If you wonder why the Democratic Party has regressed into sycophantic cheerleading for radical feminist candidates (such as the Hillary Clinton clones running this year), the explanation is in a new book called "Guide to Feminist Organizations." As Midge Decter says in her foreword, this book is long overdue, and we thank Capital Research Center and author Kimberly Schuld for providing such a useful tool.
By setting forth the facts about 35 feminist groups, this guide clarifies how the radical feminists built their political power so that they are falsely touted by the media as "the voice of women," even though all polls show that the big majority of women reject the label "feminist." The feminists did it by organization, networking and lots of money, much of which came from leftwing foundations, corporations headed by weak-kneed executives, and grants of taxpayers' funds.
The feminist groups detailed in the guide include the noisy activist organizations, the decades-old women's groups that had respectable reputations until they were captured by the feminists, the think tanks that grind out dubious data to fortify feminist follies, and the abortion-propaganda groups masquerading under the euphemism "women's health." Networking keeps them interconnected and well- funded.
These groups may appear to have different missions, but they have a common ideology: Women are victims of an oppressive patriarchal society; all men are guilty both individually and collectively; and men who abuse women are not anomalous but typical.
They claim that women's problems are not personal but societal and require constitutional, legislative or litigious remedies. The liberation of women (from home, husband, family and children) requires government to fill the gap with tax-funded services, lawyers and daycare.
First among the activist and advocacy organizations is the National Organization for Women (NOW), which spent $5,292,025 in 2000. Loud and brassy, NOW lobbies for feminist legislation, organizes protest rallies, initiates lawsuits, and always backs Democratic Party candidates and proposals.
The NOW agenda supports all abortion rights including partial- birth abortion, gay and lesbian rights, worldwide legalization of prostitution, and unrestricted access to pornography in libraries. According to the guide, "NOW revels in attacking Christianity and traditional values, conservative ideas and men," with Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell and Promise Keepers their favorite targets.
Free speech? Forget it; no internal dissent is tolerated. NOW demanded that its members give unquestioning support to Bill Clinton despite his shabby sexual shenanigans.
Tammy Bruce, former president of the Los Angeles NOW, spilled the beans about how Bill Clinton bought NOW's support with taxpayer grants for "tobacco control" from the Department of Health and Human Services: "California NOW and National NOW received three-quarters of a million dollars ($767,099) during the [Paula] Jones and [Monica] Lewinsky scandals."
The League of Women Voters abandoned its former credibility and became a federally funded lobby to expand the size of government so that it can accommodate expensive feminist programs. The League, which spent $4,620,246 in 2000, supports gun control, abortion access, universal health care, more environmental regulation, and increased power for the United Nations.
The American Association of University Women turned itself into a vehicle to clamor for claims of feminists whose off-the-wall hypotheses aren't taken seriously in the academic world. AAUW spent $9,512,044 in 2000.
The feminists use the YWCA to teach radical feminism to the next generation. The Girl Scouts went feminist after they took Betty Friedan on their board; they dropped "loyalty" from the oath, began a condom-friendly sex-ed program, and made belief in God optional.
Most of the activist feminist organizations have 501(c)(3) sister groups with interlocking directors and offices, such as NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, which had income of $7,318,269 in 2000. They pursue the same agenda, including government-funded daycare, paid entitlements for family leave, unrestricted access to abortion, comparable worth, affirmative action, universal health insurance, and anti-male implementation of Title IX.
As the guide states, "It's hard to see where NOW political lobbying ends and NOW Foundation education activity begins."
Funding for feminist foundations comes from many sources that ought to know better. NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund has raked in corporate donations from a long list topped by ABC, AT&T, American Express, Chase Manhattan, Colgate-Palmolive, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, New York Times Foundation, Revlon, Saks, and New York brokerage houses; from Ford, Rockefeller and other wealthy foundations; and $1,678,252 in government grants since 1996.
We hope Capital Research will produce a follow-up guide to detail the direct political expenditures of the feminist network. EMILY's List, which contributes only to Democratic pro-abortion feminist candidates, put $20 million into political campaigns in 2000 and another $20 million into campaigns this year.
That's twice as much as the second largest political action committee. Such a vast amount of money explains why Democratic Senators don't dare to confirm a judge who is pro-life.