Defining Ourselves: Emma and Cabot Phillips' Message to Young Conservatives

September 29, 2021

“You guys are conservative women — the entire country tries to define you. You need to define yourselves. They will do it if you don’t,” Cabot Phillips cautioned his audience of conservative, college-aged women at the NeW 2021 Leadership Retreat last month.

Phillips and his wife Emma have both made names for themselves in the conservative world. Cabot has rallied conservatives for years and now serves as an editor, writer, and commentator for the Daily Wire. Emma currently advocates for liberty through The Tuttle Twins education program, which aims to counter the liberal ideology pressed on children through their schools, and was previously a spokeswoman for Young Americans for Liberty.

Last month, they drove to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to speak to Network of enlightened Women’s Fall 2021 campus leaders about “communicating effectively in op-eds and the media.”

These campus leaders came from schools all over the country and from all different backgrounds, including the University of Vermont, University of South Florida, University of Notre Dame, Cornell University, University of Virginia, Texas Tech and more. But they had one thing in common: the desire to promote conservative values on their campuses and to empower other conservative women.  

Emma and Cabot Phillips each gave the women practical tips on how to enter the media field in both writing and television and on getting interviews and making pitches. Much of their talk centered on the importance of conservative women finding their voices.

As a woman, Emma was able to speak to many of the students’ experiences of wondering whether they had anything worthwhile to say, wondering why anyone would want to hear from them, or the temptation to fall in line, even with one’s own party. They urged the women to fight back against this temptation, to stand up for themselves as conservatives, and to understand that their voices and opinions matter.

They also reminded the women of the importance of humility and honesty in making a name for themselves, telling them to discard their ego and focus on their integrity, vision, and work ethic.

“Do work hard and look for these opportunities, but don’t worry about getting it all done this week or getting it all done tomorrow," they said. "Start small, think big, move quickly.”  

Finally, the couple urged the students not to allow the world to put them in boxes and to celebrate the diversity of background, thought, and beliefs that make them who they are. Despite the cultural backlash against conservatives, Emma urged the women to be outspoken and educated.

“We’ve got to be proud. We don’t need to apologize for what we believe. Just know your stuff," she said.

This blog post was written by Catherine Olohan, NeW Campus Program Coordinator.

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