Sunday, September 20, 2009

Conservative women and politics

Glenn and I spent part of the weekend in Nashville covering the Smart Girl Politics Summit, a conference of conservative women for PJTV. Women from around the country were there to learn how to be activists, listen to speakers such as Liz Cheney, Michelle Malkin and Congresswoman Masha Blackburn, and to find like-minded souls who share a love of free markets and limited government.

After interviewing a number of the women, I found the common theme to be a sense of isolation due to media exclusion of their voices, or if they were mentioned at all in the media, their portrayal was negative. I must say all of the women seemed pretty tough and talked about how they were personally attacked for their views. Most were moms and worried about their kids and how the negativity would affect them. One attendee, Vanderbuilt Law and Political Science Professor Carol Swain, stated that she was often given flak and negative feedback for being an African American conservative. But all of the women rose to the challenge and said that despite the personal attacks, they would continue to speak out, become activists, and some would run for office. The conference, and the women were inspiring, and reminded me that there are many people, both men and women who will continue to fight for the American way of life.

The interviews should be up at PJTV soon and will give you a chance to hear from women whose views are a welcome departure from the typical propaganda we hear from the popular women's magazines and the MSM.

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15 Comments:

Blogger MiaZagora said...

I can't wait to see the interviews! I like the fact that conservative women are daring to speak up. More often than not, conservative women are portrayed as mousey, uneducated, uninteresting, barefoot and pregnant types. I must say, I've never been so interested in politics as I have the past couple of years! I live in a pretty conservative area, so I haven't had any problems with anyone I speak with regularly. However, someone from church did ask me a question - isn't arguing politics considered "mudslinging"? Maybe I have engaged in a little mudslinging. It's difficult - for me, at least - to keep the snarkiness completely out of my speech. Most of the time, it's all in good fun. ;)

3:38 PM, September 20, 2009  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

Arguing politics is called being an American. Tell your friend that.

6:47 PM, September 20, 2009  
Blogger fred said...

There seem to me to many many conservative women I see and hear on TV and in print. It does though get a bit tiresome to be told so often that their voices are stifled etc when in fact the Am people for better or worse have put in place a Democratic group of people via elections and so that seems to account for the minority view referred to here.

By all means speak out. Make your views heard. But whining and complaining will not make the message more appealing.

7:20 PM, September 20, 2009  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

Years ago. I remember reading one of those investing-for-women books. I thought, how is investing different for men and women? Well, it wasn't, and it isn't.

Now we have a conservative women's conference. Next, we'll have a new party just for women. Whatever.

7:08 AM, September 21, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Jeff Y.,

I don't think these women are looking for a new party for women. If anything, they are trying to learn how to be involved in politics, how to get used to the political process and how to become activists for conservative causes. I did not agree with some of what they said, such as a few who thought that if women ran things, we would have a more humane government, yeah, right. But I do think that for the most part, these women stood for principals of limited government and economic freedom, both ideas that I would think many of us here would welcome.

8:32 AM, September 21, 2009  
Blogger Batmensch said...

How are Liz Cheney and Michelle Malkin suffereing from any kind of "media exclusion"? That their opinions are ridiculous and awful certainly affects their reputations, but that's the danger of people actually paying attention to you, isn't it?

2:48 PM, September 21, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Batmensch,

Malkin's book was #1 on the NYT's best seller list, yet very few liberal outlets reviewed or gave her air time. Those that do have conservative authors or others on, speak to them in the most contemptuous and negative way possible. Only Fox and other outlets more friendly to conservatives were not openly hostile. You can read more below but somehow, I doubt your views are flexible enough to be changed:

http://www.cultureandmediainstitute.org/articles/2009/20090908115345.aspx

3:10 PM, September 21, 2009  
Blogger TS said...

It's pretty goddamn rich for Malkin to bitch about The Times. I mean, she's only spent the last 6 years badmouthing them!

Large news organization would be more inclined to take creatures such as Cheney and Malkin seriously if the ladies in question were not so obviously insane.

4:47 PM, September 21, 2009  
Blogger Adrian said...

Large news organization would be more inclined to take creatures such as Cheney and Malkin seriously if the ladies in question were not so obviously insane.

Funny, that's how I feel about the Times. In fact, it not only needs to be more sane but also less than completely corrupt. They have a long history of being a propaganda rag for leftist ideologues.

6:06 PM, September 21, 2009  
Blogger Ken said...

I support conservative gatherings to produce and give voice to conservatives beliefs. However, I am dismayed at women conservatives creating an event by women for women to describe the hardships of being a woman conservative. However, this is right out of the lefty playbook of identity politics, separating one group of people from another (in this case women from men), then claiming victim status.

This runs contradictory to conservative beliefs in individualism and self-reliance. The identification of being a member of a group with political grievances is one of the most disgusting features of the left today. I find it sad that now conservatives embrace this idea as well.

10:11 PM, September 21, 2009  
Blogger Adrian said...

Oh, I doubt that, Ken. Are you really anticipating that the next step is the women will all be demanding rights or privileges or something? It's just fine to have a girls club. There was a time when men had men's clubs and it wasn't supposed to be some sort of political statement. In fact, I think that drawing attention to female conservatives creates direct competition to the alternatives -- "We have girl stuff (and in particular girls), too!" It shows everyone that conservatives aren't just a bunch of geeky white boys in bowties on the debating team or whatever it is that people imagine.

11:04 PM, September 21, 2009  
Blogger blahga the hutt said...

Adrian,

Actually, I think that Ken makes a pretty valid point. I think we should have general conservative groups that have a broad range of both gender and race to show people that we're not all "rich white men".

The fact that you made the statement that 'well, men had clubs way back when, so us women can do it now' speaks volumes and isn't really solving anything. All you're doing is creating gender (or race) reversal. We can't have men's only clubs anymore, but it's a-ok for everyone else to have one.

And if you read one of Helen's responses regarding special rights, it would seem that some conservative women are demanding just that. This is what she wrote:

"I did not agree with some of what they said, such as a few who thought that if women ran things, we would have a more humane government, yeah, right."

So no, I don't think Ken's statements are really all that far-fetched.

12:56 PM, September 22, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

I am happy conservative women are making noise. They have a better chance of bringing liberal women back across the line than conservative men do. And the women voting block is getting bigger. So far, they majority of women seem to vote left.

6:48 PM, September 22, 2009  
Blogger pamomof2boys said...

I am curious. Was the summit closed to men or was it open to both men and women?

9:29 AM, September 28, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

pamomof2boys,

The Summit was open to men, in fact SGP asks men to join. I was pleased to see how kind the women were there to men and saw them as allies and friends.

6:57 AM, September 30, 2009  

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