Spotlight on Conservative Women in Politics

The Women’s Law Project is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse candidates nor affiliate with any political party. However, we are interested in the media coverage of women in politics and the variety of opinions currently being expressed about conservative candidates and what their candidacy means for women. As a resource for readers, we have provided a list of stories we have read recently on this topic with links to more information.

  1. Reason.com argues that the feminist critique of conservative female politicians is unfair
  2. The LA Times reports that the GOP is purposefully promoting more female candidates to discourage association between their party and the traditional political insider
  3. Jessica Valenti says “so-called conservative feminists don’t support women’s rights.”
  4. Newsweek states that the left’s “native mistrust of religion, of conservative believers in particular, left the gap that Palin now fills.”
  5. Amanda Woytus responds to the above article, stating, “Palin is not a feminist. She’s merely using the word to rally religious women and unite them under the same issue they’ve been united under for years — anti-abortion rights.”
  6. Despite the fact that the GOP boasts an increasing number of working mother candidates, Betsy Reed says the “Republican Party’s stance on the issues that matter to working mothers is as regressive as it has ever been”
  7. Mary Kate Cary states that we have entered into an era of “post-feminist politics” and that female conservative candidates “are agents of change not only in the electorate but inside the women’s movement.”

What do you think about the increasing number of conservative female candidates? Does it represent a step forward or back for women’s rights? Let us know your thoughts in comments.

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2 Responses to Spotlight on Conservative Women in Politics

  1. Patty Quinn says:

    The Republicans are nothing if not slick. It’s a calculated move on their part to offer up greater numbers of women Republican candidates to try to discredit feminists who point out that the party’s platform specifically stands for women’s subjugation. “Traditional family values” is code for that.

    As to women Republican candidates putting feminism into action—a feminist supports social, economic, and political equality for women as a group. The Republican women candidates oppose equality for women as a group. They oppose reproductive choice and equal pay for equal work. They’re willing to help the party of male supremacy rescind the rights that feminists fought hard for, for all women, to advance their own status, power, and wealth. They have prominent positions of power in the public sphere while they lecture women as a group to confine themselves to the domestic sphere.

  2. MTC says:

    I am delighted by the increasing visibility of conservative women. I was a working woman for many years, a working mother, and I never understood why I wasn’t supposed to care about taxes and economic growth, and was only supposed to care about abortion and women’s rights. I cared more about the laws that were impeding my employer’s ability to grow than about what my rights in the workplace were.

    I won’t deny that there is some discrimination against women in the workplace. However, the answer isn’t to focus on a woman’s ability to kill an unborn child. The answer is to increase women’s ability to support themselves through education and employment opportunities. Women should indeed have choices . . . but those choices should come BEFORE they get pregnant, not after.

    I wish Sarah Palin had been a more informed participant in the campaign in 2008. But I relished the fact that an attractive mother of five could be a Republican with good credentials as governor and a tough campaigner. We need more like her, not fewer.

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