HOORAY FOR "BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN"!

I know that women are purportedly from Venus and men from Mars, but one of the feminist themes emerging from the presidential town hall debate must have come from a completely different planet than the one in which I reside.

I'm speaking of the huge fodder being made of Mitt Romney's statement that he received "binders full of women" in finding candidates for high level positions when he was governor of Massachusetts.

What I heard in that debate was that the governor, dissatisfied with the number and quality of female applicants for high level positions, made an outreach effort across the state for qualified women to serve. As a result of these recruiting efforts, of the 20 top positions in the Massachusetts cabinet, 10 of those hired were women.

Can someone explain to me what is wrong with that? Results matter.

While the Obama campaign is making much hay of these remarks, some thinking they could derail Romney's candidacy, his own record doesn't match his rhetoric. Of 21 top positions in the White House, 7 are held by women. That's 33%. Even using Venus math, that sure seems like less than 50% to me. By the way, women in the White House make 18% less than their male counterparts.

When someone talks about legitimate rape, that can be a game changer for a candidacy. But when someone speaks of binders full of women as part of recruiting efforts that led Massachusetts to be assessed in a nationwide survey by a New York university as the best state in the nation for women in top positions--how on earth does this equate into sexism?

The other Romney comment making its way through the progressive blogosphere was when he talked about his chief of staff wanting to go home each day in time to make dinner for her young kids. Somehow, this is supposed to equate to a caveman mentality which believes that women need to be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. What it means to me is workplace flexibility, something I'd think women, particularly moms with young children, would appreciate.

As a professional woman in a traditionally male-dominated field, I realize I am the beneficiary of a lot of hard work by women who paved the way for the rest of us. Someone needs to tell some of these progressives that it isn't 1970 anymore. It is 2012. Women realize they want some balance between career and family and gravitate to workplaces that provide it. And smart CEO's, the likes of Mitt Romney, understand that to discriminate against women in hiring is to lose out on 50% of the talent that is out there.

Perhaps president Obama, with his top advisory positions dominated by white males, ought to be looking through some binders full of women himself.

While he's at it, he may come to realize that women aren't an interest group. We are as diverse and unique as men are.

So why this absurd diversion? Maybe it's because the president is running out of substantive arguments to make...

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