Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) took to the House floor Wednesday to speak out against the National Women’s History Museum. The former presidential candidate’s warning: the museum will “enshrine the radical feminist movement that stands against the pro-life movement, the pro-family movement, and the pro-traditional marriage movement.”
One tiny problem with her argument: not only does the museum celebrate the very people who made her career in public service possible — those who paved her way to the right to vote, serve in Congress, and run for president—but it also honors Bachmann.
A section of the museum’s website called “Profiles in Motherhood” highlights the vital role of moms: working, stay-at-home, military, birth, adoptive, and step. It also notes the contributions of foster moms, profiling the Minnesota Republican and sharing her comments that she and her husband Marcus have “welcomed 23 teen foster kids” into their home. Bachmann dismissed this as “the exception and not the rule.”
Bachmann’s opposes potentially giving a spot on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to a women’s history museum. She’s afraid of the sort of history this place would memorialize. But in an effort to fight against what she believes is the “radical” tone of virtual museum that organizers have posted on the Internet as an interim step, she seems to have completely misinterpreted the museum’s goals, purpose and ideals.
The museum, which would be paid for by private funds, is backed by several high-profile supporters including Geena Davis, Janis Ian, Lisa Ling, Shonda Rhimes, and Alfre Woodard. Meryl Streep has pledged $1 million toward the effort and has been serving as its national spokesperson. Though legislation to move toward a physical museum has previously passed the U.S. House and Senate, it has not yet passed both in the same Congress. This year’s House version passed, 383 to 33, with the no votes coming from Bachmann and 32 other Republicans.
In her speech opposing H.R. 863, Bachmann claimed the museum’s website shows an “overwhelming bias toward women who embrace liberal ideology, radical feminism and fails to paint an accurate picture of the lives and actions of American women throughout our history.” She specifically objected to the museum’s portrayal of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who she says supported the “elimination of chosen ethnic groups, particularly African Americans, and classes of people,” — a claim disputed by media fact-checkers. Bachmann noted that anti-abortion groups, including Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Family Research Council, Susan B. Anthony List, and Heritage Action, oppose the bill.
Watch Bachmann’s speech: