Earlier this year, conservative groups led by Concerned Women for America tried unsuccessfully to stop the House from approving a plan to move forward on the building of the National Women’s History Museum, claiming that the museum would be a “shrine to liberal ideology, abortion, and liberal advocates." Since then, that bill has been held up in the Senate by Republicans Tom Coburn and Mike Lee.
Now the coalition is resuming the fight after hearing that the new museum might be included in a public lands section of an upcoming defense budget. In a press release yesterday, CWA President Penny Nance claimed that the museum would “promote a skewed view of women on key issues like abortion, the free market, and feminism.” Nance also declared that the museum “would in fact be offensive to military members” by including exhibits mentioning people like feminist Bella Abzug, who advocated cuts in military spending.
In an op-ed for Brietbart News, Nance writes that she is against the “identity politics” of the museum in the first place, opposes it especially because she suspects (with no apparent evidence) that it would glorify “whiny” feminists instead of people like a female Peshmerga fighter who died fighting ISIS last month.
On October 11, Rengin Yusuf died.
She was a mom, a warrior and a young Peshmergan fighter who died in battle against ISIS. According to Sandor Jaszberenyi’s piece in the Wall Street Journal, she was part of a brave group of women who are particularly successful in combat, due in part to ISIS’s belief that being killed by a woman fighter excludes one from the complimentary 72 virgins in Paradise.
Rengin should be a feminist icon, but she won’t be. American feminists won’t like her brand of feminism.
Besides taking a firm stand against Jihadists, she also didn’t buy into gender politics, asking before her death — along with her fellow fighters — to not be identified as “women Peshmergas” because as Jaszberenyi puts it, “a Peshmerga is a Peshmerga, or in Kurdish, ‘someone who confronts death.’”
Contrast her idea of true feminist empowerment with the whiny “#banbossy” campaign and other phony feminist “battles” of the American left.
Women warriors do not serve in this nation to be viewed as a minority interest group. We are fifty-one percent of the population and won’t settle for a pat on the head. We are Americans and deserve to be fairly represented in every museum.
But if we are wrong and the majority of American women want gender division, then at the very least the museum must fairly portray the philosophical diversity of American women on hot button issues like abortion and marriage. Unless the safeguards are added to the current bill language, the museum will predictably become a shrine to the Left’s view of feminism on our National Mall. It will serve to indoctrinate future generations in the Bella Abzug brand of feminism, not the Rengin Yusuf kind.
Congress needs to stop playing identity politics.
Nance, as it happens, was offered a seat on the commission planning the museum but refused it unless she was allowed to be the commission's chairwoman.