Green Room

Confessions of a Conservative Woman

posted at 6:55 am on May 25, 2012 by

I guess it’s time for women to duck and cover, at least according to the mainstream media. For months now, left leaning news sources and politicians have been preaching the existence of the GOP’s “War on Women.” In actuality, it’s nothing but a blatant attempt to pander to women voters. Under the liberal version of “war,” Republicans have been busy targeting women by “denying” us free birth control, aiming to restrict abortion, and defunding Planned Parenthood. However, if that’s what war means these days, then call me a pacifist. Fighting against a socially liberal agenda isn’t exactly the textbook definition of war. However, that does not mean there isn’t another version of “war” going on in our society against women. The real “War on Women” is a horse of a different color, and it’s not coming from the GOP.

As a woman in the United States, I do see a partly unintentional cultural war on my gender everywhere I turn. However, this isn’t one orchestrated by the Romney campaign. It’s one that’s deeply embedded in our culture and fueled by the media itself, the entity which often claims to champion “women’s rights.” I can’t walk through Target anymore without being bombarded with sleek magazine covers of airbrushed women who represent our cultural expression of beauty. Magazines and television shows subliminally say to women that we are not beautiful if we don’t meet the impossible standards set by our culture. They say, “You’re not pretty enough, buy this makeup,” or “you’re not thin enough, lose 20 pounds.” In short, they’re saying “you’re not perfect enough.”

I’m sick of hearing from Cosmopolitan that I’m not beautiful or thin enough. It’s insulting and degrading. Sure, the media also places standards upon men, but they are far less restrictive. In magazines and television everywhere, women face an onslaught of superficially-based warfare.

While there has been significant pushback against the plethora of airbrushing and superficial standards for women in our culture today, it’s still present. The long term effects of these standards still weigh heavily upon women. We are told by the shiny magazine covers that we must be perfect, thin, and beautiful to be “accepted” in society. As women everywhere try to achieve these standards, we constantly come short because we are seeking something we will never achieve. The “perfect” body, face, etc. is an impossible-to-attain social construct. As a result, thousands of women struggle daily with body issues, low self-esteem, and even eating disorders. Additionally, when the image of female perfection is so superficial, women are often not taken seriously because our worth is appearance-based.

In short, “beauty” is synonymous with “ability.” I can say for a fact that it is much easier to succeed as a woman if you are considered attractive. It should not be that way. This is a symbolic statement that says women should be judged based on appearance, not merit or character. America is supposed to be a meritocracy, not a nation where image is somehow a golden ticket for success.

iving as a conservative woman in the United States is even more difficult. While the National Organization for Women (NOW) will charge into battle for liberal women like Sandra Fluke or causes like abortion and birth control, they remain silent in the face of blatant attacks on conservative women. Recently, a video emerged of union members hitting a piñata with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s face on it because of her unease with the labor movement. NOW and other feminist groups had nothing to say on the issue. Talk about being warriors for women’s rights, huh? Then, a sexually explicit photoshopped image of conservative pundit S.E. Cupp appeared in Hustler Magazine, bashing her for her “dumb ideas” such as defunding Planned Parenthood. Hustler publisher Larry Flynt responded to the wave of complaints by defending the article and saying, “that’s satire.” Again, from feminist organizations: nothing. At least several liberal women such as Sandra Fluke have come out in S.E. Cupp’s defense. Conservative women like S.E. Cupp, Nikki Haley, and myself do not receive a defense from feminist organizations (not that we need it anyway) simply because of our political stances. It is an example of another liberal double standard. NOW and other liberal women’s groups are liberal ideologues who are pursuing a liberal agenda under the guise of gender equality.

For liberal women’s groups, the answer to the “War on Women” is taking legislative and political action to support Planned Parenthood, extend abortion, increase the distribution of birth control, etc. Once again, if that’s their weapon of choice, I don’t plan on carrying anytime soon. However, for all women, not just conservative women, there is another solution to the cultural assault on women’s images and the lack of a liberal defense. We need to be the women who are so often neglected in the media: real women. We need to be women of character who hold family values while still fighting for respect from the media. We need to be examples for our sisters, friends, and children. Gender should not determine our place in society.

Culture changes slowly, but it does change. That change begins with us. Our place should be determined not based upon the media’s impossible standards or a liberal feminist ideology. It should depend on merit. I am beautiful, but not because the media tells me I am. I’m beautiful because I value myself no matter who tells me otherwise. I’m a woman, I’m conservative, and I will not take this anymore.

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Excellent! “I’m a woman, I’m conservative, and I will not take this anymore!!!”

lovingmyUSA on May 25, 2012 at 7:29 AM

Amy, so good to see another conservative woman speaking out! I have a reflexively angry reaction to the silence that greets conservative women when they are demeaned.

I can’t stand David Axelrod, who uses women to advance an agenda that not all women agree with.

Liberals have no idea how they’ve awakened a “sleeping giant” in conservative women with this “war on women” malarkey.

Libby Sternberg on May 25, 2012 at 8:23 AM

In short, “beauty” is synonymous with “ability.” I can say for a fact that it is much easier to succeed as a woman if you are considered attractive. It should not be that way. This is a symbolic statement that says women should be judged based on appearance, not merit or character. America is supposed to be a meritocracy, not a nation where image is somehow a golden ticket for success.

Conversely, attacks on women often include (or consist solely of) some variant of the charge “..and she’s ugggggly!!”
This tactic, which is seldom or never directed to men, is used by individuals on both sides.
Judging the merit of women by appearance rather than merit appears to be one of the few bi-partisan areas of agreement in American politics.

AesopFan on May 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Physical beauty has been celebrated from the time of the Egyptians, so to rail against manifestations of it is too Don Quixote. The liberal “war on women” would have us be slaves to our sexual proclivities without regard to the deleterious effect is has on us and our daughters. The push for abortion and free birth control says that we are nothing more than our basest desires and that we are no more worthy of respect than rutting animals. Women’s liberation meant nothing more than the freedom to be sluts, but by all means, let’s feel good about ourselves while we do it. The real war on women started the minute we decided that the only meaning behind physical beauty is the effect it has on someone else’s desire to have sex with us.

College Prof on May 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Great post Amy, I loved it.

As a recovering democrat, it was my lesson to learn the hard way that dems exploit women. They come around when they have a use for us, get what they want through threats and promises, browbeating, menace and peer pressure, and then drop you. Until next time.

perries on May 25, 2012 at 10:34 AM

“Quit yer whining, woman, or I’ll publish a photoshopped pic with a male member in your mouth, too.”

/LarryFlynt

The real war on women started the minute we decided that the only meaning behind physical beauty is the effect it has on someone else’s desire to have sex with us.

College Prof on May 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM

I suspect there’s a lot of truth to that statement.

JimLennon on May 25, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Every day I am thankful that my daughter internalized all the lessons she was taught through word and deed.

She is 16 and has no interest in boys, persues her own interests, doesn’t care what other ppl think of how she looks, dresses, etc, but does take responsible steps to stay healthy.

We talk often and she lets me know how she might be in a relationship ‘someday’ but that lucky individual will have to pass some pretty rigourous verbal and ideological discussions/debates prior to her approval.

She is a liberal’s nightmare, but I believe she will weather the storm of scorn and hate she will face in the real world, especially since there are (I believe) increasing numbers of ‘real’ women who are sick and tired of the box that the left says they have to live in to be a ‘real womyn’.

And she has informed me that she doesn’t need a mate to be happy, and that there are ‘plenty of abandoned children that need a loving mom’ out there for her to care for should she ever have the urge for a child in her life.

She is proof that with involved and supportive parents who point out the BS of daily propoganda, a girl can mature into a secure and self-sufficient woman without having government or another individual ‘support’ them.

Just the two cents of a proud conservative dad.

majordomomojo on May 25, 2012 at 10:47 AM

This is all fine and dandy, ladies; but do me a favor. When your husband says you’re hot, TAKE HIS FREAKING WORD FOR IT!!!!

As a conservative man – heck, as a man – I am sick to death of telling my wife I think she’s the cat’s meow, only to be told in very subtle ways that I’m either lying or delusional.

CurtZHP on May 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM

I am sick to death of telling my wife I think she’s the cat’s meow, only to be told in very subtle ways that I’m either lying or delusional.
CurtZHP on May 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM

I am no expert, but I believe “you are hot” is a compliment most women are incapable of accepting without appearing (to whom, I don’t know) conceited. My wife typically smiles and shoots back with something along the lines of “I appreciate your nearsightedness” or “Your meds must not have kicked in yet.” (Both only slightly true.)

It was not always so. I explained to her early in our relationship that I thought she was beautiful and if she didn’t agree that was her right, but I wouldn’t back down. Ever. So she stopped denying it and she stopped insulting me for paying her a compliment.

stevehorth on May 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I hate to say it but is not just women that face society’s message of “you’re not perfect.” Men face it too. You’re not perfect if you don’t have that car, that body, that woman, etc.

Conservative Samizdat on May 25, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Growing up, I was skinny and ugly and shy and had terrible teeth and no one had trouble telling me so – although I’m a man. I dealt with it. Never let it get me down. By the grace of God, I have filled out and started looking pretty darn good. Thanks to lots of hard construction work, I have muscles that show through my shirt, a really hot tan, and a confident swagger. Now girls chase me, especially since my wife put a ring on it. Guess what? Either way, your feelings about yourself are your decision. Women as well as men need to suck it up and stop letting other people’s opinions of them matter so much. Today I don’t really care what hot girls think of me and their flirting doesn’t do much for me because I remember the raw rejection they used to give me when I was the ugly duckling. Who wants to be part of that world?

JoseQuinones on May 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I suspect — and really hope — this election is the rise of the conservative woman. They have been persecuted nonstop these past 3 years.

John the Libertarian on May 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

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Allahpundit on May 25, 2012 at 7:17 PM

FYI:

“A person’s physical attractiveness — the look that they’re basically born with — impacts every individual literally from birth to death,” says Dr. Gordon Patzer, dean of the College of Business Administration at Roosevelt University. He’s spent 30 years studying and writing about physical attractiveness. “People are valued more who are higher in physical attractiveness. As distasteful at that might be, that’s the reality.”

MSNBC -2004

socalcon on May 26, 2012 at 1:09 AM