The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Women’s rights must be improved

If you believe that the Bush administration supports women’s rights, you’re mistaken. The nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court is just one out of many examples supporting my belief.

While Alito claims that he doesn’t remember being part of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, a group whose primary purpose was to decrease the amount of women, as well as minorities, admitted to Princeton and to get psychological help for non-heterosexual students.

I say he’s telling the Senate Judiciary Committee a big, fat lie. If he wasn’t a member he wouldn’t have listed CAP on his job application for the Reagan administration in 1985. If he was a member, he knows the group’s purpose. I feel very comfortable saying that any person who was a member of CAP believes that women are not constitutionally guaranteed equal status in education, and someone who believes that should not be placed on the Supreme Court.

Both the Bush administration and Alito are also against abortion. I believe that the right for a woman to control her own body is unalienable and not unconstitutional.

If abortion is illegal again, desperate women will put themselves in danger by seeking out illegal abortion clinics, and not just with the law. If abortion is legal, the government can make sure it’s safe.

Another example would be the Bush administration’s appointments to the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women. Both women appointed voted against the Violence Against Women Act and its renewal.

One is the CEO and president of the Independent Women’s Forum, which speaks for women who, according to its mission statement, “reject the false view that women are victims of oppression.”

Women most certainly are oppressed, both in this country and around the world. According to a Chicago Tribune article, the IWF also believes that Sept. 11 “turned the feminist tide and brought back traditional values, a retreat to home and hearth, and an appreciation for the manly man.”

If believing in “traditional values” means I have to retreat to the private sphere, then I’m not subscribing to those. This is also a group that says that reports of rapes, domestic violence, gender bias in schools and wage discrimination are either exaggerated or just plain false. These are the types of people that the Bush administration deems fit to speak for women’s rights and wellbeing.

The Bush administration also expanded marriage incentives for those on welfare and decreased aid going to women on welfare who have children out of wedlock, regardless of whether a woman is pregnant not out of choice but because she was raped. Before a single mother is approved for welfare assistance, she has to speak with a marriage counselor.

Single mothers are greatly encouraged to get married in order to get money for their and their children’s survival. Women are discouraged from leaving abusive relationships because they won’t be given enough money to live on.

Welfare also requires both single mothers and both parents to work 40-hour weeks, but will not give money for childcare during the time when the parents are working. You are not allowed to seek any sort of job training, unless it’s provided by your employer, or education, including ESL classes, while receiving welfare benefits. This sort of system keeps women in abusive homes and does nothing to help them get out of poverty.

This is not all the Bush administration has done and is doing to hinder women’s rights in this nation. I could go on extensively about these topics and many others, but there just isn’t the space for that in one commentary piece.

I encourage all women on campus to look into these matters and to talk to their congressional representatives and senators about changing the status of women in this nation for the better.

Katy Rowe is a senior English major. She may be contacted at [email protected].

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