For the girls

A long time ago, in a galaxy that seems truly far away, a suburban Detroit mother got ready to take her two youngsters — a boy of seven and a girl of five — over to the city. The year was 1980 and the Republican National Convention was being held in Detroit. The woman was taking the kids with her to a march in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution and to thumb their collective nose at those mean old Republicans. As she pinned the green 'ERA YES' button that was so ubiquitous in those days to his shirt, she told her son that if anyone asked why he was marching, he should answer that he wanted his sister to have the same rights as he.

Looking at what President George W. Bush has done for equality here and abroad, it looks as if that dream is coming true — and then some.

One of the more significant benefits from the winning military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq are the freedoms that are now being extended to women in those countries. In Afghanistan, girls are returning to school in great numbers, and women have returned to work. Women are now even allowed to drive. Under the Taliban, of course, women could do none of these things, and were subjected to a multitude of repressive and ridiculous regulations on everything from dress to staying inside the house. The Afghani delegation to the Olympic games in Athens was led by a female flag—bearer. In Iraq, women are no longer plucked off the streets to be used as play things for high—ranking Saddamites, including Hussein's dead sons, who are no doubt roasting on adjacent spits in the nether regions for their brutal, numerous, and well—documented crimes against women.

As is the nature of such things, complete freedom and the transformation of once—oppressive societies will take time, of course. Women still face real dangers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and true equality will take time to achieve, a frustrating idea to reconcile in our instant—gratification society. Yet it is curious that women's groups are unusually reticent to praise the President for helping release women who otherwise were too long silenced, abused, and killed. None of this would be happening had President Bush not demolished these misogynistic regimes.

Here at home, the President's contributions to gender equality can be seen just about every day on the news. As governor of Texas, the President's top adviser was Karen Hughes, who was the spokesperson for the 2000 campaign and a high—level adviser in the White House. President Bush appointed Condoleeza Rice to perhaps the most important position in government as National Security Adviser, a decision that proved prescient and wise in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Elaine Chao (Labor), Ann Veneman (Agriculture), and Gale Norton (Interior) were named to the President's Cabinet after his election, and Christine Todd Whitman was appointed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Unlike his predecessor, however, President Bush does not appoint women just for the sake of satisfying his base. Bill Clinton's search for a female appointee to run the Department of Justice was an offensive precursor to his administration as a whole. Clinton's behavior was emblematic of the left's way — competence counts for nothing as long as people of the right gender, the right color, and the quotidian liberal mind can be found. President Bush does not think in such a ham—handed manner. Whoever is best will get the job, and President Bush recognizes that those who he appoints are the best in their field. Could this be said for Janet Reno or Madeleine Albright? Rather than the backhanded compliment of actively seeking women and minorities of any caliber to fill self—imposed quotas, the President bases his decisions on merit and from an assumption of equality.

Sen. John Kerry meekly tried to mimic the President's efforts in his run for the White House by naming Mary Beth Cahill as his campaign manager. But Kerry, who sees fault in all other mortals, has now effectively demoted Cahill in favor of the 'ole white boys network.' Clintonian gasbags Paul Begala, James Carville, and the bug—eyed spokesman for William the Impeached, Joe Lockhart, are now busily rearranging deck chairs on Kerry's swiftly sinking campaign. Where is the outcry among traditional warblers such as Gloria Steinam or Susan Estrich when women like Cahill are carelessly shoved aside? Why is Kerry not blistered for blaming a woman for his problems and boarding up the glass ceiling that had been shattered? Perhaps the outrage is where it was when these and other prominent feminists were rendered suddenly mute watching Clinton's disgraceful treatment of his wife, subordinate women, and the law during his administration.

The media would like voters to believe that most women oppose the President because of his clear position on the rights of the unborn. Certainly, this view was reinforced by Clinton's free pass thanks to his pro—choice stance. So—called feminists blast President Bush and do what the left does best, fan fears of the President getting another four years to appoint judges and potential Supreme Court justices that wish to overturn Roe.

Yet this is another instance in which a media dominated by liberals cannot understand women, minorities, or any other 'interest group' who have views that are alien to them. The President's support among women is strong  and grows by the day.  Women appreciate Bush's straightforward talk on national security, his faith, and his vision for the nation. Women appreciate the way the President treats his wife, his daughters, and his mother. Kerry, like most Democratic candidates, takes the votes of groups traditionally seen as Democratic for granted. Most female voters are not the automatons that vote merely on a single issue that Democrats think they are or wish them to be, nor are they pining for a future Hillary Clinton presidency.

Imagine how much praise would have been heaped upon someone like Clinton had he liberated oppressed women abroad and promoted women of true skill in his administration. Imagine how much that praise would have improved Clinton's rap to na´ve interns as well. President Bush may not get the credit he deserves for his actions on behalf of women from the increasingly useless traditional media. Yet, among other things that will shock and horrify them in the days and weeks following November 2, support among female voters will be a major part of the President's reelection — especially the support of one of the smallest female marchers in Detroit back in 1980.

Matthew May is a freelance writer and can be reached at millmay7@yahoo.com

A long time ago, in a galaxy that seems truly far away, a suburban Detroit mother got ready to take her two youngsters — a boy of seven and a girl of five — over to the city. The year was 1980 and the Republican National Convention was being held in Detroit. The woman was taking the kids with her to a march in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution and to thumb their collective nose at those mean old Republicans. As she pinned the green 'ERA YES' button that was so ubiquitous in those days to his shirt, she told her son that if anyone asked why he was marching, he should answer that he wanted his sister to have the same rights as he.

Looking at what President George W. Bush has done for equality here and abroad, it looks as if that dream is coming true — and then some.

One of the more significant benefits from the winning military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq are the freedoms that are now being extended to women in those countries. In Afghanistan, girls are returning to school in great numbers, and women have returned to work. Women are now even allowed to drive. Under the Taliban, of course, women could do none of these things, and were subjected to a multitude of repressive and ridiculous regulations on everything from dress to staying inside the house. The Afghani delegation to the Olympic games in Athens was led by a female flag—bearer. In Iraq, women are no longer plucked off the streets to be used as play things for high—ranking Saddamites, including Hussein's dead sons, who are no doubt roasting on adjacent spits in the nether regions for their brutal, numerous, and well—documented crimes against women.

As is the nature of such things, complete freedom and the transformation of once—oppressive societies will take time, of course. Women still face real dangers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and true equality will take time to achieve, a frustrating idea to reconcile in our instant—gratification society. Yet it is curious that women's groups are unusually reticent to praise the President for helping release women who otherwise were too long silenced, abused, and killed. None of this would be happening had President Bush not demolished these misogynistic regimes.

Here at home, the President's contributions to gender equality can be seen just about every day on the news. As governor of Texas, the President's top adviser was Karen Hughes, who was the spokesperson for the 2000 campaign and a high—level adviser in the White House. President Bush appointed Condoleeza Rice to perhaps the most important position in government as National Security Adviser, a decision that proved prescient and wise in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Elaine Chao (Labor), Ann Veneman (Agriculture), and Gale Norton (Interior) were named to the President's Cabinet after his election, and Christine Todd Whitman was appointed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Unlike his predecessor, however, President Bush does not appoint women just for the sake of satisfying his base. Bill Clinton's search for a female appointee to run the Department of Justice was an offensive precursor to his administration as a whole. Clinton's behavior was emblematic of the left's way — competence counts for nothing as long as people of the right gender, the right color, and the quotidian liberal mind can be found. President Bush does not think in such a ham—handed manner. Whoever is best will get the job, and President Bush recognizes that those who he appoints are the best in their field. Could this be said for Janet Reno or Madeleine Albright? Rather than the backhanded compliment of actively seeking women and minorities of any caliber to fill self—imposed quotas, the President bases his decisions on merit and from an assumption of equality.

Sen. John Kerry meekly tried to mimic the President's efforts in his run for the White House by naming Mary Beth Cahill as his campaign manager. But Kerry, who sees fault in all other mortals, has now effectively demoted Cahill in favor of the 'ole white boys network.' Clintonian gasbags Paul Begala, James Carville, and the bug—eyed spokesman for William the Impeached, Joe Lockhart, are now busily rearranging deck chairs on Kerry's swiftly sinking campaign. Where is the outcry among traditional warblers such as Gloria Steinam or Susan Estrich when women like Cahill are carelessly shoved aside? Why is Kerry not blistered for blaming a woman for his problems and boarding up the glass ceiling that had been shattered? Perhaps the outrage is where it was when these and other prominent feminists were rendered suddenly mute watching Clinton's disgraceful treatment of his wife, subordinate women, and the law during his administration.

The media would like voters to believe that most women oppose the President because of his clear position on the rights of the unborn. Certainly, this view was reinforced by Clinton's free pass thanks to his pro—choice stance. So—called feminists blast President Bush and do what the left does best, fan fears of the President getting another four years to appoint judges and potential Supreme Court justices that wish to overturn Roe.

Yet this is another instance in which a media dominated by liberals cannot understand women, minorities, or any other 'interest group' who have views that are alien to them. The President's support among women is strong  and grows by the day.  Women appreciate Bush's straightforward talk on national security, his faith, and his vision for the nation. Women appreciate the way the President treats his wife, his daughters, and his mother. Kerry, like most Democratic candidates, takes the votes of groups traditionally seen as Democratic for granted. Most female voters are not the automatons that vote merely on a single issue that Democrats think they are or wish them to be, nor are they pining for a future Hillary Clinton presidency.

Imagine how much praise would have been heaped upon someone like Clinton had he liberated oppressed women abroad and promoted women of true skill in his administration. Imagine how much that praise would have improved Clinton's rap to na´ve interns as well. President Bush may not get the credit he deserves for his actions on behalf of women from the increasingly useless traditional media. Yet, among other things that will shock and horrify them in the days and weeks following November 2, support among female voters will be a major part of the President's reelection — especially the support of one of the smallest female marchers in Detroit back in 1980.

Matthew May is a freelance writer and can be reached at millmay7@yahoo.com