Recently, an opinion piece was published in The Badger Herald titled “The future won’t be female if Republicans have anything to do with it.” As a proud Republican woman, I was shocked to see someone would so blatantly ignore millions of women around the country. Quite frankly, the author got a lot of things about Republican women wrong and I’d like to take the opportunity to respond.
In the article, the author points out several pieces of information that supposedly support the idea women cannot have a place in the GOP, and the GOP doesn’t support them. The author says “further to the right means more misogyny” and also argues Republican women are “staying home” because “they do not feel particularly galvanized to publicly support their party,” or “Republican women feel so strongly about their party’s anti-women values that they agree — women should just stay home.”
The left has largely chosen to ignore the fact that conservative women are active and working to elect Republicans. The notion that women can’t be conservatives because they are female is degrading the very feminist movement the left claims to champion. If the left truly believes in equality, they should believe women are allowed to choose their own political beliefs based upon their values, instead of insinuating their choice in the voting booths is already made up for them on account of their gender.
Pro-life women (yes, there are feminists who believe abortion is not a right) were shunned at the women’s march and are often labeled as anti-women. Hillary Clinton suggested women who didn’t vote for her were told to do so by male figures in their life. Instead of embracing the diversity of thought women bring to the table, the left continues their own war on women by claiming they don’t have the freedom to make their own political choices.
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While the author points out a majority of women elected to Congress are Democrats, the author fails to mention other areas of government in which Republican women outnumber Democratic women. Currently, there are twice as many Republican women serving as governors than there are Democratic women. On the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, the number of conservative-leaning women outnumbers liberal-leaning women.
Conservative women are running for office across the country, passionately fighting for their values. When looking to county leadership in the state of Wisconsin, 41 of the 72 county treasurers, 37 of the 72 county clerks, 37 of the clerk of circuit courts, and 42 of the 72 register of deeds, are Republican women.
In President Donald Trump’s administration, Republican women hold several high-level positions. These women include Kellyanne Conway, Besty DeVos, Nikki Haley, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Hope Hicks, Elaine Chao, Kirstjen Nielsen and Linda McMahon, among others. The chair of the Republican Party and president of the Heritage Foundation are women. The first woman to lead a western country was a conservative woman. There are several national movements, hundreds of women strong that consistently advocate for conservative policies. These women are not riding in the backseat of the Republican party — they are integral to the Republican party’s mission and future.
In Wisconsin alone, Republican Women are championing conservative policies and their work is inspiring real change. Our Republican lieutenant governor is a woman. The first lieutenant governor of Wisconsin was a Republican woman. We have a Republican woman, Leah Vukmir, running for the U.S. Senate and a woman manages her campaign. In a straw poll at our state convention, 85 percent of the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans in attendance voted to support her in the primary. A Republican woman served as the campaign manager for US Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, in 2016, winning him a race few thought he could. Republican women are continuing to organize across the state.
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The executive board of the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans is made up of mostly women. In University of Wisconsin’s chapter of College Republicans, over half of our executive board members are women. Furthermore, three-quarters of the elected positions of our executive board are held by women. Women have also served as the face of our organization at events like AIPAC and panels on gun control.
The author of this opinion piece said “Gender equality shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and Republicans like to claim it isn’t, but at the end of the day, it really is.”
The idea of gender equality is only becoming a partisan issue because articles like these are making it one. Women are fully capable of representing themselves and their own values. While it may be easier to pick and choose facts that fit a narrative, the truth shows women have been and will continue to get involved in the political process on both sides of the aisle. If this new age of “feminism” continues to alienate women who choose their own ideology based upon their values, whose interests does the feminist movement actually have in mind?
Alesha Guenther ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in journalism. She is the Communications Director for College Republicans.