In the latest attack on Republican women, comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted out a video to promote her Netflix show mocking White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ looks. The video spoofs Sanders providing a make-up tutorial, and includes a joke that President Donald Trump asked a Sephora employee to turn Sanders into a woman.
This mean-spirited ad is from the same comedian who holds herself up as a champion of the women’s empowerment movement, for example, by leading the Women’s March in Park City, Utah last January.
Handler could have criticized Sanders’ politics or policy positions. Instead, she promoted an attack on the White House Press Secretary suggesting she is not a woman. The attack shows how liberals often see conservative women—as not fully developed women at all.
Handler’s approach to confronting a woman with right-of-center views isn’t an outlier. In October, Democrat Steve Krieg used a similar tactic when attacking Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York in his effort to unseat her:
But Elise, I recognize her, I’m not going to say as a little girl, I recognize her as a child. And it has nothing to do with her age. I see her as a child because she’s a child. She thinks like a child. She has people set things up for her, she has people put their words in her mouth and she happily repeats them. And I think recognizing her, I would go after her in that way. And I apologize if that’s mean but that’s how I would do it.
Stefanik is a Harvard graduate and the youngest woman elected to Congress. But to her Democrat challenger, she is a child. Why? Because she holds Republican views. And thus, to this Democrat, there is no way she is a fully formed adult woman capable of choosing her own positions.
Prominent figures on the Left get a free pass with this line of reasoning, even the most powerful female voices.
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, for example, claimed that women who voted against her were bullied by men. And Former First Lady Michelle Obama told an audience that, “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.”
Conservative women are used to facing criticism that includes claims they aren’t educated or their minds aren’t fully formed.
Such views imply that women aren’t capable of evaluating policy positions. But women can and do choose to be conservative and vote Republican. They do so for a number of reasons and based on a number of issues. Whether it is advocating for the repeal of regulations to boost the economy or health care reform, women support conservative public policies because they believe such plans are best for America. And they choose their policy views independently.
It is time for modern-day self-proclaimed feminists to recognize that part of the success of the true feminist movement in this country is that women are empowered to think for themselves—and that means that they won’t all think or vote the same.
Disagreement is a sign of women’s advancement. As much as Hillary Clinton’s supporters viewed her defeat as a failure of feminism, in many ways it was a sign of how far we have come. Women vote based on issues, not on whether the candidate is male or female.
Conservative women aren’t men dressed up as women. Conservative women aren’t children. Conservative women aren’t victims bullied into voting a certain way by men.
Conservative women are women too.