Katrina Willis

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

The most sesy phrase I have heard in my life is “As a woman, I believe…” Women on TV and around campus have said it a lot in the past few years.

“As a woman, I stand with Planned Parenthood.”
“As a woman, I believe healthcare is a human right.”
“As a woman, I believe in intersectional feminism.”

What is so bad about believing something as a woman, though?

In just a few words, an entire sex is degraded into a species of which chromosomes completely control the intellect. To the people who say “As a woman, I believe…”, female identity is a simple and absolute equation: if female, then x opinion. It is why conservative women like Kelsey Harkness of The Federalist and former GOP presidential nominee candidate Carly Fiorina are so “problematic” according to Elle magazine. They disprove the proof. Problematic women all across this country like their heels high and taxes low. But why? Why do they refused to condemn the patriarchy? Don’t they believe in equal rights for women?

Of course. It is why they are conservative. These women hold government accountable for the equal rights of all, making them the true feminist champions. I am a proud to be a conservative woman, but not because of my sex. I am proud because being a conservative woman has little to do with being a woman at all, and everything to do with having an independent mind and open heart.

Conservatism empowers women because it is about more than just womanhood. It is a philosophy based on natural law, a system of moral truths beginning with the idea that everyone posses equal and inherent dignity, including the unborn, the centurions, and everyone in between. The universality of this principle is remarkable and means that conservatism is, in fact, radical. It is radically egalitarian. It does not arbitrarily annoint certain identities with special protections. Conservatism extends moral protection in equal measure to all. Women will always be among the protected because everyone is. Conservatism does not collectivize women and create meaning of womanhood. Instead it protects every individual based on a meaningfulness that cannot be created, destroyed, or bestowed. Conservatism cares little about womanhood itself and infinitely for each individual woman, making it the truest of all feminist doctrines.

Conservative women should also be proud of the incredible mental rigor it takes to become one. The idea that women are special by the virtue of being a woman alone now dominates the West. Consider the tempting nature of this worldview. It guarantees inherent specialness for sex, an unearned biological trait. Conservative women must face that temptation and deny it. To place equal dignity over self-importance is hard. Conservative women must first sift through layers of indoctrination beginning as little girls. This journey alone is mentally grueling. And for what reward? To be painted as simple bimbos. To be bandied about as snarky comedic material. The mental fortitude of conservative women cannot be understated. But that strength comes from the choices they make and the truth they speak, not their biology.

Finally, conservative women ought to be proud of the extreme love it takes to respect the equal dignity of everyone. Who among us likes everyone? How easy is it to lower mean or even sinister people to inferiority? How easy would it be to prevent the spread of evil speech by silencing it? And yet, conservative woman abstain. They consistently defend every single person’s natural rights, which often means enduring belittlement. It is a level of respect not duly appreciated. To be a conservative woman takes a kind of selfless devotion to not anyone in particular but everyone. It is again a radical love that any woman should be proud to defend.

I am proud to be one of many conservative women, because we look not at past injustices but toward future opportunity. We have a quick wit and warm embrace and humble ourselves before the awesome power of natural law. The current political climate is not unique. History is more frequently marred by identity politics than not, but the status quo is up. Us conservative ladies are writing a NeW history, one we should all be proud in which to take part.


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