Where are the conservative women? It might seem an odd question to ask on a site called The Conservative Woman. We are right here. And that is part of the problem.
The question came to my email box, from an advocate for boys’ and men’s issues who has become a personal friend. Terry Brennan of Leading Women for Shared Parenting originally contacted me a year and a half ago as he had deduced that conservative women with sons had both the credibility and the motivation to address the many ignored gender gaps against men.
But 18 months later, nothing seems to be happening. He has started to get the impression that conservative women are okay with the status quo on feminism and men.
It is a fair question to ask. Where are the conservative women? Many issues get our attention but only a few get our action. But it is not, as Terry posits, because we are uninterested or uncomfortable with our sons’ educations or the pop power of feminism, although I certainly forgive anyone making that assumption based on what they see.
In my experience, conservative women are interested and comparatively well read on the subjects but are reluctant to speak up publicly. As my colleague also turned friend, Stella Morabito, covered in a must-read in The Federalist, political correctness and pop wisdom run counter to most, if not all, of a conservative woman’s own opinions.
Most women I encounter have absorbed the pop lesson that their opinions are offensive to others. (Anyone remember the Salon piece from 2011, “My Best Friend is a Republican” and the woman who couldn’t even look her friend in the eye when discussing policy? We are all familiar with kind of personal reaction, I’m sure.)
So with rare exception, most notably the wanton destruction of new life, the average conservative woman keeps her mouth shut in mixed company and online, not because she has no complaint but because she doesn’t want to offend anyone around her.
She sees it as being gracious and will attempt to solve the problem herself for her own family, like the good Burkean little platoon officer she is. And the few who do speak up – again most often about abortion because we choose our battles and the disregard for new life is a special kind of horror – they often get frustrated by the popular assumptions that they are anti-women ogres and then berate themselves for wasting their time engaging in public discourse when they could have been doing something more productive for their own family.
Besides this quibble about motivation, however, Terry is right. This isn’t leadership. We will not see positive change for boys, or anything else, without instigation.
The problem of media bias remains. The primary reason the opinions of conservative women aren’t seen in mainline culture because we present the biggest threat to PC cultural dominance and the PC guardians know it. They have actively suppressed, silenced, ignored, isolated, slandered, censored, misrepresented…
Until the internet, omission was the media’s best weapon against us. Just act like conservative women and their ideas don’t exist. Think of it as ‘if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it then does it make a sound’ strategy. The Right made our own outlets, against which the traditional media quickly inoculated the general public. Just try using a Fox News link outside right leaning circles. It doesn’t matter if the reporting is accurate.
We must constantly create workarounds to have our voices heard outside right circles. And this is where I see a lack of action on conservative women’s part. The workaround requires hand to hand engagement with those who do not share our beliefs and a willingness to stray from the politically correct norms in the general public.
We flout the PC rules all the time in our little platoons. Heck, the fact that we have little platoons is a countercultural stand. Conservative women seem to think this huddling together is enough. It isn’t. In fact, it is more like sounding a retreat.