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January 27 2020

Women's Magazines Completely Ignore Conservative Women

via Washington Examiner
by Karin Lips

InStyle has announced its “Badass 50 2020: Meet the women who are changing the world” list. In addition to people such as actress Dakota Johnson, Today co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, and country singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves, the list includes three legislators: Nancy Pelosi, Katie Porter, and Deb Butler. All three are Democrats.

InStyle didn’t include one elected Republican politician. Why? It’s not that Republicans don’t have “badass” women among them. Think about Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona. She was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat. You don’t get more “badass” than that. But because she isn’t a Democrat, she didn’t make the cut.

If women’s magazines truly want to celebrate women in 2020, they should acknowledge women on the other side of the political spectrum for their good work too. This is what the women’s movement is missing, and that includes women’s magazines. They would help themselves if they recognized that while everyone in the magazine's editorial board meeting may be on the liberal Left, its readers are more ideologically diverse.

If this were just one magazine list, it might not matter much. But InStyle’s list follows a familiar script of women’s magazines coming up with lists of top women that feature only leaders of liberal causes while excluding similarly active and impressive conservative women.

Glamour’s 2019 Women of the Year winners included women such as climate activist Greta Thunberg and World Cup star and equal pay champion Megan Rapinoe.

Teen Vogue’s 2019 “21 under 21” list included “gun control crusader” Arielle Geismar, “future president” Isra Hirsi (co-executive director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike), and “climate champion” Xiye Bastida. There was no obvious advocate of a conservative cause.

It’s not just women’s magazines. This is a pattern on the Left. Let’s not forget one of the biggest transgressions of 2019 — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea Clinton’s The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience. The book features more than 100 “gutsy” women.

When asked on a British radio show why Margaret Thatcher was not included, Hillary Clinton replied, "But she doesn’t fit the other part of the definition, in our opinion, which really is knocking down barriers for others and trying to make a positive difference. I think the record is mixed with her.” In other words, you can’t be a gutsy woman unless you support the same leftist political agenda.

Women should celebrate each other for the thinking human beings we are, not exclude women who don’t march in lockstep with one side — the liberal side. True empowerment for women includes freedom of thought, which means that not all women are going to think the same. Recognizing and respecting intellectual diversity is a signal of empowerment of women and what the women’s movement needs in 2020.

When women’s magazines claim to represent all women but praise and prop up only one set of ideas, they send the message that only those views are valid. Glamour, for example, has a global print readership of 15.6 million monthly readers and 40.9 million unique digital users. These magazines are powerful in part because they aren’t supposed to be political. When a young woman casually picks up or scrolls through InStyleGlamour, or Teen Vogue in a waiting room or at the airport to look at the latest fashion trends, she likely isn’t on guard against one-sided political promotion. That’s what makes them so successful.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. Women have achieved much since 1920. In the last presidential election, a woman was at the top of a major party ticket. We have tremendously successful businesswomen and leaders in this country. But one thing we haven’t achieved yet is a women’s movement that respects women across the political spectrum.

If women’s magazines want to advance women, they can do so by leading the way and recognizing some conservative women on their lists too.

Karin Lips (@klips) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is the founder and president of the Network of enlightened Women as well as a senior fellow with the Independent Women's Forum.





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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