This Counterpoint examines recent trends in international relations, concluding, among other things, that promoting “progressive” western social values through U.S. foreign policy erodes public goodwill toward the U.S. and endanger relations with the majority of socially conservative and religious countries of Africa, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East—and populations in Latin America and Eastern and Southern Europe. It notes the Trump administration’s directives to USUN delegates will improve U.S. public diplomacy around the world by refocusing the U.S. on real objectives of development aid and foreign relations and considering how U.S. policies fit the “values and interests of other nations.”
According to recent news reports, the Trump administration has instructed U.S. delegates to the United Nations to replace the term “sexual reproductive health” with those like “reproduction and the related health services” and the word “gender” with “woman” in documents and negotiations. These reports (and a resulting letter from members of Congress) stem from “leaked” State Department memos and warn that striking these terms will damage U.S.-foreign relations, hinder access to health care, oppress women’s rights, and “define transgender people out of existence.” These reports are at best misinformed about U.S. development aid and foreign relations and at worst sounding yet another false alarm to continue Obama’s legacy of “progressive” social ideology in U.S. foreign policy.
Join CWA for a panel event co-sponsored by The Heritage Foundation on “How to Protect International Religious freedom from the Politicization of Human Rights”. This event is a side event for Secretary of State Pompeo’s Ministerial for Advancing Religious Freedom held at the U.S. Department of State July 24-26th 2018.
Panelists will discuss how our “natural” or fundamental human rights, such as religious freedom, protect the fairness of the political process by ensuring that individuals are free to think, speak, and act according to their convictions. Increasingly the human rights of individuals are being conflated with the social and economic policy priorities of particular groups and governments. This undercuts the moral legitimacy and persuasive power of our natural rights, including our freedom to live according to our religious convictions.
In 2016 after her loss in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton warned women, “You have to be prepared for what it means to literally be brutalized. … It’s not to say men don’t get harsh treatment, but you are carrying the burden of the double standard.” She said a few months later that “[Women] get constant messaging our whole lives: You’re not thin enough, talented enough, smart enough. Your voice isn’t what we want to hear.”
I rarely say this, but Hillary is right.
She was talking about her experiences, not of the women who are now being dragged through the mud every single day: the women working for the Trump Administration. These women are experiencing the most brutal and personally spiteful attacks in recent memory.
This weekend’s shocking treatment of Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family at the hands of the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia serves as only one more data point in a litany of hateful examples of – in Hillary’s words – “brutal treatment.”
Based on Hillary’s claims, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that it is the women in President Trump’s family and administration who are singled out for the most vicious attacks. Here are just a few:
Sarah Sanders, the Press Secretary of the Trump Administration, is an especially favorite target.
Chelsea Handler called Sarah a “harlot” and “trollop” on her show. She made fun of her makeup with a parody tutorial. Wonkette columnist Evan Hurst went on an f-bomb bender against Sanders for a litany of perceived wrongs.
Dana Milbank, the creepy Washington Post columnist who has made it his life mission to dehumanize conservative women, mocked Sarah’s accent. And David Horsey, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, disparaged Sarah so badly as a soccer mom that the newspaper was forced to take down his column.
Kellyanne Conway, who holds the distinct honor of becoming the first woman in history to lead a successful presidential campaign, has had to endure criticism for her hair, her weight, her makeup, and her family.
First Lady Melania Trump is frequently in the crosshairs of public humiliation at the hands of the media, celebrities, and comedians. Jimmy Kimmel mocked her accent, and several high-profile individuals made fun of her looks while she unveiled her anti-bullying campaign.
Ivanka is a target of ire as well. Both she and Melania were called out in a Newsweek piece because they wear stilettos. You can’t make this stuff up. The left doesn’t even like their beautiful shoes. Samantha Bee took it to a new low and railed against Ivanka recently, calling her a “feckless c***.”
C-list comedian Michelle Wolf went from funny to mean girl at the White House Correspondents Dinner, brutally insulting Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Sanders, and Ivanka Trump. She insulted Kellyanne, made fun of Sarah’s looks, and implied Ivanka cares nothing for women.
These attacks on conservative women who work for or are part of the Trump Administration have gotten so bad that even the New York Times felt compelled to call it out – a year ago. Karen Finney, an advisor to the Clinton campaign, told the Times that “These sexist memes are not the purview of one party. … We fear strong women and women with power. These attacks are meant to delegitimize that power.”
That’s true. If the left can marginalize and dehumanize conservative women, then they render them ineffective. It is sexist, and despite decades of big talk from feminists, they have been largely silent, except to join in the cattiness.
Remember when Madeleine Albright went so far as to say that there is a “special place in hell for women who don’t support other women?” Does she really believe that? If so, why hasn’t she come to the defense of these women?
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem expanded on Albright’s words, saying that, “Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That’s their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood.”
Whether it’s disparagement of Hillary Clinton’s clothes or Kellyanne’s svelte figure, clearly there is a problem.
So I am asking you, Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem, to say something now. Your lofty words about equality and respect mean nothing if they don’t apply to all women. Did you mean it, or are you complete, hypocritical phonies? This is the moment for you to put up or shut up. You can either rise to the occasion, or we will know for sure that – as we have long suspected – you value leftist ideology above all, even women.
This nastiness is a disservice to all women. We can disagree on policy, but going forward, let’s all take a stand against petty personal attacks. As the first lady reminds us, “Be Best.”
Sorry, young ladies in Staten Island, but because father-daughter dances are triggering and scary, you won’t be able to have a special night with your dad.
The New York Department of Education passed a policy last spring that demanded schools scrap any “gender-based” activities that do not serve an educational purpose. Apparently the father-daughter dance violates those guidelines and fell under the horrible practice of a “gender-based” activity. The school postponed the dance, which was supposed to be held this Friday, until they could figure out the legal ramifications.
It might sound like a small thing — a school dance being canceled — but it is anything but trivial. Ridding schools of a father-daughter dance points to a larger issue: the politically correct culture that we used to joke about all those years ago has become today’s actual default culture. Jokes about the ridiculous rules and regulations political correctness would usher in are our current reality, and our children are paying the price. They are living with the ramifications of a world where the mere mention of a time-honored tradition like the father-daughter dance — which is needed in today’s world more now than ever — sends adults into a tailspin.
Fathers have an enormous influence on their daughters, whether they are in their lives or not. Dads who are involved in the lives of their daughters in positive ways are key to high self-esteem, self-worth, grades, college education levels, and overall intellectual well-being.
Studies consistently show that fathers who are more involved in their daughters’ lives, who have loving relationships with them, who were supportive and had positive interactions with the girls’ mother, and who were involved in care giving during the early years, encouraged greater self-esteem in their daughters and added stability to their lives.
The influence of a father on the life of his daughter is no small deal.
For fathers who are less involved with their daughters, who are not there at all, or who exert a negative influence, their daughters have higher rates of teen pregnancy, STDs, and substance abuse.
The National Fatherhood Initiative rightly points out that there is a national father crisis in our nation, where one-in-three children do not have their biological father living in the home with them. There are huge ramifications for these children without fathers: seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen, more likely to suffer abuse, twice as likely to drop out of high school, four times as likely to face poverty, and twice as likely to suffer from obesity.
We need fathers in the lives of their children, and we need them to be the best dads they can be. When a school pulls the rug out from under dads who are trying to do the right thing in the name of equality, it’s a slap in the face to them and to their daughters.
Even in a culture in which dads are increasingly absent, we see beautiful examples in which good men from the community or church step forward to fill the gap. A biological father isn’t the only man that can fill the role of a father at a dance or in our hearts, but the role will be filled in one way or another. We must all work to make sure it’s filled well.
I am so grateful that my daughter has beautiful memories of getting dressed up and being showered with flowers, compliments, and attention by her proud father — my sweet husband — at her father-daughter dance. These are occasions where Dad teaches his daughter how a young man is supposed to treat her and provide her an example for how she should expect honorable men to respect her later in life. It’s an opportunity to set a high bar in showing her how it feels to be loved and honored, teaching her she deserves the best. I want that for every young woman in this country. It is something we should be fighting for instead of tearing down.
The transgender activists are foolishly attempting to eliminate gender from the equation of the natural world, where being male and female have deep meaning and unique responsibilities. Stripping males and females of their God-given, inherent gifts and talents has consequences far more reaching than postponing a father-daughter dance.
Men are constantly being told by leftists that they are not wanted, that their importance in the lives of women is overrated and, frankly, not needed.
That’s not true. We need men in this world to step up and be the men they are called to be, to be honorable and just and loving. We want them to fight for their daughters and for the women they love. Yes, I have taught my daughter to be strong and self-reliant. My husband, thankfully, has taught her that, as she considers a mate, life is sweeter with a man who will love her unconditionally and selflessly. We need our daughters to know what it looks like to be respected and have a man treat them honorably. We want those fearless and courageous men to stand up for what is right and not be afraid of what the culture will say about them. The health of our daughters depends on them.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to view it.
The pornography cancer that continues to consume our nation reared its ugly head again as the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar concluded this week. The former USA Gymnastics doctor was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who told him, “I’ve just signed your death warrant.”
Nassar abused more than 150 girls over the past two decades. He got less than what he deserves.
But those getting acquainted with the case now might miss that, just like virtually every other predator in the history of sexual assault, Nassar fed, groomed, and rotted his brain on pornography before and after abusing girls for years.
It was pornography that did him in…
Mario Diaz, Esq. is Concerned Women for America’s legal counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.
It was a hope that captivated a nation. Still does. In classrooms all over America, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, speech, “I Have a Dream,” still helps weave the dreams of many young minds. We all know (or should know) them by heart:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. …
But Martin Luther King, Jr., experienced a dense social injustice that seemed insurmountable to many. Did you know that, according to the King Center, he was unjustly arrested 30 times? In Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956, he was arrested for driving 30 mph in a 25-mph zone.
Living under these circumstances, many had understandably become bitter. How did Martin Luther King, Jr., remain so hopeful? How did he keep his dream alive, as he was ridiculed, harassed, and systematically targeted because of the color of his skin?
The answer is in his name. He was born Michael King, not Martin Luther, as he is known by all of us. His father, Michael King, Sr., pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, changed his name, and that of his eldest son, to Martin Luther after he was inspired by the great protestant reformer on a trip to Germany.
So, the answer to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, hope comes from his deep faith —a faith he most definitely received from his father, but which he embraced and acknowledged as the sustaining power of his entire effort. Ironically, this is the part that is specifically and systematically ignored by our public schools and popular culture.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, Christian faith contains the whole of his hope and effectiveness. To those who have experienced that faith, the fruits that flowed from such sufferings are of no surprise. The Apostle Paul wrote about it centuries before: “[W]e rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us,” (Romans 5: 3-4).
My wish on this Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 2018 (marking the 50ht anniversary of his assassination) is that we may re-discover the truths Dr. King knew so well. For, though we face our own sufferings, our own challenges, our own hope is still the same. As the old Baptist hymn writer put it, “Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
The miracle of the Christian faith is that our sufferings, through Christ, are nothing but gain. As His suffering and death on the cross brought us salvation, so, too, we can remain hopeful in the middle of whatever difficulty we face. That was the source of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, hope.
“All other ground is sinking sand.”
Shalane Flanagan was virtually unknown outside of the elite running world until yesterday, when she won the New York City Marathon, the first American woman to do so in the women’s competition since the late 1970s. And she did it by running a minute faster than the second-place finisher, Kenyan Mary Keitany.
If that doesn’t mean anything to you, a minute faster in the racing world is incredible. To beat an opponent by even 15 seconds is an eternity, but to beat a seasoned racer by an entire minute is almost unheard of today.
Flanagan is an interesting woman. She has won medals in the Olympics and set records at world competitions. She and her husband are foster parents as well, providing a home for teenaged twins. She also took time off after a back injury in late winter of last year and was unable to run the Boston Marathon.
She told ESPN in April that she was able to take her first vacation in seven years with her husband and foster children and that “when given lemons, you make lemonade — let’s celebrate the fact that I have time to do this with them. It’s one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken.”
As a wife, foster mother, and professional athlete, Flanagan realized she needed the time to heal and take a break from the insane pace of her life. It’s an example of listening to her body, listening to her family, and taking the steps to heal what needed to be healed, instead of continuing to recklessly put pressure on those aspects of life that needed rest. She is working for balance.
As women, we can take so much from Shalane Flanagan’s story, without any kind of political angle. She is a much-needed and welcome addition to the world of female role models. As a noncompetitive runner, I have had the thrill to observe the moment in a race in which we see the first “lady runners” sweep by us toward the finish line. It is a moment of great pride in which both men and women yell our affirmation.
As New York struggles to recover from the latest terror attack, the city once more rises with great dignity and goes about its life with aplomb. Flanagan is part of that healing. The rest of us are blessed to cheer her success with sustained applause and the shout of “GO Lady Runner!”
Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to read it.
In late May, the world was once again struck by the evils of radical Islamic terror. Seven innocent lives were lost and countless more injured in a type of attack that is becoming all too common. In an increasingly dark and violent world, it can be difficult to find God. Where was He when three men decided to rampage through the streets of London? Where was He when innocent people died? And where was He when people cried out for help?
All around the world, people are asking these questions, longing to make sense of the chaos that surrounds them. As Christians, it is our responsibility to be ready to answer these questions, because we must “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give the reason for the hope that [we] have” (1 Peter 3:15). We are not defeated by the darkness, and we must fulfill our calling as the salt and light of the world.
Yet, every time we doubt the sovereignty of God, and every time we allow the terrorists to strike fear into our hearts, we let them win. However, it is important for Christians to acknowledge these questions that can be difficult to answer for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ.
While the world around us continually rejects the truth, we must live out this one fact: God is sovereign. This is our comfort and our joy as we face events such as the terrorist attack in London. This is also the answer to the question, “Why?” It isn’t an answer that the world likes, and it isn’t an answer that the world accepts, but it is an answer that allows us to trust that God is in control — no matter what.
Jesus reminded His disciples that, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But, after this warning, He offered a reminder that is extremely poignant for today: “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” For the sake of those who lost their lives, don’t let the terrorists win. We must carry on with our heads held high. One day Jesus will return in victory, and all will be made new. This promise is our hope when the world turns upside down.
Kyle Permann is the 2017 Antonin Scalia Legal Fellow for Concerned Women for America.