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When Women Lead

This piece was originally published in the Washington Post.

Kathleen Parker’s Jan. 8 column was a disservice to women’s organizations fighting for peace and security around the globe.

Though I wholeheartedly agree that increasing the number of women in decision-making roles is crucial to our national security, hyperbolic claims of women being a solve-all to the world’s problems invoking gender essentialism are self-defeating and scientifically inaccurate.

Ms. Parker either left her conclusions completely unsourced or supported them with dated anthropological studies to posit that men should “wrestle control of their animal nature” and that women “bide their time in sync with the moon’s cycle” and “are more naturally inclined toward patience.” This is especially curious given that four of the top five defense contractors are now headed by women, as are the Air Force and the CIA.

Ms. Parker’s polarized portrayal of sex traits is exactly what gender-equality professionals are working to combat across the globe. This line of logic also opens the door to misogynism illustrated in activities such as the 22 Convention to “Make Women Great Again.”

If Ms. Parker wants to make the argument that women contribute to a more peaceful society and that female legislators allocate more taxpayer dollars to domestic priorities, she should use modern research.

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