Rep. Michele Bachmann is absolutely right about the National Women’s History Museum.
Concerned Women for America and our 500,000 members around this nation join Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in her opposition to a bill to establish a commission to study the creation of a National Women’s History Museum to be built on the National Mall without proper safeguards. (“Michele Bachmann Doesn’t Get Feminism,” May 9, 2014)
In today‘s fiscal climate, where our country is more than $17 trillion in debt, one must ask whether it is responsible to support the construction of another museum on the mall without clear protections for the taxpayer. There are already 19 Smithsonian museums and galleries in Washington, D.C. that could showcase the role of women in history.
While supporters of the museum say that the commission will be charged with funding the museum with “private funds – not one dime of taxpayer money,” there was nothing in the legislation to prohibit taxpayers from funding it. To date, the museum has only raised $14 million out of the $500 million needed just to construct it, most of which has gone to its own operating expenses. In addition, the museum website clearly states its backers will apply to be affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution once it has a physical location. The Smithsonian Institution receives more than 65 percent of its funding from the American taxpayer and it received $805 million in fiscal year 2014.
While we join Bachmann in applauding efforts to recognize the many amazing accomplishments of women and women’s history, we must also ask, “Whose view of history?” Although history is black and white, the exhibits will be determined by human beings with biases. So far, this museum project, via its attached website and board, has clearly reflected the views of women on the left while ignoring the other half of American women. Any museum on our National Mall should not seek to celebrate and promote a monolithic view of women, but provide one that is complete and balanced.