June 15 2008
Writing in the June 8 Sunday Forum dedicated to the question "What About the Women? ," Salamishah Tillet offers candidate Sen. Barack Obama terrible advice for how to proceed with his general election campaign.
Ms. Tillet assumes that all women feel that Mrs. Clinton's failure to secure the Democratic nomination is a "slap in the face of all women" and suggests Sen. Obama make amends by directly talking about women-specific issues:
"Much like the speech on race he delivered in Philadelphia, I would like Mr. Obama to talk about gender equity as a fundamental tenet of his campaign. He needs to spotlight his Equal Pay Act, to speak more fervently about reducing gender hate crimes and to reach out to second- and third-wave feminists of all colors."
The last thing that this campaign needs is a greater focus on group identity and grievance. Only gender-obsessed professors on leftist college campuses believe that women's primary concerns when electing a president are the so-called "wage gap" (which has been shown time and again to be mostly a consequence of the different choices women make when it comes to work) and how many women the president pledges to appoint to his Cabinet. This is simply not the case. Women, like men, care most about our nation's security and economic prosperity when evaluating candidates.
I'd offer Sen. Obama some very different advice: Don't pander to women. Talk to us about how you will protect the country from terrorism, encourage economic growth by reducing government's burden and make us freer by giving us control over important decisions that affect our families' lives.
The writer is a vice president of Independent Women's Forum.