For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games,Saudi women are being allowed by their ultra-conservative government to compete. As the Saudi athletes marched in the opening ceremonies in London, the women’s faces and open arms showed a joyful sense of emancipation from the yoke of political, religious, and traditional marginalization. By the standards of free and advanced societies, the advance is small, but by Saudi standards, it is a gigantic step forward, with far-reaching implications for Saudi Arabia and the international community.
President Obama earlier today held a conference call to promote the latest Democratic initiative--the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act. "If Congress passes the Paycheck Fairness Act, women are going to have access to more tools to claim equal pay for equal work," Obama promised. "If they don't, if Congress doesn’t act, then women are still going to have difficulty enforcing and pressing for this basic principle."
Sunday's New York Times features a strong piece by Campbell Brown, "Obama: Stop Condescending to Women." Brown isn't a big fan of President Obama's Barnard commencement speech last Monday. Here's the heart of her op-ed:
Senator John McCain will take to the Senate floor this morning to blast the Democrats’ “War on Women.” He will call it divisive, saying that “[declaring] phony wars is intended to avoid those hard choices and to escape paying a political price for doing so.” And the former Republican presidential candidate will call the so-called war on women “ludicrous, partisan posturing that has conjured up this imaginary war.”
Evidently, neither of the all or nothing alternatives so furiously argued yesterday in a major battle between the stay-at-homes vs. the working moms. According to the most recent polling data I could find, most women would, unsurprisingly, prefer something of a compromise: