Clare catches up with Carly Fiorina today after writing a piece in February about her exit from the presidential race and her role in carrying the banner of conservative feminism. Clare’s new piece focuses on the conundrum that many Republican women face in the general election: Vote for Trump, who has a long record of sexist statements and behavior, or vote for Clinton, who supports a progressive worldview and set of policies they disagree with—and who, they believe, tries to co-opt feminism only for the political left. Here’s Clare:
The crux of [Fiorina’s] argument is that Clinton deploys feminism as a political weapon in a way that hurts women. “Feminism is no longer a term that’s used to enable or empower women,” Fiorina said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. “It turns out to be in so many people’s eyes, in Hillary Clinton’s eyes, kind of a way to bludgeon people into a left-wing litany of causes.” In Fiorina’s telling, liberal feminism has devolved into a noxious political correctness. It is an ideology rooted in partisanship that liberals wield to discredit anyone who disagrees with their agenda—an identity politics that does more to divide than unite.
A reader dissents, followed by a few counterpoints:
There is no such thing as a conservative feminist. If you’re a feminist, it means you want women to have the same rights and opportunities that men do. But if you’re a conservative, it means you want to want men to have all the advantages. Why do conservatives oppose abortion rights, birth control, and equal pay laws? Because they want to exert control over women.
Conservatives should really be called regressives. They want to take us back to the 1950s where women stayed home, cooked and cleaned, and only had sex to produce babies. When Trump talked about punishing women for having abortions, conservatives were upset because he said out loud what many of them say in private. How can you want to make abortion illegal, but not want to punish women who commit what you call murder? Trump has done a great service: On so many issues, he’s exposed the Republican party for what it really is.
Now having said that, Hillary Clinton isn’t exactly a great role model for women either. What does it say about America that of all the female governors, senators, etc. who would make good Presidential candidates, we nominate the one who was married to a former President? I guess the message to little girls is “you too can grow up to be President. Just make sure your husband was one first.”