I am conservative. I am a woman. I am an undergraduate student at Harvard. These three parts of my identity are not be in conflict with one another; yet, their intersection too often is questioned by my peers. It seems as though the numerous intelligent, conservative, female role models go unnoticed by most women on campus today. Instead, feminism has devolved into a mass of identity politics and an intersectionality that feels like a contest to see who suffers from the most victimhood. That’s not my feminism—it’s not what I believe in and it’s not what my many role models believe in. I’m proud to instead be part of a movement that can lift up women without driving down men, a movement that celebrates the accomplishments of incredible, trailblazing women like Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice, Carly Fiorina, and Nikki Haley.
#ShesConservative is just a snapshot of that movement. It’s a way to show that we are proud of being conservative and we aren’t afraid to stand up to the liberal orthodoxy on college campuses and in young professional circles across the country—but it doesn’t stop at shattering stereotypes about young women’s politics. That’s just the beginning.
My conservatism started before I really understood politics, when as a young child I was drawn to the ideas of personal responsibility, maturity, and initiative that my family undoubtedly instilled in me. It continued in high school, when I became a passionate advocate for the life of the unborn. When I came to college, my ideology expanded as I realized the wealth of opportunities that conservative policies afford to people. I came to understand that free markets allocate resources efficiently, that the right to bear arms is crucial to liberty, and that the Constitution is the surest way to guarantee that American democracy remains alive and well for future generations. For all of these reasons, I am proud to call myself conservative.
Getting involved with NeW has introduced me to some of the most influential people in my life. Role models are so crucial in learning about how I want to make an impact in the future, and I am fortunate to have role models all around me—from Katie Pavlich, who has uncovered important scandals and discusses the many problems with liberal ideology today, to the dozens of women leading NeW chapters across the country who inspire me to speak out on my campus and make a difference with my chapter. Karin Agness Lips has been an incredibly important role model and mentor to me as I navigate a future as a young, conservative, female future lawyer and one day mom. Without the amazing role models in the conservative movement—both those at the ground level and those making huge changes to our nation’s future as Ambassador to the UN or Secretary of Education—I would not be nearly as sure of the prospects for conservative women today. Instead, because of these women, I am inspired every day to do my part in breaking the irrational assumption that being conservative is anti-woman and to empower the women in my life to do the same.