The Smithsonian Institution’s American History Museum opened an exhibit about Women’s suffrage just days before the city shut down over coronavirus concerns. Now that the museum is open, visitors are able to see the museum’s take on feminism – and many will be disappointed.
The Federalist’s Christopher Jacobs visited the exhibit recently and reported its inaccuracies and bias in a column published Monday morning. Right off the bat, Jacobs notes a sign listing the years in which feminist milestones took place. The sign incorrectly claims Roe v. Wade was decided in 1970. In fact, Jacobs explains, the case began in lower courts during that year but a ruling from the Supreme Court – the landmark ruling referred to today – didn’t come until 1973. This inaccuracy is significant because the display mentions the first March for Life occurred in 1974.
“Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs for the March for Life, noted another problem with the display: By (accurately) noting that the first March for Life occurred in 1974 while (inaccurately) claiming that the Roe decision came down in 1970, it falsely implies the pro-life movement took four years to respond to the ruling,” Jacobs wrote. “While it is good that the world’s largest annual human rights demonstration is recognized on the list, by getting the date wrong on the Roe v. Wade decision the Smithsonian missed the major connection between that event and the first March for Life, which happened exactly one year later.”
“Roe was decided by seven men to control women through the lie of abortion. In direct response, the March for Life was created by one woman to celebrate women and life and to work to overturn that horrible court decision,” Jacobs continued.
The museum told Jacobs it would change the sign, but that is far from the only issue with the exhibit.
In a section about “the continuing struggle for equality,” the museum mentions the 2017 Women’s March, which wasn’t about equality but rather a visceral response to President Donald Trump’s election and liberal’s general disdain for right-leaning policies. The display even included examples of the pink “p***y hats” worn at the march, with the museum making clear they were based of female genitalia.
It is what the exhibit ignores that shows bias, Jacobs reported. The museum notes that “there was a backlash against the lighthearted hats when some marchers felt the symbolism excluded transgender women and women of color.” While transgender women and women of color were mentioned, the Women’s March display failed to note the anti-Semitism of the March’s founders. Jacobs reached out to the museum’s staff asking why anti-Semitism wasn’t mentioned in the display and received the following response:
The exhibition cases on the 1977 Women’s Conference and the 2017 Women’s March look at how the memory of the women’s suffrage movement, and tensions arising from the moment, can still be seen in the modern women’s movement. The curator discusses how new political symbols are made, how they are reconsidered, and sometimes unmade. The reference to women of color and transgender women was made in this context. We did not address the different, or specific, tensions between march organizers but do refer in a general way to conflicts and tensions ongoing to this day in another label.
As Jacobs noted, the Smithsonian’s museums received $1.047 billion of taxpayer money in fiscal year 2019.
This isn’t the first time the Smithsonian has displayed politically biased displays. As The Daily Wire previously reported, the National Museum of African American History posted “Aspects & Assumptions of White Culture,” claiming “self-reliance,” “the nuclear family,” “objective, rational linear thinking,” and thinking “hard work is the key to success” are all signs of “whiteness.”
In addition, the same museum also ignores Justice Clarence Thomas, devoting more time to the woman who dubiously accused him of sexual assault than his accomplishments as a member of the Supreme Court.
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