Conservative Women Emerge as Movement Leaders
September 7, 2011
An interesting observation of the newly energized conservative movement is the amount of women leading the way. The Tea Party, in particular, is a woman-led movement. This is disturbing to the liberal status quo as conservative women are traditionally thought of as not political in nature.
Recently, in an article in Elle Magazine, the term “baby Palins” was brought forward to describe young conservative women. According to this line of thought, young conservative women are a phenomenon due to the emergence of Sarah Palin on the political scene. The liberals in the media and the established feminists of days past are finding it difficult to wrap their brains around the fact that conservative women are feminists, too. Any woman can be a feminist.
The definition of feminism according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
According to the dictionary, the first known use of the term was in 1895. Hardly a new concept. Gladys Pyle
was the first elected Republican woman to the U.S. Senate. That was in 1938.
Were young feminists in the 1970’s called “baby Steinem’s”? Of course not.
Parents everywhere, of all political persuasions, raise their daughters to be feminists. The term may not be used but if a parent raises a girl child to be self-sufficient, educated, compassionate to all, and active in her community, well, that is a feminist. I identify as a feminist and I didn’t need a womans study class to figure that out. I was blessed to be raised by parents who taught all three of their daughters that we could grow up and be whatever we wanted to be in adult life. The current media story on the emergence of young women as conservatives is often focused on the facts that they are pro-life and comfortable with the rights of the tenth amendment. Why, they may actually be hunters, too. Oh yes, they also enjoy fashion. Sarah Palin was not the first conservative woman to hold these beliefs but she was the first to truly disrupt the status quo on women in modern day politics. Palin is so completely comfortable with herself that it shocks the established liberal media.
Liberal women want to make feminism all about the abortion issue. That is a false premise and they have been allowed to continue on with it from the beginning of the Steinem days. To dismiss a pro-life woman as a non-feminist is shallow thinking indeed. The original mantra of the liberal feminists was that a woman must be free to choose her own destiny. All of her options should be available to her, whether it was to stay at home and raise her children (if the family budget supported that decision) or to pursue a career. The problems arose when not every woman chose to concentrate on a career, or to stay home when she had children. To liberal feminists, the only real answer was to continue to draw a paycheck.
The young women profiled in the Elle Magazine article were recent guests on a cable network’s morning show. Their female interviewer couldn’t resist asking them their opinion of the campaign trail gossip circulating that Michele Bachmann doesn’t go on stage without checking her hair or putting on lipstick. Silly questions from condescending media. On Twitter while watching the on-air interview because one of the guests is a woman with whom I have a friendship, I was encouraged to read a tweet by a local network affiliate woman reporter who also noticed the condescending nature of the interview. She was surprised by it. We conservative women watching were, however, not.
Sarah Palin deserves credit for inspiring political activism in thousands of conservative women who understand her message of fiscal restraint and abiding by the Constitution. Young women are now comfortable to openly participate in conservative politics. That is Sarah’s revenge against the utter hatred shown to her in the media and by liberal politicians. Thousands of well-rounded women mobilizing and voting. Conservative women. It’s a beautiful thing.