Liberal feminists claim that President Obama's administration will not have enough female representation and that the job creation part of his stimulus plan will favor men.
But on CNN's Newsroom, lack of the feminist perspective certainly wasn't an issue Jan. 23. In fact, it was the only voice viewers heard.
Newsroom host Kyra Phillips introduced Christine Romans' estrogen-dominated segment which included feminists complaining about Obama. Romans mentioned that six cabinet positions out of 21 have gone to women, yet liberal feminist groups like National Organization for Women (NOW) and The New Agenda were “disappointed.”
“We had high hopes for president-elect Obama going into this, and uh, it's been very discouraging,” Amy Siskind, co-founder of The New Agenda.
The New Agenda promotes liberal policies including what amounts to an affirmative action policy for women. Its Web site states that the group is “working towards parity [for women] in the government and in the workplace.” The New Agenda also aims to “increase the number of women in high-level appointments” because there is a “grave imbalance,” citing the “reduction in female Supreme Court justices.”
Romans chimed in with statistics that only fueled Siskind's fire: “Women are 52 percent of the population, and 54 percent of voters. And 56 percent of women, voted for this president.”
“We're clearly not getting the, uh respect or the amount of power that the women in this country deserve and it just shows you that Obama does not take this constituency very seriously,” Siskind said.
Romans also brought up worries that Obama's jobs creation efforts will focus on men without mentioning that the unemployment rate for men is much higher than for women: “[T]here is also a nagging concern that men will be favored in the 3.7 million jobs Obama wants to create,” Romans said. “Jobs building bridges and roads, alternative energy, and health care technology, fields dominated by men.”
Feminist author Naomi Wolf responded critically saying, “What he [Obama] could certainly do is make sure that his policy advisors, um invest as much in hospitals and schools and um, the kinds of sectors where women predominate.” Wolf is an Obama supporter and the co-founder of the American Freedom Campaign.
The case for more concentration of women's jobs was also undermined near the end of the segment when Romans mentioned Obama's own estimate that about 40 percent (more than 1.5 million of 3.7 million) of his job creation plan would be for women.
Erin Brown is an intern at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.