Conventional wisdom on women’s issues

Who proclaims to speak for women’s concerns in America? Both political parties are trying to answer that. The Democrats are staking everything on it.

Last week, experts were telling me the Democratic National Convention will be a celebration of abortion. This week, it’s starting to look more like they were right.

Take this ABC News report, for instance, with Sandra Fluke calling Republican policies “dangerous for women.” She allegedly “speaks for a new generation of young women.” At least according to that report.

But wait.

I’ve had a bunch of young women on my radio show who speak for themselves, and other young and multi-generational women for whom Fluke, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards and other pro-abortion women do not speak.

In fact, a movement of them sprang up to do just that, speak for themselves. They have quite a formidable presence on Facebook.

While Fluke and other Democrats try to make political hay with the frankly bizarre remarks of one lone Republican about abortion after rape, an interesting development has received virtually no coverage in big media from a group of women most qualified to speak to this subject. 

Every year, legislators, judges, and other policy makers discuss the problems of women who have become pregnant as a result of sexual assault. These discussions take place without ever first soliciting our input. In most cases, it is only in the context of highly divisive debates over abortion that we are discussed. In virtually every case, those people who claim to be defending our interests have never taken the time to actually listen to us to learn about our true circumstances, needs, and concerns.

We are deeply offended and dismayed each time our difficult circumstances are exploited for public consumption to promote the political agenda of others. This is a grave injustice. In pursuing their political agendas, these exploiters have reduced our concerns, needs, and circumstances to a crude caricature.

Those who claim to represent our interests have never sought our authorization to represent us. They do not know us, understand us, or truly care about us. Just as we were once used, without our consent, to gratify the sexual desires of others, so we continue to be used, without our consent, to gratify the political goals of others.

Only we who have actually experienced a sexual assault pregnancy truly understand the trauma, fears, concerns, and needs of our sisters who are, or will someday become, pregnant as a result of rape or incest.

Each year, thousands of women will face this experience. Unless society at large begins to listen to us today, these other women will, like us, face great difficulty in finding authentic understanding and help…

We are the only ones who can bear witness to our real experiences and our real needs. How long will you refuse to listen to us?

They should be heard. Dignity and respect requires no less, and honesty demands that those who deign to speak for them first listen to them.

That’s just one problem for the Democrat’s convention so targeted to a liberal women’s agenda, which doesn’t speak for other women’s concerns, as the Democrats for Life found out when they tried to have a voice in the party platform drafting process.

A Democratic committee has rejected efforts to broaden the party’s platform in order to acknowledge and welcome “differing positions” on the issue of abortion.

Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America, told CNA on Aug. 15 that there is a lack of understanding about the extent of pro-life support within the Democratic Party.

They will not be well represented at the party convention, as even some feminists concede in their own way when the edict against babies went out.

Feminists are denouncing a rule at the upcoming Democratic National Convention that will bar children, including breastfeeding babies, from entering the event without being credentialed.

Critics say that officials for the event slated to begin Sept. 4 in Charlotte make it difficult for moms to credential their children, leaving delegate moms at a loss as to how to provide for their tots.

Top feminist icon Gloria Steinem said that by not even offering child care at the event the Democratic Party will alienate female voters, and that the party should acknowledge that, where there are women, there are occasionally babies too.

Credit Steinem is honest here.

“Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women,” said Steinem in a statement noted by the Charlotte Observer. “It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist.”

Others spoke out too.

“The DNC requires children and babies to have a credential to enter the convention, and then denies these credential requests from moms,” said Hollywood NOW President Lindsey Horvath. “The DNC credentialing process is being used as a tool to prevent mothers from participating at the convention and is nothing short of discriminatory.”

Breathtaking, really, given the pitch for the women vote.

California Democrat Susie Shannon, 45, who planned to come to the convention with her 4-year-old daughter Gracie, called [convention spokeswoman Joanne] Peters’ response “not enough.”

“When the Democratic Party refuses to provide child care at the convention and denies automatic access for young children to join their moms who serve as delegates on the convention floor, an entire group of women are disenfranchised,” said Shannon. “Moms with young children 6 years of age and under who cannot be left at home, some of whom are breast-feeding, are relegated to second-class status within the Democratic convention.”

These next two weeks will be illuminating on many issues. This is a big one.