Kathryn Lopez

Usually, people want to stand up and be counted. During the most recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Solicitor General Elena Kagan, I wanted just the opposite.

My most recent averse reaction occurred while Sen. Amy Klobuchar was speechifying about women's "progress." She was reveling in the kind of political victimhood that often seems to perversely empower liberal women who work in Washington. This attitude helps nourish such women's ideologically advantageous illusion that females are somehow oppressed in the United States, despite being say, secretary of state.

Klobuchar, one of two women on the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked Kagan how many women were on the Supreme Court in 1980. Zero is the answer. How many women, the senator asked, were in the Senate in 1980? Zero, again. Klobuchar took this opportunity to announce her grand conclusion: "I think there's no question that women have greater opportunities now, although they could be made greater still."

She praised Kagan for being concerned about the same -- making sure there are more women in leadership.

I humbly submit that women in America really don't need bean counters. Three on the Supreme Court, for instance, would not necessarily be a sign of oppression or progress. If the U.S. Senate, which currently has 17 women, had, at some time in the future, no women, this would not be a sign that American females would be oppressed or limited in their opportunities. It could mean that the Senate would not resemble America, but that's never been a Constitutional requirement. The hypothetical lack of women might simply be a reflection of a little thing called freedom; freedom of choice, in fact, which in another context having to do with women, liberal feminists are all for. Funny how catchphrases only work when they are ideologically convenient.

Freedom of choice accounts for a number of things liberal feminists and the left would like you to believe are fundamental injustices. Individual women have different priorities, and women collectively tend to have priorities that involve fruits of biology and the natural differences between men and women.

Furthermore, bring on the zero, I say, if it means getting rid of the likes of Sens. Klobuchar, Barbara Boxer (who is in a tough reelection battle this year -- though against a woman), and Dianne Feinstein, and ... well, just about any women in the Senate right now, including some of the Republican women.


Kathryn Lopez

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