President Obama has repeatedly expressed his concern about our rising unemployment. The worst losses of jobs are in manufacturing, because building autos has gone overseas, and in construction, because the housing industry has tanked.
When Obama announced his stimulus appropriation, he promised millions of "shovel-ready" jobs. Many people worried about increasing the national debt to create government jobs, but his proposal was attractive because it conjured up visions of crews in hard hats repairing our nation's infrastructure, roads, bridges and electrical grids, and building long-needed highways and schools.
We were told that the purpose of this extraordinary deficit spending in the stimulus package was to jolt the economy. We expected the money to be concentrated on the areas that have suffered the steepest decline during this recession, such as the auto industry and housing construction.
But the feminists then demonstrated the death grip they hold over Obama and the leaders of the Democratic Party. The feminists swung into action with noisy accusations that the stimulus discriminated against women because its jobs would go mostly to men.
The feminists had no sympathy with the fact that men were victims of most of the lost jobs because the majority of manufacturing and construction jobs are men's jobs. The segments of our economy dominated by women -- social services, education, health, childcare and welfare -- have actually gained jobs during this recession.
Nevertheless, the feminists demanded that half the stimulus jobs be given to women. The feminists worked to achieve this result by directing the stimulus funds into the types of jobs where women predominate and by allocating at least a third of the spending in manufacturing and construction industries to training women for those men's jobs.
All the feminist organizations joined in the political clatter. They called for a meeting so they could lecture Obama's economic advisers and hurl their demands that the stimulus package create jobs that women like, such as workplace-comfortable inside jobs with air-conditioned offices and carpeted floors.
As one tactic to intimidate Obama administration officials, the feminists successfully insisted that participants in the meeting be seated in a circle without a table between them -- a format that enabled the feminists to be confrontational. The feminists created their own vocabulary to shout at the men, demanding jobs for "human infrastructure" and "human bridges," which were euphemisms for social service, health-care, childcare and librarian jobs.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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