Thousands of everyday women are sacrificing their comfortable lives to run for public office this election cycle, surging onto the political scene to save us from ourselves.
Time magazine published a lengthy piece last week diving into the details of this phenomenon. “Call it payback, call it a revolution, call it the Pink Wave,” author Charlotte Alter wrote, but whatever you call it, it’s coming soon to an elected office near you. “There is an unprecedented surge of first-time female candidates, overwhelmingly Democratic, running for offices big and small, from the U.S. Senate and state legislatures to local school boards.”
New York magazine covered this trend, too, with a piece called “10 Women Running for Office to Watch in 2018.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, nine are Democrats. And the tenth, the solitary Republican who made the cut, is in fact not much of a Republican at all. She describes herself as a pro-choice, pro-single-payer progressive and is running to challenge a sitting Republican congressman from the left.
It turns out, then, that our female rescuers are heroic not because they’re courageously working to advance their sincere desire for a better America, but because they’re Democratic women pushing a left-wing agenda. It’s the Women’s March on steroids, carrying divisive identity politics from the streets right into political office. For the purposes of this narrative, conservative women might as well not exist.
New York magazine illustrates this bias perfectly:
The country is full of Sarah Palins, not just Elizabeth Warrens. . . . however, so far it’s the Warrens who are getting into the game. Of the 49 women currently planning to run for the Senate (including incumbents, challengers, and those running for open spots), 31 are Democrats. Well over half of the 79 women slated to campaign for governor are Dems, as are 80 percent of the women setting their sights on the House.
These statistics, of course, also reflect non-negligible numbers of right-leaning women “getting into the game.” But those women are neatly lumped together under the “Sarah Palin” umbrella and promptly dismissed. Successful female conservatives — Nikki Haley immediately comes to mind — are conveniently forgotten.
Of course, given that Donald Trump is the impetus behind much of this renewed female political involvement, it makes sense that a greater number of these women lean left and are running for office to challenge GOP incumbents. By activists and journalists alike, though, this movement has been billed not as a left-wing insurgency but as an uprising of everyday American women for everyday American women.
In reality, it’s nothing more than a movement of progressive women for progressive women. That’s why conservative women running for office are roundly ignored and why the millions of women who want their representatives to embody anything other than progressive dogma are left without options in this female revolution.
The central problem with these puff pieces and their subjects is not that they favor the Left’s goals, but rather that they presume — as most of our political debate does at the moment — that any self-respecting woman involving herself in the political process in the wake of Trump must necessarily be doing so for the sake of peddling the typical progressive action items. Any woman who isn’t willing to do so isn’t really an empowered woman at all.
This movement fails to account for the true diversity of female perspectives across the country.
This movement, then, can’t rightly be considered an uprising of America’s most passionate, inspiring women, because it fails to account for the true diversity of female perspectives across the country. A real pro-woman wave would acknowledge the existence of conservative women within the GOP who are disillusioned by a party that would embrace Trump and Roy Moore.
It would recognize that plenty of American women want our first female president to be a person of character rather than a corrupt lifelong politician who endangered Americans with her reckless handling of classified material and covered for her husband’s sexually abusive behavior to further her own quest for power.
If proponents of today’s brand of female empowerment actually wanted to represent American women, they wouldn’t hesitate to concede that social conservatives and feminists both sincerely disdain sexual abuse and can find common ground in the search for solutions. They would respect the fact that countless women have chosen to reject third-wave feminism in favor of a worldview that embraces unborn children and family as a path to fulfillment.
But the purported pro-woman agenda on offer at the moment acknowledges none of these women. At best, it whitewashes them out of existence. At worst, it calls them traitors to their entire gender. To embrace this faux women’s movement is to embrace nothing more than the pink flavor of the same radically left-wing ideology on offer everywhere else.
There’s no question that, for better or worse, we’re witnessing renewed female involvement in the political process. But given this uprising’s intense progressive bias, coupled with its ongoing rejection of conservative women, we shouldn’t look to it as a true representation of American women.