If a woman identifies as a conservative, is she still considered a woman? The behavior in recent years of the left wing in America would indicate that they believe otherwise.
Liberals have proclaimed themselves to be the champion of women’s issues, declaring that they are the soldiers battling against the “war on women.” There’s just one problem with the left’s “women’s movement” – it excludes a very large population of women.
By setting themselves up as the champion of all women’s issues, the left has decided that conservatives are not actually women or that their opinions and concerns are invalid (unless they have the same concerns as the left). Somehow, being a conservative magically erases one’s womanhood.
But what about the women who are being excluded by the left’s narrative? After all, whether a woman is a liberal or a conservative, she is a woman nonetheless, and therefore, by definition, her concerns still fall under the definition of “women’s issues.”
What about the pro-life women who were told they cannot attend the women’s march? Are they not women as well? There is no concern for the women whose priorities don’t fall under the left’s definition of women’s issues. If the left is the supposed champion of women’s issues, the issues of women they disagree with should matter as well. It seems as though they are only concerned about the women whose issues fit their agenda and narrative.
If the left does nothing to rebrand themselves and stop claiming that they are the sole voice for women, they will continue to lose moderate women and swing voters, and will continue losing elections.
To create a true women’s movement, and not just a liberal women’s movement, the left needs to fight for issues all women can get behind, and not be divisive by excluding large groups of women.
In 1979, over 100,000 women marched in Iran to protest the new Islamic government’s ruling requiring women to wear a headscarf when away from home. Men and women alike, regardless of political ideology, fought against freedom being taken away from women.
While unsuccessful in preventing the law from being enforced, the effort was still noble. They were fighting for a basic right – the freedom to wear the clothing of their choosing.
During the much-less-noble women’s march after Donald Trump was elected President, conservative women expressed that they would prefer to march for some of the most oppressed women in the world – women subjected to extremist Islamic rule. Many conservative women believe that women who are stoned for being raped, those who can’t leave the house without a man, or can’t choose to wear and say what they want, deserve the most support.
Conservative women want to join forces with those fighting against the most egregious crimes against women. For example, fighting against female genital mutilation, an issue making headlines right here in Minnesota, could unite women on the left and the right.
The left’s narrative forces women with differing viewpoints to choose: care about women, or be a conservative. You cannot have both. Until this false narrative is eradicated, the divide between women on the left and the right will grow like a cancer, slowly eating away at any hope for bipartisanship.