Women are not a class of victims that need extra help from the government, conservative leader Sabrina Schaeffer said in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Tuesday, which was lauded by some liberals as the first “feminist” address.
“Once again President Obama doubles-down on the fallacy that American women are a victim class in order to fuel more big-government regulations to ‘help’ them,” Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women Forum, said in a statement Wednesday.
Obama pushed for a number of objectives related to women in his address, including universal childcare, paid maternity and sick days and an equal pay for equal work law. Elle magazine hailed the speech as the first feminist State of the Union, rejoicing that Obama took women’s issues out of the “ghetto” and into the more serious category of economics.
Even his proposal to make community college free counted as a win for feminists, according to The Feminist Majority Foundation, since a majority of college students are women. “President Obama placed an unprecedented emphasis on the central role women play in the economy,” the foundation said in a statement praising the speech Wednesday.
“This is ridiculous,” Schaeffer told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They are defining this as a ‘feminist’ speech because he laid out a menu of ‘free’ benefits for working women.”
“Do we have a wage gap? Yes, a small one that is not the result of widespread discrimination but of women’s and men’s choices,” she continued. “Do we have a shortage of paid leave? Sort of. More than 80 percent of full-time workers have access to some paid leave, and 20 percent of part-time workers.”
Obama wants to guarantee every worker seven days of paid sick leave, and grant government workers a full six weeks of paid parental leave. America is behind the times, Obama said Tuesday, because it’s the only advanced country that does not guarantee paid sick days and maternity leave.
“It’s the right thing to do,” he told Congress Tuesday. “It’s the right thing to do.”
Although all workers are guaranteed sick days and maternity leave by law, they are not necessarily paid. In the private sector, 43 million Americans do not currently have access to paid sick days, according to the White House.
Schaeffer argued the added cost to business of a one size fits all requirement will force some to cut wages, reduce hours and layoff workers — actually hurting some women. “Too often the president and Democrats make mountains out of mole hills when it comes to challenges that face women,” she told TheDCNF.
A real “feminist” State of the Union would be one that gives women more opportunity across the board and more financial freedom, including rolling back Obamacare, rolling back burdensome EPA regulations, embracing energy exploration, keeping the Internet free of government regulations and allowing women to keep more of their own money, she said.
“When it comes to women, the president and Democrats recognize that women — especially unmarried women — are an extremely valuable voting bloc,” Schaeffer told TheDCNF. “But the underdog message tells women that life in America is inherently unfair.”
“The president, in effect, tells women that we are failing because the game is rigged,” she continued. “And he paints a picture of society in which women are the perpetual victims of misogynist forces and predatory men. And that’s not only wrong, it’s terrible leadership.”
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