SEPTEMBER 13, 2016
BY ASHE SCHOW
“Ignorant.” “Heartless.” “Anti-woman.” “Uneducated.” “Stupid.” These are just some of the names that young conservative women are being called on college campuses because of their belief in smaller government and possible pro-life views.
To combat the stereotype of conservatives and Republicans permeating college campuses — and also to try and stem the abuse these students receive — the Network of Enlightened Women has launched a new campaign: #ShesConservative.
“I can’t even repeat the most offensive thing I’ve ever been called,” Taylor McCarty, who graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2015, says in a video about the campaign.
Over at Forbes, NeW’s founder, Karin Agness, discusses how the sexism that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton faced in the 1970s really doesn’t exist for young women today, especially since women now make up more than 50 percent of college graduates. Yet today, Democrats – especially young Democrats on college campuses – insist the world is still just as sexist and discount women who disagree that the government must solve all the world’s perceived problems.
“Over and over in her campaign, Clinton has said that her victory will ensure that girls know they can do anything they want to do,” Agness wrote. “Well, these young women speaking out are letting other women and the world know that young women can be pro-woman and conservative. This might encourage their detractors to at least come to the table for dialogue, rather than automatically dismiss them.”
A previous NeW member, FSU graduate Emily Bland, expanded on the idea that government is the answer to any problem women face today at the Daily Caller.
“I am a conservative because I know that through my hard work, I too can not only be president of my future children’s PTA, but lead in the work place if I want to do so,” Bland wrote. “The left fails women repeatedly. From making it harder for them to exercise their second amendment rights, to pushing the narrative that government funded and carried out abortions are not only an inherent right, like the First Amendment, but more important than equal access to health clinics for both women and men.”
The campaign includes stories from other young conservative women from diverse backgrounds as it tries to show “what a conservative looks like” in order to take down the stereotype that conservatives are all old white men and that every young woman must be a liberal.
One of the women featured in the campaign, Emily Hall, a student at Harvard University wrote that NeW has empowered her to not be so afraid of coming out as a conservatve.
“I believe in our Constitution, I believe in personal responsibility, and I believe in defending our freedoms,” Hall wrote. “Today, it’s not very popular to believe in these things—but I’ve found a community of people at Harvard and in NeW who remind me that I’m not alone and help empower me to speak out against the liberalism of the university environment.”
Correction: This post has been updated to include a quote from Emily Hall. It has also corrected the quote from Emily Bland, who graduated from Florida State University, not Harvard.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.