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Meryl Streep v. DeMint and Coburn Over National Women's History Museum

Meryl Streep v. DeMint and Coburn Over National Women's History Museum

Last week, Meryl Streep delivered a rousing and hilarious speech at a dinner for the Women’s National History Museum, urging folks to donate to the project and for Senators to burn the calories it would take to raise their hands and say “aye” to allow the group to purchase land to build the museum near the Mall. The House approved the bill last October but there continue to be two Senate hold-outs – Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who’ve held up the project based on funding, abortion politics and redundancy.

TracyEGilchrist

Last week, Meryl Streep delivered a rousing and hilarious speech at a dinner for the Women’s National History Museum, urging folks to donate to the project and for Senators to burn the calories it would take to raise their hands and say “aye” to allow the group to purchase lease land to build the museum near the National Mall.

Streep attempted to cajole Senators into voting ‘yes’ on a bill that would allow the Smithsonian to lease space for a Women’s History Museum near the National Mall using private donations and no government subsidies. The bill would allow five years to raise the money needed and to break the ground, according to Gail Collins in a NY Times op-ed Sunday.

"We're not asking them for a check. We want to give them a check,” Streep said in her speech. Then, the two-time Oscar winner donated a cool million to help kick things off!

The project of building the women’s history museum, which currently exists in cyberspace, has been a pet project for many for 14 years. The House approved the bill last October but there continue to be two Senate hold-outs – Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who’ve held up the project based on funding –even thought it would be paid for through private donations --abortion politics and redundancy, according to Think Progress -- as women already have their quilters and cowgirl museums spanning the entire history of women in the country.

Regarding the abortion politics piece of the DeMint's and Coburn's objections to the mueum:

"The senators’ action came two days after the Concerned Women for America, a conservative group, wrote DeMint asking for a hold. The group’s CEO, Penny Nance, wrote in July that the museum would “focus on abortion rights without featuring any of the many contributions of the pro-life movement in America.”[...]"

Collins wrote in the Times that when she contacted Coburn's office for a list of existing spaces that render the comprehensive museum redundant, “The office sent me a list of the entities in question. They include the Quilters Hall of Fame in Indiana, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Texas and the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Washington.”

So there you have it! Who needs one comprehensive women’s history museum when you can travel from Indiana to Texas to Washington to take in a brief history of women in America? Really -- suffrage was just a big pain in the ass for the good old boy GOP anyway.

Here is Streep’s pointed and wickedly funny speech from last week:

 

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.