Stephen Moore’s Paper Trail: Bashing Women, Gay Rights and More
Stephen Moore is a conservative commentator best known for opining on economic issues. But the longtime columnist, who is in line to be nominated to the Federal Reserve Board by President Trump, has also written on a range of social topics during his career, including women’s rights, gender equity and marriage.
While many of these pieces were written under the guise of sarcasm or humor, they often depict women in unflattering terms, including questioning women’s athletic abilities and their proper role in society.
Below is a collection of Mr. Moore’s writings that veer largely outside the economic spectrum and into social issues and that could cause concern among lawmakers who must vote on whether to confirm Mr. Moore if he is nominated to the Fed board.
Gender Equity and Commentary
In a 2014 column, Mr. Moore criticized legislation being introduced by Democrats that aimed to help narrow the gap between what men and women earn, arguing that men were still not earning enough.
The crisis in America today isn’t about women’s wages; it’s about men’s wages. Men are still the chief breadwinners in most families, and their wages are not moving much at all. If we look at Census Bureau data, we find that while men’s wages have risen by about 6 percent in real terms since 1980, women’s wages have risen by about 60 percent. Any gap in pay — real or imagined — is rapidly shrinking.
Furthermore, the latest surveys of college graduates find virtually no pay discrepancy between men and women, so for this generation the 77-cents mantra is as outdated as bell-bottom jeans.
What are the implications of a society in which women earn more than men? We don’t really know, but it could be disruptive to family stability. If men aren’t the breadwinners, will women regard them as economically expendable? We saw what happened to family structure in low-income and black households when a welfare check took the place of a father’s paycheck. Divorce rates go up when men lose their jobs.
Women on campus
In a September 2000 commentary, Mr. Moore lamented the “radical feminism” at universities and outlined what he saw as a dangerous trend on campus. The piece highlighted a Men’s Health article “rating of the least and most anti-male colleges in the country.”
Parents beware: There is a new oppressed minority on college campuses these days, and it is not women, blacks, Latinos or gays. In fact in this era of ultra-political correctness at universities, these other groups enjoy such an exalted status of privilege that even the most unintended slur can lead a student to instant expulsion. No, the group that has fallen into great disfavor is the white male. You see, your son is an oppressor and is being forced to pay for the sins of his father and grandfathers.
It is a well-established fact that radical feminism has taken over the culture, especially at the elite East Coast universities. In a recent, brilliant article in the Boston Globe titled “Women’s rights, men wrong,” a junior at the University of Massachusetts complains, “It’s getting tough to be a guy around here.” A rape on campus had converted the entire white male population into a suspected class. The anti-male bias has started to border on the preposterous. At Antioch College, the school has issued a dos-and-don’ts rule book for how to round the bases with a co-ed. You now have to get verbal permission from the woman at each stage of courtship — i.e., “May I kiss you?” This may seem to take the allure and spontaneity out of a relationship, but better to ask than risk a lawsuit.
They also seem hell bent on draining all the fun out of college life. Colleges are places for rabble-rousing. For men to lose their boyhood innocence. To do stupid things. To stay out way too late drinking. To chase skirts. (At the University of Illinois, we used to say that the best thing about Sunday nights was sleeping alone.) It’s all a time-tested rite of passage into adulthood. And the women seemed to survive just fine. If they were so oppressed and offended by drunken, lustful frat boys, why is it that on Friday nights they showed up in droves in tight skirts to the keg parties?
Later in the piece: Parents with daughters should also take note of the list unless you want your little girl to come back home four years later radically feminized and inculcated with a creed that makes them angry at half the human race. One tipoff is how many resources the college devotes to programs like "women's studies" and black history.
— “Cornered on Campus” in The Washington Times, Sept. 5, 2000
Mr. Moore wrote frequently and often disparagingly about female athletic ability and women’s sports. Much of his commentary was aimed at professional athletes, but Mr. Moore also wrote about the inequity of coed sports at more junior levels.
No one seems to care much that co-ed sports is doing irreparable harm to the psyche of America’s little boys.
At this pre-puberty state of life girls tower over the boys and typically have greater coordination. Last year the Pele of my son’s league was a kindergartner named Kate Lynn—Secretariat in pig tails. During one game, Kate Lynn stampeded over Justin repeatedly, which, of course, did wonders for his fledgling self-esteem. After the third knockdown, I quietly pulled him aside and advised: “Remember that rule about never hitting a girl. Let’s suspend that for the next 40 minutes.” But he never did because she was bigger than he was.
If the girls are bad, the moms are worse. They berate the referees. Taunt opposing players. Nag the coach unmercifully to put their no-talent kid back in.
The women tennis pros don’t really want equal pay for equal work. They want equal pay for inferior work. There’s a very practical reason why Pete Sampras, for example, makes a lot more money than Martina Hingis does. He’s much, much better than she is. The day that Martina can return Pete’s serve is the day she should get paid what he does.
If there is an injustice in tennis, it’s that women like Martina Hingis and Monica Seles make millions of dollars a year, even though there are hundreds of men at the collegiate level (assuming their schools haven’t dropped the sport) who could beat them handily.
Women and basketball
Mr. Moore made clear that he was not a fan of women’s involvement in basketball at any level, though he made an exception for Bonnie Bernstein, the ESPN commentator, who he said should wear a halter top. In a column about March Madness that Mr. Moore said was intended as a joke, he offered up a list of seven N.C.A.A. features “that are simply un-American and must be stopped.”
1. No Women. Here’s the rule change I propose: No more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything. There is, of course, an exception to this rule. Women are permitted to participate, if and only if, they look like Bonnie Bernstein. The fact that Bonnie knows nothing about basketball is entirely irrelevant.
2. Bonnie Bernstein should wear a halter top. This is a no-brainer, CBS. What in the world are you waiting for? To quote the immortal Wayne of Wayne’s World, “If Bonnie were president of the United States, she’d be Babe-raham Lincoln.
7. More probing interviews by Bonnie Bernstein. Did I say this already? I welcome readers' ideas about further reforms in this sacred institution.
Ms. Bernstein responded to Mr. Moore this week in a tweet saying: “You want halter tops? Hit the club scene.”
We have courts overturning the will of the people in state after state on issues like gay marriage and if you are — God forbid — for traditional marriage and refuse to bake the cake, you are chastised as a bigot.
New Yorkers with conservative views of any stripe can be forgiven if they feel increasingly unwelcome. It’s a place where abortion and gay marriage are legal and fracking, drinking supersized soft drinks and making a lot of money are viewed as heinous crimes.
— “Brain-Drained New York Should Button Up Cuomo” in Investors Business Daily, Jan. 24, 2014
And that reputation has certainly been enhanced in the past few weeks with the gay-marriage ceremonies that are all the rage in San Francisco. This is a state where the legislature recently approved a measure to give "equal rights" to transvestites.
Attempts at Humor
Mr. Moore wrote several parodies of the traditional Christmas letter that many families send to friends and relatives. The pieces were written in the third person.
Christmas letter, 2001
On more than one occasion Steve has been cruising around town with the top down and a gorgeous 20-something blond has pulled up beside him: he looks longingly at her, she gives him a “come hither look,” and then the mood is spoiled when she sees David drooling in the baby seat and then Justin and Will start making weird faces at her. She sticks her finger in her mouth and zooms off and Steve is left screaming at the kids:” How many times do I have to tell you tyrants to stay out of sight when I’m hitting on girls?” And then Will, with a puzzled look on his face says, “but daddy, we already have a mommy.” And then Steve says, “Yes, but imagine, just for a moment, how nice it would be if you had a much younger mommy.”
Christmas letter, 2003
One highlight of 2003 was getting David, age 2 1/2, potty trained. We tried all of the conventional approaches and none of them worked. After months of infuriating non-cooperation on David’s part with him sitting in the bathroom for hours with nary a drop, Steve got the brilliant idea of pasting a photo of Hillary Clinton with a bullseye target on the bottom of the potty. And ever since then, it’s been like Niagara Falls — and with perfect accuracy — every time nature calls. (Steve has applied for a patent.) But you wouldn’t believe the strange looks he gets at preschool when he marches up to his teacher and earnestly informs her: “Mrs. Hathaway, I’ve got to go tee tee on Hillary.”
Justin (12) and William (10) are behaving much better this year too thanks to yet another ingenious child rearing technique. Remember those gruesome pictures of Uday and Quday Hussein’s mangled and bloody bodies in the newspapers? Well Steve cut them out and scotch-taped them to the refrigerator door with a message in bold black letters: “THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO KIDS THAT GROW UP TO BE DEMOCRATS!”