The fallout from the failed Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood nominations for Attorney General has produced a torrent of social commentary from the feminists.
The feminists have generally divided between those who stood by their man, Bill Clinton, because they are still demanding more quota women in his Administration, and those who rail against “double standards” because, allegedly, “no man was asked about his child-care arrangements.”
The former are a subset of the leftwing of the Democratic Party and they enthusiastically supported Clinton in both the primary and the November election. They knew that Hillary was one of their own, and they knew that the politicians with the worst record of personal behavior toward women (e.9., Ted Kennedy and Bob Packwood) can always be counted on to be noisy leaders for the feminist agenda (quota hiring and promotions, abortion, women in combat, etc.).
The latter belong to the cult of victimology. That’s the ideology that women always get the short end of the stick from a mean-spirited, oppressive, male-dominated society.
On a personal level, a “victimology” feminist will feign indignation if a man treats her like a lady and offers his chair or opens doors for her. On a political level, she uses any tactic to strike for power and perks in the words of the song played on Chicago radio stations to ridicule the post-election shenanigans of Carol Moseley-Braun, “we’re moving up — getting our share of the pie.”
The feminists always try to have it both ways. In the same testimony, Zoe Baird told the Senate she expected to be “a great Attorney General,” but on the matter of violating the immigration and Social Security laws, she said that she didn’t know “which forms were to be filed” and “I trusted this process to my husband.”
Kimba Wood broke no law but, in not being forthright about her non-violation of the immigration law, she obviously didn’t understand the political dimensions of an essentially political appointment.
The feminists are correct that there shouldn’t be a double standard. But they can’t bring themselves to apply the Zoe Baird standard against Ron Brown, who admitted on NBC-TV that he paid Social Security taxes on his domestic help only “in January, when he found out they were due.” As one of the country’s most highly paid lawyers, it is not believable that he didn’t know Social Security taxes are due on domestics until he heard about Zoe Baird’s problems.
Actually, there was no double standard in vetting the Clinton appointments. Neither the women nor the men were asked about their “child-care arrangements.” Both men and women were asked the same straightforward question: “To the best of your knowledge, have you violated any 1aw, excluding parking tickets?”
Although the feminists are rejoicing about the nomination of third-choice Janet Reno as the first female Attorney General in history, they have come up with a rationale to use the earlier A.G. snafu to advance their agenda. They say, the Zoe/Kimba “daycare problem” proves that we need (in the words of Anna Quindlen) “a national child care system for all families, from the poor to the well-to-do.”
That’s what our country needs, isn’t it! ff Zoe and Kimba had just been able to put their babies in taxpayer-financed daycare centers, they would not have been brought down by their “child care problem”! We need a new middle-class entitlement for well-to-do baby boomers so they can pursue their six-digit careers!
The fact is that Zoe and Kimba didn’t have a child care problem at all. They had the money to buy any child care they wanted, and they wanted a nanny, not an institution.
Erica Jong whines in the New York Times about how the law against hiring illega1 aliens is so unfair to her “generation, to which Kimba Wood and Zoe Baird belong.” Jong says they “wanted careers and children. But when we had our babies, we quickly discovered that child care is a 24-hour job and there are almost no Americans who want that job.”
No, Erica, you have it wrong. There are millions of Americans who want that job IF the child is their or adopted. But when you try to hire someone to care for a child who is not her own, indeed, most Americans have the quaint idea that their workday is over at the end of eight hours, and babies just don’t adapt to that schedule.
James Carville speculates that “Maybe God is punishing us for not picking someone with a normal name, like Mary or Susan or Elizabeth.” No, James, you don’t get it. President Clinton was punished for trying to appease the feminists — a pressure group that will never be satisfied no matter what you give them. The appointment of Janet Reno will only encourage the feminists, not appease them.