Suffering in Suffragette City

Kathryn Lopez
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Posted: Jul 01, 2010 2:33 PM
Suffering in Suffragette City

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.

If you're going to have any woman in the Senate, let them be much like I like my men there: actual defenders and leaders for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As evidenced by some of the bold breezes of new feminism lately, being a woman in politics doesn't mean having to deny one's motherly, life-protecting nature. That, frankly, is what women in politics too often do. How else can you explain how some of the most outspoken leaders against the dignity of human life in America -- and the West -- are women?

In a June speech to the National Right to Life Committee, House Minority Leader John Boehner explained, "Americans love life, and we love freedom. They're both intertwined, permanently, as part of the American character. America is a nation built on freedom. And without respect for life, freedom is in jeopardy."

He said: "When human life takes a back seat to other priorities -- personal comforts, economics -- freedom is diminished. By contrast, when we affirm the dignity of life, we affirm our commitment to freedom."

I want women in the Senate who understand those principles. I want Supreme Court justices who appreciate them, and how the Constitution reflects them, in its very letter, not in its conveniently subjective penumbras and emanations. And if such judges and politicians happen to be men, what's wrong with that? And if they happen to be women, super. This election cycle, Carly Fiorina takes on Boxer; Sharron Angle takes on Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada; Jane Norton, a smart, articulate pro-life woman, is battling out a tough primary in Colorado but is another example of this most natural model of the woman in politics.

When I vote, when I look at the political landscape, I don't need someone who dresses like me. I want someone who represents my views. I want someone who represents the Constitution, which includes a fundamental respect for human life, not to mention the limits of government.

The last time I wrote about pro-life women in politics -- in the context of that lightning rod that is Sarah Palin -- I battled against the received idea that my views were somehow contrary to justice and equality. Too bad you can't actually explain that one to the innocent lives taken by Roe v. Wade, enacted by the Court back in those dark, female-free days.