It can be tough to be a conservative woman on a liberal campus, but organizations like the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) are doing their part to change things.
Last month, the George Washington University chapter of the NeW hosted a panel entitled “Conservative Women: Fighting Feminism On Campuses and Beyond” featuring NeW Founder and President Karin Agness Lips, Emily Jashinsky of the Washington Examiner, and Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women’s Forum.
Each of the three panelists shared stories from their personal experiences as both a conservative and a woman on college campuses, as well as in their careers. They discussed a myriad of topics — everything from feminist literature to scandals rocking Hollywood, focusing on the trajectory of the feminist movement, and its exclusionary nature.
“The feminist movement has so tarnished its own brand that less than a quarter of American women identify as feminist,” NeW’s president told the young women in attendance.
Lips lamented that so many look to attack other ideologies, instead of having rational conversations and asking questions.
Jashinsky, a graduate of GWU, advised attendees to read feminist literature that they may not agree with, and to engage others who may be open to discussing other viewpoints. Hard partisans are unlikely to be converted, but activists can make headway if they “engage the disinterested.”
Gunlock discussed her experience as a conservative woman and noted how strong, conservative women are often unfairly portrayed throughout the media and in popular culture.
The audience was full of both young men and women, eager to ask questions of the panelists. The questions included a range of topics from current events, such as the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the Boy Scouts of America’s recent announcement, to how to stay confident and level-headed when facing adversity in the workplace as a woman.
Altogether, the panel about fighting feminism on campus did exactly that at the campus of GWU.
NeW educates young women on conservative ideas, cultivates a community in which to discuss and strengthen these ideas, and emboldens young women to speak out on campus and in their communities. They expand intellectual diversity at universities by empowering conservative women to stand up for their beliefs. NeW is educating and training the next generation of conservative women leaders.
Mia Wright, a Senior, is the President of NeW at George Washington University. Lauren Wagner, a Freshman, is the Freshman Representative of NeW at George Washington University.