Why Conservative Women Matter

July 9, 2010 10:29

And when I look ahead into my future, knowing that my yet-to-be-born children will face a $40,000 debt at birth, a lagging economy and depressing job opportunities- those are women’s issues.

Beka Romm at American Majority

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I’m blonde (mostly naturally).  Five-foot-three.  At last check, I was getting close to tipping the scale over 100 pounds.  I haven’t checked for a while.  My idea of a day off involves a good book, a long spa appointment, and as much dark chocolate and white wine as I can get my hands on.

You might have figured it out by now- I’m a woman.

No one ever said you weren’t smart, did they now?

It’s interesting how often the question is raised, why I’m a conservative woman.  What a woman is doing in the liberty movement.  Don’t I know how much women have sacrificed in previous generations, only for me to throw it all away?

Don’t I know.

Let me tell you a little bit about what I do know: when John Adams was signing the Declaration of Independence and fighting the battle for America’s liberty from Britain, his wife was raising their six kids and handling life on the home front.  She did such a good job, their son John Quincy Adams became president not too many years after his dad.  When she was a child, she was sickly and often fell ill for periods of time- no one ever thought that she could handle formal education.  So instead, she educated herself from her father, uncle and grandfather’s libraries.  She wrote countless letters to her husband, encouraging him to stay the fight, reminding him of the important virtues and values our country needed.  Her adamant arguments for women’s rights to property and for freedom for slaves set a strong foundation for a country that would struggle with those very issues for hundreds of years.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton devoured her father’s legal library and debated issues and cases with his law clerks.  She birthed seven children, the last of whom was born when she was forty-four years old.  She and her husband traded off who was with the children while she would travel the nation, speaking out for the rights of women and against the practice of slavery.  Elizabeth organized the first ever women’s suffrage convention and later would become involved in the temperance movement.  There we differ- as you can probably tell by the reference to white wine above.

Then let’s talk about Margaret Thatcher- the only woman to have ever served as prime minister in Britain.  Tough as nails, she had this to say about the Soviet Union, then a major threat to Britain and most other freedom-loving countries- “The Russians are bent on world dominance and they are rapidly acquiring the means to become the most powerful imperial nation the world has ever seen.  The men in the Soviet Politburo do not have to worry about the ebb and flow of public opinion.  They put guns before butter, while we put just about everything before guns.”  She became a close ally of Reagan during the years when his solid objections to Soviet world dominance resulted in the wall coming down- much sooner than anyone had fathomed it could happen.

So what’s my point?  Well let’s talk a moment about what each of these women- and those like them- bring to the movement.  John Adams could hardly have served as ambassador, president, revolutionary, statesman if not for the dedication of his wife to the raising of their children- her writing inspired her husband, other statesmen such as Thomas Jefferson, and to this day inspires me.  She raised a president- something not many American women can claim to have done.  Women just like Abigail Adams are involved in the fight for liberty all over our country.  Women like my mom, who prefer their political involvement to be more behind-the-scenes.  In April of 2009, my mom- who hates politics with an intensity most people reserve only for mothers in law- decided to be an election watcher.  She sat next to the ballot box as people voted from 7:00 in the morning until 7:00 at night, then watched the votes being counted to ensure their validity- all while knitting away on a sweater for my nephew.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton took her voice to the streets, rallying others, organizing conferences and conventions, waging the fight for liberty in the public square.  Women like Janet Allquist in O’Fallon, MO, who got sick of what she saw happening in our country and decided to sit on a street corner with one simple, homemade sign.  The next week, she came back to do it again- and was joined by strangers she’d never met.  They’ve kept it up for a year now, in rain, snow, sleet and hail.  But what they do when they’re not on the street corner is even more important- they’re identifying candidates, getting activists to training, putting people in precinct positions.  Janet’s day-to-day organizing and speaking up is making a difference, one step at a time.

Margaret Thatcher is joined by thousands of conservative women on this side of the pond who are putting their names on the ballot and walking door to door to ask for votes.  Women like Jana Taylor Goodman who first ran for city commission in 2009 after attending one of our candidate trainings- she made it through a tough primary but lost in the general.  Back in the saddle, she is now running for Kansas state representative, determined to give her all to making our state a better place.

What’s my point?  Women have a place in the movement.  Whether they’re like my mom, like Janet Allquist or like Jana Taylor Goodman, their involvement, organization, voices, and strengths are making the movement stronger, better, more powerful.  And for those who question why a woman would be conservative?

I’m often told that to be conservative, I must not care about “women’s issues.”  Last time I checked, we women composed more than 50% of the voting population, which means that we are not a coalition within a campaign that can be easily designated and named.  Politicians repeatedly bore me when they launch into how they feel about abortion, education and day care while talking to me, then turn to my husband and talk about security, job growth and taxes.  Women, like men, are too diverse and varied to be so easily cast into a mold of which issues are supposed to affect them.  When I see how the private practice my parents built and where my dad has worked 14-hour days is affected by oppressive health care legislation; when I see the income my husband and I live on tightened and decreased by increasing taxes that just went into effect here in our state; when I think of a president sending my younger brother off to war without the foggiest idea what exactly our Navy exists to do- those are women’s issues.  And when I look ahead into my future, knowing that my yet-to-be-born children will face a $40,000 debt at birth, a lagging economy and depressing job opportunities- those are women’s issues.

I may be blonde, may be short, may not weigh a whole lot- but what I do have, I’ll be putting into making sure that conservatives are elected this year, that conservatives hold government accountable after election day, and that we keep the pressure up every year after that.  There are a whole lot of other women who feel the same way I do.  You’ll see us continue to make a difference, one step at a time.  And that is why we matter.

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