February 18, 2020
This piece was originally published in the Washington Examiner on February 9, 2020.
Toxic feminism made its mark on this year's State of the Union, thanks to the Democrats.
Some Democrats wore white in protest, meant to evoke memories of the suffragettes as they showed off their “Equal Rights Amendment Yes” buttons. Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refused to attend. Topping it all off, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi openly shredded her copy of the State of the Union address. These are just a few of the distasteful actions I witnessed from the feminist Left as I watched the speech.
As President Trump commended a record-low female unemployment rate, two single mothers, a young girl who has the opportunity to choose her school, and a paid family leave program, many of the supposed feminists Democrats in attendance offered up little to no positive reaction. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in America. Why aren’t these women celebrating the wonderful strides they’ve made?
Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan claimed that Trump’s speech “really depressed me.” Women such as Dingell hold some of the most respectable, prestigious positions in the nation. Why is it that they claim oppression in our society? President Trump’s speech was a positive affirmation of women’s accomplishments and highlighted groundbreaking progress toward a pro-woman agenda.
The response of liberal feminists was to disrespect and degrade the magnitude of even their own sex's accomplishments. According to Pelosi, ripping up the State of the Union address was “the courteous thing to do considering the alternative.” I am curious to know the “alternative” of which Pelosi speaks. It certainly could not be more disrespectful than the actions she chose.
Liberal feminists hate to admit that not only are American women thriving under conservative policies, but that minorities are also benefiting. It is deeply troubling that these are the people that young women such as me are supposed to be looking up to not only for inspiration, but for leadership. Their actions don’t make their cause compelling. They make it repulsive.
Regardless of whether one supports or opposes Trump, all women should be committed to celebrating any president's successes for women. These feats should never be partisan; rather, they should be shared victories.
As a young woman today, I do not wish to reflect the temperament on display by the female leaders of the Democratic Party. Through dignity, grace, and class, I can make a more powerful argument for women’s empowerment. I can earn the respect of others, rather than openly act like I deserve it. Neither success nor respect is attained through the kind of antics that were on display at the State of the Union.
And for Pelosi’s dramatic ripping of the speech, well, she disrespected the accomplishments not only of women, but of all people in the United States. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said it best in her tweet:
Disappointed to see @SpeakerPelosi rip up the speech that mentioned lives we’ve lost and heroes we celebrated at the SOTU. No matter how you feel or what you disagree with, remember others are watching. This was unbecoming of someone at her level in office.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 5, 2020
These distasteful actions from the feminist Left are old and tired. If female Democratic leaders so terribly hated the president’s message, what exactly makes their message better? Or better yet, do they have a message at all?
Charlotte Townsend is a junior at the College of Charleston. She was previously published by the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) in She’s Conservative: Stories of Trials and Triumphs on America’s College Campuses.