Are conservative women really women at all?
Not if you ask Marie Claire, the latest women’s lifestyle publication to whitewash women who don’t march in lockstep with progressive orthodoxy. In anticipation of today’s midterm elections, the website published a piece entitled “50 Influential Women on Why They’re Voting in the 2018 Midterm Elections.” From the introduction to the piece:
Marie Claire asked 50 influential women—celebrities, politicians, business leaders, and activists—to share their personal “why” with us. Their reasons for casting a ballot in the 2018 midterm elections are as diverse and varied as they are: a single-issue, a certain value, a specific person.
But the women on the list are not, in fact, “diverse and varied” at all — at least, not when it comes to their political views. We could call it lopsided, but that would imply that there are at least some conservative women on one side of the scale. Spoiler: There aren’t. You wouldn’t know it from the title, but “women” here means “women who have opened their eyes to Reality and embraced the Resistance as the means of True Female Fulfillment.” In other words: Conservative, and especially pro-life women, might as well not exist.
And this author, along with many of her fellow progressives, evidently would prefer it if we didn’t. For instance, the list includes seven female Democratic politicians offering various brands of platitude — “Voting is how we make sure this country works for the people,” Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren instructs — but not a single female Republican politician makes the cut.
The piece includes comments from former California senator Barbara Boxer, current California senator Kamala Harris, and New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, but moderate Republican Susan Collins and conservative Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) are nowhere to be found. Hillary Clinton, of course, leads the list, while Indian-American U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and the first female African-American secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, are snubbed.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that noted intellect, insists that voting is imperative: “We need improved Medicare for all because healthcare should be a human right that no one has to go bankrupt to pay for.” Asian-American Republican Elizabeth Heng — who’s challenging an entrenched Democratic congressman in California, and whose campaign ads have been blocked by Twitter and Facebook — was overlooked, as she has been all cycle.
The list features the presidents of abortion-advocacy groups: Planned Parenthood’s Leana Wen, NARAL’s Ilyse Hogue, and EMILY’s List’s Stephanie Schriock. There’s no sign of a single anti-abortion woman, despite the prominence of pro-life advocacy-group presidents such as Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser, Live Action’s Lila Rose, and March for Life’s Jeanne Mancini.
Several gun-control activists appear on the list, but female proponents of gun rights — prominent right-wing commentators such as Dana Loesch and Katie Pavlich — are ignored. The list contains an assortment of largely redundant celebrity activists, including progressive women I’ve never heard of, but ignores Kellyanne Conway, who, like it or not, is the first victorious female presidential campaign manager in U.S. history. There are multiple Black Lives Matter activists, several fashion designers, and liberal media figures such as Katie Couric, but no Meghan McCain, Shannon Bream, or Laura Ingraham.
If you form your impressions of prominent female leaders based on media coverage, you’d be forgiven for thinking that conservative women don’t exist at all. It’s indicative of a harsh, disturbing reality: Much of the media and commentary culture would prefer that we didn’t. Republican, conservative, and pro-life women are routinely ignored, in ways large and small. Consider how the breathless coverage of this year’s “female wave” against Donald Trump and the GOP has erased or even attacked the women whose opinions don’t line up with the entire progressive agenda.
Marie Claire’s List of (Liberal) Women is one symptom of a wider problem, of a “women’s movement” that speaks for all women even as it fails to acknowledge so many of us. This movement doesn’t represent women, and doesn’t care to.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post identified Rice as the first African-American secretary of state.