O'Donnell Schooled By O'Beirne

On last night's (Monday's) Hardball Norah O'Donnell, subbing for Chris Matthews, threw out the old feminist canards about the gender and wage gaps at National Review's Kate O'Beirne. During her description of her new book Women Who Make the World Worse, O'Beirne called the gender gap, "phony," to which O'Donnell blurted: "But there is a gender gap! There is a gender gap that exists, that, that there are more women who vote for Democrats. This President tried to court the so-called security moms. There is a gender gap. Men and women vote differently." Then later in the interview O'Donnell brought up the wage gap: "But don’t you think feminists, to some degree, have at least brought attention to issues like inequity in health care. That there isn’t amount the same amount of research on women as men. That they brought attention to the issue that women are still paid less than men." O'Beirne adroitly dispelled the myths as you can see in the following exchange:

Norah O’Donnell: "And we are back with a very fun segment. Kate O’Beirne is the Washington editor of The National Review and the author of Women Who Make the World Worse: And How Their Radical Feminist Assault is Ruining our Schools, Families, Military and Sports.Thank you, Kate for coming here."

Kate O’Beirne: "Thank you Norah."

O’Donnell: "So who are these women who make the world worse? Give me the roster."

Kate O’Beirne: "They, well I do name names. I find you have to name names because my feminist friends deny that they stand for certain things. And I quote and name mainstream, celebrated feminists, not marginalized figures. They’re the kind of women who claim that they don’t, and haven’t, haven’t denigrated marriage and motherhood. Yes, they do. They’re the kind of woman who claim they’re not hostile to men. They’re hostile to men and little boys because they’re men in the, in the offing. They’re the kind of woman we don’t pay enough attention to. Too many people think feminism is a spent force. That’s so seventies. They don’t realize how influential the feminist agenda is. The feminist ideology is in our schools, on our campuses. We certainly saw that with the trouble Larry Summers at Harvard got into. Boy, was that brutal. When he said very unremarkable things at an academic conference and we saw what a grip Harvard is into the feminists. Enormously influential on Capitol Hill. That won’t come as a surprise to you. They’re the kind of women who have hyped the phony gender gap in politics to intimidate politicians into thinking that they represent American women. We’re gonna see that on display with, with the women’s groups opposing Sam Alito."

O’Donnell: "But there is a gender gap. There is a gender gap that exists, that, that there are more women who vote for Democrats. This President tried to court the so-called security moms. There is a gender gap. Men and women vote differently."

O’Beirne: "The way the women’s groups hype it, which intimidates politicians, is by pretending it’s owing to a monolithic sort of vote on the part of women. You recognize because you cover politics, that’s simply not the case. John Kerry, yes, he carried overall women by three points. He lost white women by 11 points. He lost married women with no college education by 16 points. There is no monolithic women’s vote and there is no view of monolithic so-called women’s issues."

O’Donnell: "So your main dig is that feminism has led to this belief that all women want the same thing. Which is that we want a family and a career. We all want the right to have an abortion. We all want equal pay. And that has been a bad thing."

O’Beirne: "Well, they profess, it’s been a bad thing that they get away with claiming that’s what all American women want. Because it has fueled their success. They have persuaded an awful lot of people that those are the demands of American women across the board."

O’Donnell: "But don’t you think feminists, to some degree, have at least brought attention to issues like inequity in health care. That there isn’t amount the same amount of research on women as men. That they brought attention to the issue that women are still paid less than men."

O’Beirne: "Norah, Norah, Norah."

O’Donnell: "Kate, Kate, Kate."

O’Beirne: "You are, you are so bright. This, this is why my chapter on the phony pay gap is so important. They get a lot of mileage out of the fact, they claim, that women work for 76 cents on the dollar. Think about that for a minute. If a woman with the same education level, skills, and experience would work for 76 cents to a man’s dollar, who would ever hire a man? There is no discriminatory wage gap. Being a woman in America is not in conflict at all with having a very successful career. Now, being the kind of devoted mother and wife some women freely choose to be does conflict with many of the demands of a career. Never married, college educated women make more than never married college educated men. But they have gotten such mileage out of the phony gender gap. The kind of women who promote that in order to paint America as a discriminatory country with respect to women are the kind of women I name in my book."

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.