Kathryn Lopez

Well, we girls can make it after all. And Mary Tyler Moore is dated for even TV Land nowadays. There may be a milestone or two yet to hit, but women are in the mix -- in the marble halls, our nation's top diplomat, editors, you name it. And they do it, for the most part, because they do it like the guys do it: they work hard and prove themselves.

So when folks advocate Hillary for president because she is a woman -- let's make history! -- we ought to take a step back, lest we fall into "The Hillary Trap." This is a phrase radio talk-show host (and former Supreme Court clerk) Laura Ingraham used in her book (Hyperion, 2000) of the same "Trap" name to describe a devotion "to a liberal agenda than reduces women to yet another interest group seeking yet another government handout." Because she is a woman, we gloss over the actual substance of what she promotes because all that really matters is her gender. As Ingraham put it: "Despite her public image as the independent modern woman, Hillary has always been a throwback, who for decades relied on a philandering husband and big government for all the answers."

As Pelosi took charge, she had to be reminded that being a woman isn't really an ideology unto itself; she swore other women in to Congress, including Tennessee's Marsha Blackburn, a member of the leadership of the conservative Republican Study Committee. Blackburn agrees with Hillary and Pelosi on very little -- even though all three are mothers, wives and women. The real milestone will be when we realize that playing gender games is less important than exercising right reason.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.