A Woman’s (Museum) Work Is Never Done

Any husband knows:  When the ‘little ladies’ set their minds on something, the best strategy is to say, ‘yes, dear!’ – especially if the gals are planning to pay for the project out of their ‘pin money.’  

Resistance is futile and the payback for opposition is certain and draconian, if not immediate.

This elemental concept seems to have eluded Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC), who, despite being listed as married to women in their bios, have banded together to block passage of legislation sponsored by fellow Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine authorizing the sale of an embarrassingly small patch of unused federal land a block off the National Mall as the site for the National Women’s History Museum.

Yes, I said ‘sale.’

The government had planned to give away the very same land as a site for a national medical museum, but the docs grew weary of jumping through federal hoops for the property and decided to build in Atlanta, whose major attraction most probably lies in its distance from Senators Coburn, DeMint and their ilk.  

But the Collins legislation is no government giveaway: It calls for selling the property to the Women’s Museum and backers have money in the bank to pay cash for the site. (In the spirit of full disclosure, one of those backers is Mrs. AT LARGE, but I already told you I know on which side my bread is buttered.)

So what’s and where’s the senator’s beef?  Shiite Republicans like the Oklahoma-Carolina axis love privatization and where better to start than by milking the ladies for some unused federal land?  (AT LARGE has always said, “If we’re really worried about the national debt, why not sell the Grand Canyon or Oklahoma to some rich foreigners to pay our bills, but that’s another story.)

Well, the two senators are too smart to say, “We don’t want girls in our Mall tree house,” or “If they get a museum, they’ll be wantin’ to vote next!”

Instead, the good-old boys club makes the scurrilous, nay, silly argument that passing the bill might somehow make the tax-payers liable if the project headed south in the future.

Why rely on my prose when I can quote Meryl Streep, the Women’s Museum spokesperson who ponyed up a cool million of her own money for the project:

“We are not asking for a check — we want to give them a check.”  

Of course, nothing in Washington is as it seems. Deepthroat sources tell AT LARGE that the real reason these silly solons stand between the dames and their land deal are a bit more devious:

They’re afraid that the new museum will ‘glorify’ two women who, well, were just not Tom and Jim’s ideal ‘tea party partners.’

And who are the two women who give these big, manly senators the vapors?

OK, Jane Fonda, I could understand. But Margaret Sanger and Victoria Woodhull? …gee guys!

Ms. Sanger was the mother of the birth control legalization movement. Sen. Coburn, an MD who has delivered more than 4000 babies, practiced family medicine before moving on to medicate/anesthetize the body politic. So, arguably, her anti-one-coupling-one-baby actions adversely impacted his customer pool and bottom line, but still…

Ms. Woodhull was a newspaper publisher, suffragette, and the first female candidate for president.  She also espoused ‘free love,’ a stand certain to win her the admiration and gratitude of AT LARGE and all red-blooded American men, save only Messrs. DeMint and Colburn. Perhaps Sen. DeMint, in his previous life as head of a market research firm had a bad experience with a newspaper publisher, a presidential candidate…or free love.

It’s not clear whether this whole problem could be solved to Coburn and DeMint’s satisfaction by the Stalinist solution of airbrushing Sanger and Woodhull from the Women’s Museum website.  Or achieving a ‘fair and balanced’ museum by adding sections for, say, Sara Palin and Christine O’Donnell, both of whom are said to think Coburn and especially DeMint are ‘the cat’s meow.’

In any case, museum backers who have semi-deep pockets, a slew of Republican backers as well as Democrats and Meryl Streep on their side don’t seem in the mood to airbrush history.

Instead, they’re relying on public pressure to move the two naysaying senators and, failing that, hope to persuade Senate Majority Leader Harry (Profiles in Courage) Reid to man-up and take the extreme step of scheduling a vote on the measure after the election.

A woman’s museum work is never done!

2 Responses to “A Woman’s (Museum) Work Is Never Done”

  1. 1 r febbekk
    July 26, 2011 at 9:55 am

    A very well balanced yet insultingly patronizing article. You are a bit of an idiot for your mid-20th/ieval views on woman. But I like your support of the museum.

    • July 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      I am a bit of an idiot, I admit, but, gee, when one is satirizing the mid-17th — or is is 15-century? — mentality of certain salons, well, one does what he/she must.

      Alas, this fine, manly effort on my part failed to do much to move the senators, but — sorry, I can’t come up with a sexist saw on female perserverence — museum supporters are not surrendering and this initial setback may be the start of something big.

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Jared Cameron

It is better to smoke a single candle that to curse the darkness

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