Karin Agness

We disagree on almost all the issues—healthcare, Title IX, abortion, women in the military. We argue about the role of women in society. We debate how much nature influences us. But there is one issue that has united conservative and liberal women in the past—pornography. So we know it can be done. This rare and uneasy alliance is slowing forming once again, but this time to take on a much tougher opponent—Hillary Clinton.

The “women’s vote” matters. Women made up a majority of voters in 2004. According to the Census Bureau, women currently comprise 52% of the electorate and women are known to be more likely to show up on Election Day.

Conservative and liberal women should make their voices heard by recognizing the threat Clinton poses to what each group stands for and uniting against her presidential ambitions. And we are starting to do just that. While conservative women have generally been at least weary of Clinton from the beginning, liberal women are starting to recognize Clinton’s shortcomings. Last week, Kate Michelman, the former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, endorsed Barack Obama. Tuesday, Obama won the support of women by double digits in Maryland and Virginia.

For liberal women, uniting against Clinton at first appears to be a tough decision. On one level, Hillary Clinton is the ultimate feminist —she is, after all, the first woman to have a real shot at winning the presidency.

But on a deeper level, Clinton’s campaign is full of anti-feminist tactics that challenge feminism as a way of life. Women on the left emphasize that they want to be treated as independent individuals, many preferring not to marry or to keep their maiden last name, and be judged solely on their intellect. They claim they can do everything men can do and do it better. They tend to fight to be treated like men, rejecting or belittling sex differences. Yet, Clinton effortlessly has fallen into the role of a damsel in distress, waiting for Bill Clinton to come rescue her campaign throughout the primary season. For example, after a particularly weak presidential debate appearance at Drexel University by Hillary last fall, Bill, not Hillary, led the attack, criticizing the debate moderators and other candidates for picking on poor little Hillary and claiming that “those boys have been getting tough on her lately.”

Karin Agness

Karin Agness is President of the Network of Enlightened Women.
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