsp;</span></em></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">?IWF created the &ldquo;Working for Women Award&rdquo; to recognize public figures who have been consistent champions of the economic reforms that women need most: from reducing? burdensome? regulations to providing tax relief ?for? workers and families ?to promoting educational freedom.</span></em></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">IWF decided to recognize ?Vice President? Mike? Pence because of his long commitment to advocating for limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility ??including rolling back heavy taxation and? regulation?, which will ultimately enable economic growth and human flourishing, and which is in line with IWF&rsquo;s own mission statement.</span></em></strong></span></p> <p> <em>For more on Vice President Pence&rsquo;s record of working for women,&nbsp;<a href="">please click here</a>.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>EDITOR&rsquo;S NOTE: The Editor&rsquo;s wife works for IWF.&nbsp;</em></p> <p> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> SchaefferThu, 23 Mar 2017 08:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEnvironmentalists Upset at President Trump's Proposed EPA Budget Cuts • Forbes on Fox SchaefferMon, 20 Mar 2017 14:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPresident Trump's Plan to Slash Foreign Aid & UN Funding Sparks Debate • Forbes on Fox SchaefferMon, 20 Mar 2017 14:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumJonathan Gruber Calls GOP Healthcare Bill "A Scam" • Forbes on Fox SchaefferMon, 20 Mar 2017 14:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumU.S. Trade Gap Hits 5-Year High in January • Forbes on Fox SchaefferMon, 13 Mar 2017 11:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumVP Pence to Make GOP Healthcare Sales Pitch in Louisville, KY • Forbes on Fox SchaefferMon, 13 Mar 2017 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumA Day Without a Woman • Kennedy SchaefferThu, 9 Mar 2017 11:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum"A Day without a Woman Protests" Underway • Your World with Neil Cavuto SchaefferThu, 9 Mar 2017 11:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAre Voters Ready for a Female Trump?<p> There&rsquo;s a healthy conversation on the left and the right over the importance of women running for public office. Groups like She Should Run, Running Start, and RightNOW are focused on getting more women to run for public office as a way of changing the debate over key policy concerns, as well as advancing opportunities for women.</p> <p> Many progressives suggest that persistent sexism still plagues women running for office; others argue that women are turned off by the noise of the 24-hour campaign. And for years political science researchers have backed this narrative, suggesting that fewer women run for office because they haven&rsquo;t been asked, funding streams are controlled by the party elites, and sexism by the media.</p> <p> More recently, however, the narrative has begun to shift. Researchers like Jennifer Lawless &ndash; Professor of Government and Director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University &ndash; have begun to show some cracks in this theory, suggesting that while more still needs to be done to encoruage women to run, some&nbsp;<a href="'t-There:-Voters-Are-Ready-For-A-Woman-President-Who-Fits-Their-Ideology">gender bias against female candidates may be overstated</a>.</p> <p> Now this week more academic research out of INSEAD &ndash; a business school with campuses in Europe and Asia and alliances with top American universities like Wharton &ndash; furthers this notion. In contrast to the idea that women candidates have to be more delicate and lady-like, Maria Gaudalupe and Joe Salvatore demonstrate just the opposite.</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="" width="500"></iframe></p> <p> Following the first presidential debate in which we saw a man square off against a woman, the researchers began to wonder how attitudes might be different if Trump were a woman and Clinton a man. Could a woman be as aggressive as Donald Trump? Could she make inflammatory comments and use wild gesticulations? And what about a man? How would voters receive the calm, smiling man?</p> <p> To dig deeper they put together a stage performance&nbsp; -- <a href="">Her Opponent</a> &ndash; that was then part of a pre-post survey experiment. Using real actors, in which a woman studied the tone and mannerisms of Trump and a male actor did the same for Hillary Clinton, they literally &ldquo;swapped&rdquo; the genders of the two candidates.</p> <p> The researchers assumed that switching the genders would demonstrate what many of us might expect &ndash; that voters would reject Trump&rsquo;s bombastic style and gesticulations when they came from a woman.&nbsp; But what resulted was fascinating:</p> <blockquote> <p> &ldquo;Many were shocked to find that they couldn&rsquo;t seem to find in Jonathan Gordon [&ldquo;Hillary Clinton&rdquo;] what they had admired in Hillary Clinton&mdash;or that Brenda King&rsquo;s [&ldquo;Donald Trump&rdquo;] clever tactics seemed to shine in moments where they&rsquo;d remembered Donald Trump flailing or lashing out. For those Clinton voters trying to make sense of the loss, it was by turns bewildering and instructive, raising as many questions about gender performance and effects of sexism as it answered.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p> The importance of women running for public office is one that is not going away. And it&rsquo;s no longer just a topic dominated by speakers and activists on the left. (See IWF&rsquo;s most recent <a href="">Modern Feminist portrait of Laura Cox Kaplan</a>.) Not only are voters ready for female lawmakers &ndash; they also might be ready for a female Trump!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> SchaefferWed, 8 Mar 2017 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumA Day Without Women, A Defamation of Men<p> Historically Americans have held some significant marches to protest wide-spread injustices and inequalities. The Suffragette Movement and the March in 1913 protested women&rsquo;s disenfranchisement and inequality under the law. Martin Luther King and the March on Washington demanded a reversal of the institutionalized racism that persisted well into the 1960s. &ldquo;A Day without Women&rdquo;, however, &ndash; a protest to spotlight the &ldquo;economic injustices&rdquo; against women &ndash; does not follow suit.</p> <p> Today women will gather in cities around the country to &ldquo;call attention to&rdquo; issues such as pay equity, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. We are certain to hear about the grossly overstated wage gap, the need for mandated paid leave, and government funded childcare, among other things.</p> <p> Of course, this &ldquo;woman-as-victim&rdquo; narrative is nothing new. For years progressives have worked to convince Americans that women are victims of a relentless sexist society and therefore in need of constant special attention from government. Feminists on the left increasingly act as if women don&rsquo;t have choices; and too often they (re)fashion women as objects rather than agents.</p> <p> But in contrast to the great marches of the past, A Day Without Women is protesting against something that simply isn&rsquo;t true &ndash; that the overwhelming majority of men simply don&rsquo;t value women in society. That boys and men need to be reminded of what their world would look like without us.</p> <p> This is &ndash; I don&rsquo;t know how to put it delicately &ndash; plain and simple an insulting notion that runs contrary to the experiences of all the women who are surrounded by thoughtful men as husbands, business partners, colleagues, customers and friends. Should I &ndash; or most women I know &ndash; suddenly &ldquo;disappear,&rdquo; there are a lot of men who would be affected (and they know it). And I&rsquo;m not talking about who does the laundry or washes the dishes.</p> <p> I&rsquo;m talking about, for example, a marriage. My husband doesn&rsquo;t need to be reminded what life without a best friend and confidant would be like; or what it would feel like to lose the mother of his children. I&rsquo;m also talking about the mutually beneficial relationship fathers have with their daughters, brothers with their sisters; the connection made between professors and students, colleagues, employers, and friends.</p> <p> There has been a consistent anti-male thread running through the modern feminist movement, but it has intensified in recent years, culminating this week in an event so deeply divisive it should be resoundingly rejected by women of all political stripes as raw, anti-male sexism. From the panic over a &ldquo;rape culture&rdquo; on college campuses, to the #YesAllWomen social media campaign, to the uproar over &ldquo;street harassment,&rdquo; the narrative is that most men abuse women. That most men badger, sexually assault, and discriminate against women. In fact, that most men wouldn&rsquo;t <em>even</em> care if we disappeared altogether.</p> <p> The real tragedy of &ldquo;A Day Without Women&rdquo; is what it teaches boys and men. We are telling boys and men that misogyny and even violence against women is the norm. It portrays men in general as bumbling idiots, dependent on their wives simply for their scheduling and shopping talents &ndash; forcing them to be &ldquo;surprised&rdquo; in some comical, outdated fashion when elementary school teachers don&rsquo;t show up in the morning. It endorses the idea that most fathers don&rsquo;t think their daughters are worth their attention.</p> <p> And this is simply not the case.</p> <p> Of course there are bad actors &ndash; husbands who abuse their wives, men who prey on women, and bosses who mistreat female employees. But at a time when women are equal under the law, gender roles have evolved, and women have more educational, professional, and personal freedom than ever before, mistreatment of women is thankfully more often the exception than the rule.</p> <p> If we want to create a stronger society -- one in which women are respected, have greater economic opportunity, and have happier relationships &ndash; then it&rsquo;s time to stop creating rivalries between men and women. And it&rsquo;s certainly time to stop shaming men.</p> <p> Rather than marching in red, let&rsquo;s change the perception of normal social behavior by recognizing most men strive to be good people: fathers who see all the potential in their daughters; male bosses who applaud and promote their female employees, husbands who encourage and support their wives.</p> <p> On this International Women&rsquo;s Day, let&rsquo;s spend&nbsp;<em>less&nbsp;</em>time dividing men and women and more time engaging in how to ensure true gender equality around the globe.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Sabrina L. Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum. </em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> SchaefferWed, 8 Mar 2017 08:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFocus on Obamacare Replacement as President Trump Backs Tax Credits • Forbes on Fox SchaefferMon, 6 Mar 2017 16:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum