CPAC’s panel “Why Conservatism is Right for Women: How Conservatives Should Talk About Life, Prosperity & National Security” was onto something. They discussed the disgusting tactics of the Democratic Party, and how they as conservatives could better empower women. I didn’t care for their partisan rhetoric, i.e. “we Republicans” and “those Democrats”, as most Republicans are not genuine conservatives. Nonetheless, they are moving in the right direction, but currently fall short. Leah Libresco in “The American Conservative” noticed this, and did a decent job of critiquing the shortcomings of this panel. The conclusion in Libresco’s article was so very close, but even Libresco is missing something.
There was a time when feminists were level-headed, enlightened, and erudite. They eloquently stated their positions and reasoned them well. First it was education equality, then the right to own property, vote, and run for office. Then they continued to push for the right to work, and then pursue careers on the level playing field with men. Much like the civil rights advocates of the 50s and 60s, justice was on their side and slowly but surely they won the respect of society and in so doing transformed it.
Not so of today’s “feminists”. During the 1960s, the Democratic Party was making a radical shift leftward and they quickly realized that they could lock in large pockets of voters by victimizing them. For women, they appeal to them largely by promising more healthcare, more laws and regulations to ensure “equal pay”, more abortions, and then rail against the idea that men should make laws affecting women’s bodies. This rhetoric has become increasingly hyperbolic, partisan, and hypocritical. (I will post a link to an Anderson Cooper interview below where he exposes some of this hypocrisy). But in short, an increasingly small and radical wing of “feminists” vote Democrat like their lady parts depend on it. It has become condescending. Women are treated like their pretty little heads can’t understand taxes, welfare, foreign policy, infrastructure, and other major political issues.
I have this misogynist, chauvinist, caveman view that woman are rational, thinking, complex human beings. I do not view women as sex objects to be exploited for votes, nor would I ever think to demean them by treating them as though all they care about is abortion, birth control, and some big bad government to give them stuff like a good cave man provider. Women are just as capable as men of making decisions, forming opinions about a wide range of topics, and carefully considering the choices of candidates in an election. The only victims I see are the ones who allow the left to convince them that they are, indeed victims. There is a small portion of women who will not be convinced. This small portion loves their version of “liberation”. They are liberated from self-control. They are liberated from personal responsibility. And they are liberated from having to think for themselves. They have a collectivist “feminist” machine to tell them how to think.
Fortunately, most women know that they are capable of more than being the subsidized sex objects of men who demean them, thanks to those early feminist pioneers. They have access to education, the right to pursue careers, vote, run for office, and own property. Furthermore, as this country largely allows guns, they have the right to protect themselves. They are empowered. If conservatives want to win women over, this is what must be emphasized. Conservatives win when they learn to be positive – it worked for Reagan. Simply bashing the left for victimizing women will not be enough. Conservatives need to show that they value the early feminist principles espoused by the likes of Mary Wollstonecraft and Susan B. Anthony. Conservatives should actually embrace the label “feminist”, and show how the left has wrecked the name of feminism. When conservatives emphasize that they empower women, and truly value them for more than sex and votes, they will make a convincing case for their new found feminist credentials, and they will win over a large portion of self respecting, empowered women.
Anderson Cooper’s interview, exposing leftist hypocrisy:
Julie Borowski’s satire of Lena Dunham: