Response to “The Women’s March on Washington: Since when are all women leftists?” by Jason GottfriedLetter to the Editor: Response to “The Women’s March on Washington: Since when are all women leftists?” by Jason Gottfried

Leigh Washburn and WMW Cedar City, submitted January 25, 2018

You write, “The sheer political gravity produced by such concentrated efforts at virtue signaling crushed the last frail vertebrae of feminism’s corpse last year.” Jason, you don’t get to define what feminism is.

Nor do we claim the right to speak for all women, but since the original organizers were women and it was primarily women who marched, the name was logical. The movement is going in a different direction now and a lot of men are participating, so we will probably see some other changes as well.

In answer to a comment about your editorial, you demanded a rebuttal with specifics. Well, here it is:

—Democrats as a group never accused Donald Trump’s campaign of voter fraud. Trump is the one who made that accusation against the entire country when he realized he had lost the popular vote. Informed people understand that Russian interference did not reach that level. The whole idea is ludicrous and, considering that elections are controlled by individual states, logistically impossible (Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law; LA Times, June 21, 2017). The investigation into Russian meddling deals with completely different events.

—There is no evidence of massive crime waves in Europe committed by Muslim immigrants and refugees. In fact, rapes and other violent crimes have dropped in some countries with high refugee numbers (Vox.com; also check out Politifact and Snopes for fact-checking on this issue).

—The vetting process for legal immigrants was and is extremely stringent and can take years to complete. Trump lied about this in order to garner votes, but the information is widely available (Time Magazine, Nov. 17, 2015; New York Times, Jan. 29, 2017; Vox.com, Feb. 2, 2017; Newsweek, Nov. 29, 2015, and many others).

—According to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation Poll, 60% of women consider themselves feminists. Blanket claims that only a “few” women do so are misleading.

—The idea that women earn less because they work fewer hours in fields that pay less is naive, It’s often cited by people who think it’s common sense but don’t understand how these studies are done. Of course professional (and reputable) analysts have taken these obvious variables into account! They aren’t amateurs, just throwing out questions on social media and calling it a “poll!” Their conclusions? That there is indeed a gap between men and women in the same jobs, working the same hours, and with the same qualifications. There are many studies out there that confirm this; the 2011 AAUW report on this topic is one of the most compelling.

—“Wins for whom?” Well, for us, of course! Don’t conservatives also wish that for themselves? Of course we hope to register voters who favor issues we support! Why wouldn’t we? But we’ll register anyone who qualifies as a voter, regardless of party affiliation, as has always been our practice.

—A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study refutes your claim that Americans are losing jobs to immigrants. This is one of the most highly respected and prestigious scientific organizations in the world, so I wouldn’t care to argue this point with them.

Note that I didn’t resort to ad hominem attacks here, as you did in your piece, although I understand that your purpose was to inflame rather than to educate. In that sense, I’m sure you succeeded.

I addressed your errors and provided citations that you can check if you don’t believe me. I don’t think anyone should take what I write at face value. Fact-checking should be practiced routinely on both sides of an argument. If you have information that AAUW, NAS, or any others missed, I’m sure they’d be interested in knowing.

There’s plenty to argue about on both sides of this issue without resorting to wide-spread, overused, social media-generated rhetoric based on “alternative facts.”

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