With all the other problems in the country, is it time for an all-encompassing strategy on fixing a fictional gender inequality problem?
The Biden administration seems to think so. A few days ago, the White House released a “fact sheet” on their “National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.”
It got praise from friends of the administration.
Hillary Clinton called it a “historic document.”
Michelle Obama applauded it: “It’s about making sure that every single person can reach their full potential — in our country and around the world.”
That seems ambitious for an administration struggling to get milk on supermarket shelves.
The actual document was a hodgepodge of bureaucratic catchphrases, fairytale wishes and excuse-making. It would be boring if it weren’t so offensive.
The intro reads, “The Biden-Harris Administration issues first-ever national gender strategy to advance the full participation of all people — including women and girls — in the United States and around the world.” So really it’s not a “national” gender strategy, it’s an “international” gender strategy. Surely the rest of the world will appreciate the Biden administration explaining how they’re doing gender equality all wrong.
It’s also telling that all people, including women and girls, will be included in . . . full participation, though participation of what is unclear. At least women and girls get to be part of “all people.” Not too long ago the administration referred to “pregnant people” and wrote women out of the story of childbirth altogether, but now we’re back to existing anyway.
A lot of the rambling memo is just filled with half-truths or outright lies. It notes: “The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a health crisis, an economic crisis and a caregiving crisis that have magnified the challenges that women and girls, especially women and girls of color, have long faced.”
The fact is, more men than women died of COVID-19 in the United States. As of Oct. 27, some 406,250 men in the United States have died of the virus compared to 330,625 women. Yet there is no special committee being formed for the challenges that have been magnified for the men, that challenge being death.
It’s insulting to women to pretend we need some kind of helping hand due to COVID when these numbers tell a different story.
Women did face an economic crisis and a caregiving crisis during the pandemic but they were the direct result of government policies, not because of the virus. In areas largely controlled by Democrats, politicians shuttered their schools and, on the command of the teachers unions, refused to open them. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten helped the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention write school-opening policy which kept schools closed, kids home and mothers away from their jobs while they played the role schools were supposed to fill. Nothing hurt women during the pandemic more than that.
But the Biden administration seems to want Americans to forget that ever happened and focus on all the president has given us. They list “reopening schools” as one of the things accomplished through the “American Rescue Plan.” In fact, the administration stood in the way of school openings through their collaborations with Weingarten and Co. Women during the pandemic didn’t need a handout, they needed data-driven decision-making.
Women now need the same things men across the country do: competent leadership to guide us out of the COVID-19 crisis. The gender memo shows the Biden administration continues not to understand that and so is veering into identity politics instead.
Women want equality. But that equality doesn’t come in the form of 1,500 words tackling every problem under the sun. It comes from treating women the way men are treated. We’re not some separate species that must be catered to differently than men. We worry about the economy, about the delay of goods, about what our kids are learning in schools and all the other issues that Americans across the country are facing.
Women don’t need a strategy memo. We need those standing in our way to move.