Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News/Commentary, Blog posts and publications(...)IWF RSS Republican presidential field's tricky Carly Fiorina problem<p> Her name isn&#39;t registering at the top of the polls and she lacks the fundraising and organization of some of her Republican rivals. But if Wednesday night&#39;s debate made anything clear it was this: Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is a force to be reckoned with.</p> <p> Fiorina, the lone woman in the GOP race, had already been on the rise in polls across the country since she stunned at the undercard Fox News debate in August. While her performance at the debate Wednesday night was full of barbs familiar from her stump speeches on the campaign trail and TV and radio interviews, they were fresh for the viewers that turned into the three-hour slugfest on CNN.</p> <p> &quot;Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment,&quot; Fiorina said Wednesday night, recycling a jab that she&#39;s used effectively on the campaign trail. (Clinton famously traveled 956,733 miles during her time as secretary of state.)</p> <p> Fiorina&#39;s strong performance Wednesday night could boost her profile, making her more of a serious threat to her rivals.</p> <p> Their challenge: to disarm her without coming across as sexist or bullying.</p> <p> &quot;I don&#39;t think candidates need to be tentative about confronting or challenging her. But if they are disrespectful or rude, it can come across as boorish,&quot; Katie Packer Gage, one of the founders of Burning Glass, which works with Republicans on their messaging to women, told <em>Mashable</em>. &quot;So they always need to be respectful, which they should do anyway.&quot;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> So much sexism directed at women candidates like @CarlyFiorinain in this race so far. We have got to do better: <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Jen Siebel Newsom (@JenSiebelNewsom) <a href="">September 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> &ldquo;They need to go out of their way to make sure that it doesn&rsquo;t look like they&rsquo;re bullying her,&rdquo; Jennifer Lawless, the director of the Women in Politics Institute at American University, told <em>Mashable</em>. &ldquo;But she needs to look like she&rsquo;s capable of being bullied.&rdquo;</p> <p> In Wednesday night&#39;s debate, Fiorina showcased her command of policy, her ability to pack a punch at the expense of her more popular rivals and a poise that, in particular, the current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump lacks.</p> <p> To date, Trump has been Fiorina&#39;s chief antagonist: criticizing her business acumen and landing himself in hot water for making a comment that seemed to criticize her appearance. (&quot;Look at that face,&quot; Trump reportedly said when watching Fiorina answer a question about him on television. &quot;Would anyone vote for that?&quot;)</p> <p> His broadsides against Fiorina are expected. On Wednesday night, the two spent some time talking over one another, competing to see who could cut the other&#39;s business record more quickly.</p> <p> Ultimately though, it was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who stepped in, showing just how difficult it will be for the slew of male GOP candidates to attack the only woman in the field.</p> <p> &quot;Carly, listen,&quot; Christie reprimanded her. &quot;You can interrupt everybody else on this stage. You&#39;re not going to interrupt me, O.K.?&quot;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> DID CHRIS CHRISTIE JUST MANSPLAIN INTERRUPTING TO CARLY OH WOW</p> &mdash; Emma Grundhauser (@emgrundy) <a href="">September 17, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> Chris Christie with a sharp rebuke to Carly Fiorina - &quot;You&#39;re not going to interrupt me.&quot; Risky. <a href="">#NBC2016</a></p> &mdash; Kasie Hunt (@kasie) <a href="">September 17, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> Lawless chalked that comment up to &ldquo;typical Chris Christie,&rdquo; adding that &ldquo;he would have said that to anybody.&rdquo;</p> <p> &ldquo;But because of what happened with the Trump/Fiorina exchange the previous week, I think it had a gender undertone that might have otherwise been absent from that exchange,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p> The Fiorina campaign declined to comment, and Christie showed no signs of letting up come Thursday morning. In an <a href="">interview with CNN</a>, he said that Fiorina had talked too much about herself during the debate.</p> <p> &quot;She&#39;s got one place on the stage, not two or three,&quot; he said. &quot;I&#39;m happy to sit and listen to her but don&#39;t interrupt me and don&#39;t interrupt the other candidates.&quot;</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Whoever wants to go after Fiorina next should tread cautiously, said Sabrina Schaeffer, the executive director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;You can criticize her looks, you can criticize her appearance at HP, she&rsquo;s going to have a response. She&rsquo;s anticipating it all,&quot; Schaeffer told </span><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Mashable.</span></em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;"> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think she&rsquo;s going to be bothered if someone attacks her. She&rsquo;s going to be ready. She&rsquo;s not going to be caught flat-footed.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> That was evident Wednesday night when Fiorina delivered a short, direct, relatable response when asked to comment on Trump&#39;s &quot;persona,&quot; after his comments on her face.</p> <p> &quot;Women all over the country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,&quot; Fiorina said forcefully, to audience applause.</p> <p> Trump&#39;s comments, Lawless said, &ldquo;opened the door for her to say &#39;you shouldn&rsquo;t treat me this way, the American women are on my side.&#39;&quot;</p> <p> She said the Fiorina-Trump moment &quot;makes it even more likely that these campaigns are having conversations behind the scenes about how to avoid their candidates saying anything that she could then call them out on.&quot;</p> <p> Fiorina has made the case that if she becomes her party&rsquo;s nominee, she would neutralize Democrat Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s power to rally women. Before she launched her campaign in April, Fiorina argued that if Clinton were to face off against another woman in the general election &ldquo;there are a whole set of things she won&rsquo;t be able to talk about.&rdquo;</p> <p> Democrats, though, see Fiorina&rsquo;s candidacy as a preview of how any Republican nominee will handle Clinton in the general election</p> <p> Liberal political commentator Sally Kohn told <em>Mashable</em> that if Fiorina becomes the party&rsquo;s perceived front runner, her male opponents will be &ldquo;trying to knock Fiorina off the pedestal while simultaneously auditioning for the general election in showing they can take on a female opponent without being chauvinist oafs.&rdquo;</p> SchaefferThu, 17 Sep 2015 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumConservative group targets Trump in ad & Fiorina in Focus • CNN Newsroom SchaefferWed, 16 Sep 2015 09:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHP slashing up to 30,000 jobs, will it affect Fiorina in GOP debate? SchaefferWed, 16 Sep 2015 09:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum Donald Trump's nonexistent problem with GOP women<p> Washington (CNN)--For any other presidential candidate, making off-color -- and arguably sexist -- comments about a female competitor would likely result in an insurmountable problem with women voters.</p> <p> Not so for Donald Trump. At least not yet.</p> <p> A new CNN/ORC poll shows that Trump has increased his lead among Republican women, boosting his share to 33% of women voters, up from 20% a month ago.</p> <p> The real estate tycoon has repeatedly defied the normal rules of politics, building his standing among almost every GOP demographic group and leaving his opponents scrambling for how to respond. Jeb Bush said that Trump couldn&#39;t insult his way to the White House, yet Trump&#39;s insult-heavy strategy appears to be working, as Bush sits at 9% in the polls.</p> <p> Trump&#39;s success with Republican women follows a high-profile fight with Fox New&#39;s Megyn Kelly led both Republicans and Democrats to pound him over what many saw as gender-based attacks. Now, a Rolling Stone article has brought yet another headline-grabbing fight with a woman, this time with Carly Fiorina, who is the only woman in the GOP field.</p> <p> &quot;Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?&quot; Trump said to a Rolling Stone writer. &quot;Can you imagine that, the face of our next president.&quot;</p> <p> Trump added: &quot;I mean, she&#39;s a woman, and I&#39;m not s&#39;posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?&quot;</p> <p> Fiorina, who has been out front in attacking Trump over his comments about women, said that she didn&#39;t want to waste time wondering what he meant.</p> <p> <a href="">Bush on Trump: You can&#39;t insult your way to the White House</a></p> <p> &quot;But maybe, just maybe, I&#39;m getting under his skin a little bit, because I am climbing in the polls,&quot; she said in a Fox News interview.</p> <p> But no candidate has climbed as much as Trump, who stands at 32% in the recent CNN/ORC poll.</p> <p> In an interview with CNN&#39;s Chris Cuomo on &quot;New Day,&quot; Trump went on clean-up duty, insisting that he was talking about Fiorina&#39;s persona and not her appearance. He also criticized her stewardship of Hewlett-Packard, where she was ousted as CEO.</p> <p> But even with the Fiorina dust-up, Trump clearly wants to appeal to women, appearing Thursday morning on &quot;The View,&quot; where he was taken to task for his comments.</p> <p> The real estate tycoon framed himself as a leader on women&#39;s issues, singling out his opponents.</p> <p> &quot;Interesting thing is my daughter and wife say you should speak more about women&#39;s health issues because they know how strongly committed I am,&quot; Trump said. &quot;And Jeb Bush and Hillary are not committed like I am.&quot;</p> <p> Trump has repeatedly attacked Bush for questioning whether &quot;we need half a billion dollars for women&#39;s health issues,&quot; a statement the former Florida governor later backed away from.</p> <p> Trump&#39;s equal opportunity approach to hurling out loaded criticisms clearly resonates with some GOP women, who, like other Republicans, have been drawn to Trump&#39;s brash rhetoric.</p> <p> <a href="">Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump: Bring it on</a></p> <p> &quot;Although there was once a strong component of feminism and women&#39;s rights advocacy within the GOP, feminism is now strongly associated with the Democrats,&quot; said Catherine Rymph, who wrote the book &quot;Republican Women.&quot; &quot;So voters, including women, who don&#39;t like Democratic feminism or so-called &#39;political correctness&#39; in general may very well find refreshing Trump&#39;s delight in using language about women that many find offensive.&quot;</p> <p> Among Democrats, Trump&#39;s comments are pure red meat, underscoring a line of attack that has been at the center of their strategy in past election cycles.</p> <p> Clinton, who has sought to brand the GOP as the party of Trump, later took a not-so-veiled swipe at Trump, who she has referred to as the &quot;flamboyant front-runner.&quot;</p> <p> &quot;We hear from candidates on the other side about turning back the clock on women&#39;s rights,&quot; Clinton said Thursday at a Women for Hillary event in Columbus, Ohio. &quot;And there is one particular candidate who just seems to delight in insulting women any chance he gets. I have to say, if he emerges, I would love to debate him.&quot;</p> <p> Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called Trump&#39;s comments misogynistic.</p> <p> &quot;Yesterday, in an interview, he even had the nerve to make an outrageous comment about one of his fellow candidate&#39;s looks, so I&#39;m sorry, I&#39;m just, I&#39;m not really willing to give Donald Trump credit for very credible, substantive beliefs,&quot; Wasserman Schultz said when asked about his actual policy proposals.&quot;</p> <p> In hypothetical match-ups, Clinton fares best against Trump among women, leading him by double digits.</p> <p> Burned by the gender gap in 2012, the GOP has tried to broaden its appeal to women by recruiting women candidates and downplaying divisive cultural issues. Trump, who was challenged in the first Republican debate over comments he made about women and got into a prolonged fight with Kelly, doesn&#39;t broaden the GOP&#39;s appeal to independent women.</p> <p> &quot;He is a bully and he is obnoxious and he is all things that women don&#39;t really want in a husband in an employer or their president,&quot; said Katie Packer, who runs a firm dedicated to helping the GOP expand their appeal to women. &quot;But there is a segment of Republican women who will put up with anything, as long as they have someone who will &#39;tell it like is,&#39; because that&#39;s all they care about. He is doing well among the women that we already get.&quot;</p> <p> Packer is neutral in the race, but she is founding partner of WWP Strategies, which works for GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio in Michigan.</p> <p> Trump has staked his candidacy on a brand of populist bombast, with a hawkish approach to illegal immigration at its core.</p> <p> Among Republican women, 52% say that issue is &quot;extremely important,&quot; with 45% of men saying the same thing, suggesting that women are slightly more attuned to this issue.</p> <p> Since he joined the race for the White House, Trump has drowned out his opponents, forcing them to go on the attack to try to regain some ground.</p> <p> Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose seen his poll numbers plummet, struck out at the businessman on Twitter: &quot;Trump&#39;s personal attacks against @CarlyFiorina are plain inappropriate and wrong. It&#39;s time for these shameless attacks to end.&quot;</p> <p> Fiorina has argued that she is the ideal candidate to run against Clinton, as she would blunt the appeal of a historic run, but she remains at the bottom of the GOP pack. Among women, she draws just 3% support. Engaging with Trump has proved a risky strategy for his opponents, with some seeing their poll numbers drop after taking him on. Yet for FIorina, such a move could pay dividends by allowing her to highlight her agenda and unique place in a crowded field.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;I think Carly Fiorina is saying good things, and she is the only one speaking up,&quot; said Sabrina Schaeffer, the executive director of the Independent Women&#39;s Forum, &quot;She is the only one responding to the progressive women&#39;s agenda, which is going to be a cornerstone of the Democrat&#39;s campaign. It&#39;s a lost opportunity if the other Republicans stay silent.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> SchaefferFri, 11 Sep 2015 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFiorina answers question that stumps Trump • CNN Newsroom SchaefferFri, 4 Sep 2015 09:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumCan you be pro-woman and pro-liberty? • Vicki McKenna SchaefferWed, 2 Sep 2015 15:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTarget missing the mark with gender sign changes<p> As summer draws to a close, moms are making back-to-school lists for new clothes and school supplies. But when they get to the store, they may find that things are organized a little differently than in years past. This month, Target (every mom&rsquo;s favorite everything-under-one-roof retailer) has announced it will end &ldquo;gender-based signage.&rdquo;</p> <p> In other words, the store will no longer have signs such as &ldquo;girls clothing&rdquo; or &ldquo;boys bedding,&rdquo; in what they say is an effort to <a href="">&ldquo;strike a better balance&rdquo; for their customers</a>.</p> <p> The pressure to eliminate gender distinctions in retail has been building for several years. In 2012, the radical feminist group Spark launched a campaign to eliminate the pink and purple &ldquo;Friends&rdquo; Legos, which were offered to appeal to girls. Around the same time, ran a video appeal to put a boy on the box of Hasbro&rsquo;s Easy Bake Oven. In the UK, the activist group Let Toys Be Toys won a sizable victory when UK chain Debenhams announced it would remove all gender signage from its stores. And, recently, Toys R US has made a commitment to ensure that the way it markets toys is &ldquo;gender-inclusive.&rdquo;</p> <p> The assumption behind each of these efforts is that gender norms are inherently oppressive &mdash; that they discriminatorily limit children&rsquo;s potential.</p> <p> Of course, gender signage doesn&rsquo;t preclude girls from buying remote-controlled cars or boys from playing in the kitchen aisle. It just recognizes that boys and girls are, in fact, intrinsically different and tend to have distinct interests, preferences, and aptitudes.</p> <p> And as Target acknowledges, they have long relied on signs simply &ldquo;to help guests navigate&rdquo; their stores &mdash; to help them easily find the products for which they are looking. And most shoppers find this guidance useful.</p> <p> Still, feminists and gender activists continue to insist that equality means ignoring differences between the sexes. In the eyes of the activists, girls won&rsquo;t really be &ldquo;equal&rdquo; to boys until we keep girls from acting like girls.</p> <p> Still, feminists and gender activists continue to insist that equality means ignoring differences between the sexes. In the eyes of the activists, girls won&rsquo;t really be &ldquo;equal&rdquo; to boys until we keep girls from acting like girls.</p> <p> As the mother of two daughters and a son, I want a healthy balance for all my children. I want my girls to recognize that they can pursue anything &mdash;&nbsp;from sports to science &mdash;&nbsp;that my son can. I love watching them play fairy dress-up as much as I love watching them aggressively play defense on the lacrosse field. And I try to make sure that it&rsquo;s their preferences, not preconceived notions about gender, that guide how they spend their time.</p> <p> But, for many traditional feminists, this balance is no longer sufficient. A hysteria has erupted over any kind of gender identification, and a pernicious belief that true equality requires stripping labels from clothing and toys has taken hold.</p> <p> Of course, one can&rsquo;t help but wonder if feminists aren&rsquo;t increasingly trying to find a solution to a problem that is rapidly fading away. At a time when women don&rsquo;t think twice about putting off marriage and children in favor of their education and careers; at a time when women are outpacing men educationally, professionally, and even financially at different points in their lives, it seems hard to claim that the gender-based toys are impinging on female success.</p> <p> Conflating equality with uniformity won&rsquo;t help young people navigate complicated gender issues. And changing a few signs won&rsquo;t stop parents from finding the clothing or school supplies their kids actually want. It&rsquo;s a shame that we can&rsquo;t just let girls and boys be themselves without fear of their differences.</p> <p> <em>Sabrina L. Schaeffer is Executive Director of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</em></p> SchaefferThu, 20 Aug 2015 11:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEPA sends toxic sludge into CO Animas River • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 15 Aug 2015 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTrump: Cut taxes, simplify tax code • Forbes on Fox SchaefferSat, 15 Aug 2015 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhite House meme fail • Mornings with Maria SchaefferFri, 14 Aug 2015 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHillary losing steam heading into 2016 • After the Bell SchaefferFri, 14 Aug 2015 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSocial Security turns 80 • After the Bell SchaefferFri, 14 Aug 2015 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGOP shouldn't shy away from addressing women in the workplace • Bill Cunningham pt 2 SchaefferWed, 12 Aug 2015 14:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGOP shouldn't shy away from addressing women in the workplace • Bill Cunningham pt 1 SchaefferWed, 12 Aug 2015 14:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDemocrats demand debates • Cavuto Coast To Coast SchaefferTue, 11 Aug 2015 16:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum