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The First Female Speaker: An Embarrassment to Women’s Rights Leaders

Nancy Pelosi's take on gender issues represents a few steps backward for the West.

by
Sarah Durand

Bio

June 30, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Embarrassment #3: Lack of ethics

According to Pelosi, it may “take a woman to clean up the House.” Aside from implicating an antiquated stereotype, Pelosi’s statement was only directed at Republicans.

Amidst Democrat Charlie Rangel’s tax evasion scandal, Pelosi stood by him. She said he didn’t “knowingly violate the rules” when he forgot about half of his net worth. Similarly, she sat on the information for months when her office was notified of Democrat Eric Massa’s alleged sexual deviance with his aides.

Now we hear that the White House may have used illegal election tactics by offering a job to Democrat Joe Sestak in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Senate race. But Pelosi did not call for an investigation. Shortly thereafter, Democrat Andrew Romanoff came forward claiming he received a similar offer. Instead of looking into these accusations, Pelosi blocked any investigations.

However, when Republican Joe Wilson shouted “You lie!” during President Obama’s health care speech, she made sure he was reprimanded by the House within a week.

Yet Pelosi insists that she is running the most ethical Congress ever.

Embarrassment #2: Veiling herself

In 2007, Kuwait’s only female member of parliament took her oath of office without wearing a veil covering her face or hair. This act sent an unprecedented message to the Islamic world about the future of Muslim women’s rights. The next day, Pelosi showed up in Damascus, in defiance of President Bush, debasing this woman’s courage by choosing to wear a veil.

Pelosi could have been a living representation of the hope and freedom found in this country. She could have used the opportunity to stand up for women’s rights globally, instead of turning things back.

Embarrassment #1: Bad legislation

If she tried to pass good legislation, she wouldn’t have to bribe our representatives in Congress to get their votes.

The stimulus bill, the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, cap and trade, a massive budget, taking over the student loan industry, the “pay-as-you-go” ruse, destroying small business through taxes and regulations, increasing taxes on savings and investments, and saying that the VAT (value added tax) “is on the table” …

The worst was the huge role played by Nancy Pelosi in the passage of the health care legislation. The first female speaker will go down in history as defying her oath to the Constitution and arrogantly ignoring the will of the American people. She’ll be infamous for passing an unprecedented infringement on the rights of Americans in a bill that the majority of Americans now want repealed. Not exactly what I’d like my daughter to see in her textbooks as the archetype of women’s leadership.

And I was embarrassed to be female watching her waltz to the legislation signing giggling, with a goofy oversized gavel in hand. I don’t think we ever saw Newt Gingrich toting around some enlarged prop, snickering like a schoolkid.

Although Pelosi’s shrill, shrieking giggles could have broken all the windows in Washington, it takes genuine, beneficial accomplishment to crack the proverbial glass ceiling. Now, our hope is in the new female GOP candidates who dominated the last elections. The next woman elected to a position like House speaker won’t have big shoes to fill, she’ll have big embarrassments to fix.

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Sarah Durand is a conservative children's author with ConservativeKids.org.
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