The conservative answer to feminism

Empowered Women is trying to alter those trends, starting with a written credo of what the women in the organization believe. The 13 vague, purposefully nonpartisan affirmations include assertions that the group’s members are “individuals who think and speak for ourselves” and who “live a fulfilled life, whatever that means to each of us.”…

“Seeing is the first step toward believing for many women,” says Kellyanne Conway, the president and CEO of the Polling Company Inc./Women Trend, a polling firm in Washington. “And for many women, to see that there’s even an alternative to the progressive, liberal orthodoxy that has every woman constantly thinking about abortion, contraception, being a victim of the patriarchy,” while at the same time showing “an alternative of fun, engaging accomplished women” helps send that message, she says…

A crucial component of reshaping the conversation around women will be defending against some Democrats’ claims that Republicans are anti-woman. That brand of liberal rhetoric backfired in last year’s midterms, Finn says, particularly in Colorado, where then-Sen. Mark Udall’s strategy of casting Republican challenger Cory Gardner as against reproductive rights—earning the former the nickname “Mark Uterus”—fell flat. Alternatively, Empowered Women seeks to expand the scope of women’s issues beyond abortion and contraception.

“That really looks at just a slice of a woman’s life: her ability to reproduce, her role, if she chooses, to be a mother,” says Leslie Bradshaw, a managing partner at digital product agency Made By Many and a member of Empowered Women’s New York City chapter. “It doesn’t look at the whole 360 of what it means to be a woman.”