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Laura Keynes: Are you The Conservative Woman? Take our quiz

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The Sunday Times Style supplement has a frothy feature on ‘The Nu-Con Woman’.

“Her values incorporate some feminism-lite and a bit of Green philosophy, but (this is the crucial bit) not much angsting about other people’s misfortune. Voting Tory probably rocked her hip self-image a bit – so much so, she may even have concealed the fact.”

Well, over here at The Conservative Woman, we think that if anyone’s going to define the new generation of conservative woman, it’s us. So just who is The Conservative Woman?

For starters, a Con Wom doesn’t buy The Sunday Times. She thinks it’s the most morally bankrupt rag ever published, and won’t allow it in the house. She might read it in the hairdresser or if it’s left on the train, but she’ll feel tainted by its articles on things like the latest must-have sex toy or how infidelity can really improve your marriage. She used to like The Daily Telegraph, but thinks it’s gone off the boil after Jason Seiken became editor-in-chief (he has since left) and if Charles Moore gets axed as a columnist she’ll stop reading it altogether. Mail Online is her go-to morning read (she has it on phone app) but it’s not a guilty pleasure because she refuses to feel guilty about it.

The Con Wom listens to The Today Programme as she gets the kids up in the morning, but has to turn it off whenever Robert Peston comes on, and/or whenever Mishal Hussein or Evan Davis talk all over the person they’re interviewing because the interviewee won’t endorse the liberal orthodoxy of the day. As for Woman’s Hour, it’s the devil’s own work. In fact, the Con Wom is wondering if there’s a decent alternative to Radio 4, which seems to be wall-to-wall programmes about transgender Muslims at the moment. Really she only switches on for The Archers.

If you liken a Con Wom to Sam Cam, she will snarl that Sam Cam is everything that is wrong with conservative women these days. The woman rides a microscooter for goodness sake (I mean, grow up! And teach your kids that a pavement is public space and not a playground!).

Far from not doing much angsting about other people’s misfortunes, the Con Wom is actually very concerned about those who are left behind by society. Mostly she worries about the effect that decades of socially progressive policies have had on children. She worries about her teenage son looking at porn online and she worries about her daughter’s body-image issues and low self-esteem.

She worries about the state of the NHS and care homes, where there seems to be a callous attitude to the elderly and disabled. She worries about the corrosive effect assisted suicide will have on the medical profession when legislation eventually gets passed, thanks mainly to highly biased pro-death reporting on the issue by the mainstream liberal press. She worries about aged grannies who might think they have a duty to die so that the grandkids could use their inheritance for a deposit on a studio flat in Zone 6.

As for reading, the Con Wom keeps abreast of things. She seeks out differing views so as not to live in a self-reflecting liberal bien pensant echo chamber, but even so she automatically disagrees with anything said or written by Polly Toynbee, Jenni Murray, or (ugh) Caitlin Moran. Laurie Penny, Owen Jones, and Russell Brand (infants all) are out. Brendan O’Neill and Douglas Murray are in. Julie Bindel is usually on the money. Rod Liddle is good for a laugh. And anyone who writes for The Guardian should really just lighten up.

A Con Wom knows about intersectional check-your-privilege trigger warning whatsit but chooses not to endorse such rubbish and only wonders how long it will be before feminism disappears up its own backside. Soon, hopefully.

The Con Wom used to be a feminist, when feminism actually meant something, but she thinks feminism has now totally lost the plot. She thinks women should stop giving sex away for free, recognize porn for the degrading evil it is, reclaim the power of chastity, stop co-habiting, and hold out for marriage (which she thinks is an institution based on the fruitful spousal union of one man and one woman).

On a Sunday morning, a Con Wom is most likely to be found in church. She goes because she actually subscribes to the moral teachings of the church, and not because she just wants to get the kids into the local Ofsted Outstanding faith school.

Most of all, a Con Wom is out and proud as a social conservative. She’s happy to launch into anyone virtue signalling on social media.

There’s no pearl clutching for a Con Wom – she gets stuck in and gives as good as she gets.  She’s pretty happy on the whole and doesn’t sit around moaning but just gets on with it.

Crucially, the Con Wom didn’t vote Tory last month and makes no secret of it. She’s essentially a Burkean conservative, a breed thin on the ground in the current administration, and until the Conservative Party get back to their roots she’ll vote for None of the Above.

 

Are you a Con Wom? Take our Quiz

Laurie Penny just told you to ‘Check your privilege’. You…

  1. a) duly check your privilege and censor your speech
  2. b) have to look up what ‘check your privilege’ means
  3. c) laugh and shrug it off as nonsense

You think Emma Barnett is…

  1. a) the best thing to happen to Woman’s Hour in ages
  2. b) a nice young lady with interesting views
  3. c) clickbait and not to be taken seriously

Your university pal is moaning about how she got groped when she walked home alone at midnight after a tarts and vicars themed college party. You…

  1. a) immediately log into Everyday Sexism to shame the culprits and expose this sexist outrage
  2. b) make sympathetic noises
  3. c) wonder why she walked home dressed like that after midnight. Didn’t her mother teach her anything?

It’s bedtime and the kids are playing up. You…

  1. a) are still in the office, busy ‘having it all’. You haven’t done bedtime for years – that’s what nannies are for.
  2. b)resolve to book a child psychologist to uncover the root of your child’s unhappiness
  3. c) lay down the law and hold your breath until your husband gets home – he’ll back you up and together you’ll get the kids in order

You’re in church and the priest just gave a sermon about gay marriage and why the church thinks it’s wrong. You…

  1. a) storm out in disgust at this bigoted priest making sure everyone sees you leave, and post about it on Facebook afterwards
  2. b) mutter darkly that this is all a bit too political for church
  3. c) are pleased someone is finally saying it

Your daughter announces that she’s moving in with her boyfriend of six months. You…

  1. a) say “That’s great darling, think how much you’ll save on rent.”
  2. b) ask her if she’s sure – isn’t it all a bit soon?
  3. c) tell her firmly that she’s a fool for giving her boyfriend everything he wants with no strings attached – she should hold out for marriage and if he’s too scared at the prospect then he isn’t man enough for your daughter

 

Mostly A’s

What are you doing reading The Conservative Woman? Get back to the Guardian Comments section.

Mostly B’s

Your liberal hand-wringing is endearing but you need to read more Con Wom blogs and toughen up.

Mostly C’s

Congratulations, you’re a fully fledged Con Wom. Want to write for us?

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Laura Keynes
Dr Keynes is a Cambridge-based academic, writer and critic with two very young children. She writes for Standpoint magazine, the Catholic Herald and The Tablet. Find her on twitter @LMKeynes.

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