Carey Roberts
March Madness: the Obamas celebrate Women's History Month
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By Carey Roberts
March 8, 2009

This is Women's History Month. So put down the party favors for a moment as I recount how the First Family is celebrating this festive occasion, an event that is poised to surpass even Kwanzaa in its historical and cultural significance.

Last Tuesday Michelle limoed over to the Women in Military Service memorial. As you know, only 8 women died in the Vietnam conflict, so there was little to rival Sen. John Kerry's legendary accounts of his three Purple Hearts, including the time when a piece of hot shrapnel fell onto his leg.

Lacking heroic tales of female Marines charging up San Juan Hill, Mrs. Obama decided to regale the audience about the exploits of Alyce Dixon and Mary Ragland. Both women served as company clerks in the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion during World War II. The women were tasked with eliminating stacks of undelivered mail addressed to U.S. servicemembers.

That's why we built the Women in Military Service Memorial.

Mrs. Obama also hob-nobbed with former Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, president of the Women's Memorial Foundation. No fist bumps, however.

Over at the White House, Commander-in-Chief Obama took a few minutes out of his work rescuing the economy to put the final touches on his presidential message. He finally settled on this theme: "Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet."

So take out your pencils and paper, class, let's talk about the women who devoted their lives to nurturing Mother Earth.

First there's Ellen Richards. She did the survey that led to the first state water-quality standards in Massachusetts, according to Obama's missive. Maria Sanford helped protect forestland near the Mississippi River, where the Chippewa National Forest now stands.

Not impressed?

Well, how about Marjory Stoneman Douglas who "dedicated her life to protecting and restoring the Florida Everglades"? Or Grace Thorpe who worked to oppose the storage of nuclear waste on Indian reservations. That's right, better to burn smelly fossil fuels than rely on clean nuclear energy.

By now you're wondering, What about Rachel Carson, author of the celebrated Silent Spring? After all, Carson is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Actually, she did make the president's announcement, but she is buried inconspicuously in the middle.

That's because Ms. Carson, who spurred the international crusade to ban DDT, has fallen into disfavor. New York Times columnist John Tierney argues her voice still "drowns out real science." And a website called Rachel was Wrong warns, "millions of people around the world suffer the painful and often deadly effects of malaria because one person sounded a false alarm. That person is Rachel Carson."

Every year a million persons in Africa, mostly young children, die from this disfiguring disease. Fortunately, bans are now being lifted to allow the spraying of minute amounts of life-saving DDT in village huts.

An interesting sub-text of President Obama's announcement is that curious phrase, "women taking the lead." That reminds me of Nancy Pelosi's rant that women are "especially blessed with heightened intuition to decide or to advise." And Hillary Clinton's famous quip, "Research shows the presence of women raises the standards of ethical behavior and lowers corruption."

When I think of crusaders who labored to protect our environment, I recall the work of John Muir who helped to save the Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park. There's conservationist Teddy Roosevelt, who signed legislation establishing five national parks. And the masterpieces of painter John James Audubon and genius photographer Ansel Adams come to mind.

So there's something absurd, pathetic, or just plain sad about Mr. and Mrs. Obama making a big deal of the likes of Alyce Dixon, Grace Thorpe, and Rachel Carson.

Next year I plan to take a pass on Women's History Month. And enjoy the real March Madness instead.

© Carey Roberts

 

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Carey Roberts

Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on political correctness. His best-known work was an exposť on Marxism and radical feminism... (more)

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