By now, conservative women are used to women’s magazines ignoring their historic accomplishments. Being the first female to run a winning presidential campaign? Doesn’t count if your candidate is Donald Trump. Being the first group of women to lead the White House communications team? Hardly worth the ad revenue. Being the first woman to publicly file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News, opening the door for more women to say #MeToo? Negligible.
So when Glamour magazine announced its “2017 Women of the Year Awards,” it was hardly surprising that not a single conservative or Republican woman was represented. Instead, the list was packed with liberal celebrities and activists such as Samantha Bee, Rep. Maxine Waters, and the organizers of the Women’s March.
“With 37 years of public service under her belt, veteran lawmaker Representative Maxine Waters (D–Calif.) has long wielded her unapologetically laser-sharp tongue—surgical in its precision, devastating in its impact—in service of her progressive politics,” Glamour wrote of its decision to honor Waters with its “Lifetime Achievement” award. “When legislators propose policy that would turn back the clock on civil rights, dash progression on reproductive legislation, or take affordable housing away? There’s Waters, speaking truth to power.”
For Bee, it was her “attitude, coupled with her political commentary,” that earned her “The Late Night Hero” spot.
“Bee’s Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner event raised nearly $200,000 for the Committee to Protect Journalists, and her ‘Nasty Woman’ T-shirt raised more than $1 million for the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project of Los Angeles County,” Glamour wrote.
Last, but certainly not least, Glamour hailed the Women’s March organizers: “The Revolutionaries.” (Here, I must admit the title is fitting, considering how “revolutionary” it was to witness women excluding women from a “Women’s March.” But I digress.)
“From Washington D.C., to Charleston to Paris to Singapore, women gathered to express their rage that the white patriarchy had won again,” the magazine wrote. “But what these organizers did in the weeks and months following the march was the most breathtaking part. Since January 21, they have continued to protest against the Muslim travel ban and the NRA, and in favor of pay equity. Most of all, they are showing us how to lead in love.”
In all, Glamour honored 10 women at a splashy Brooklyn award show this week. No less than half were in part recognized for their advocacy on behalf of liberal causes. Of its decision to honor model Gigi Hadid as “The Supernova,” Glamour wrote: “[W]hile a previous generation of models typically kept quiet, Hadid, who studied criminal psychology for two years at New York City’s The New School before pursuing modeling full-time, understands the power of the audience she’s built and has spoken out about issues from gun control to human rights to women’s personal safety.”
To put it bluntly, the achievements of women such as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, U.N. Ambassador and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, and former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, were banished to the Burn Book. Their successes were too problematic to be noted in Glamour’s pages. Straight out of scene from “Mean Girls,” they’re told, “You can’t sit with us!”
Including Conservatives In the Conversation Is the Right Thing To Do
Bee, Hadid, the Women’s March organizers, and a handful of other women were woke enough—and had sufficiently skilled publicists—to win Glamour’s “Women of the Year.” But conservative women deserve to be heard and acknowledged, too. Truth be told, in today’s culture it requires far more courage to speak up as a conservative than it does to speak as a feel-good progressive—or a fashion model, at that. It might be hard to see from the skyscrapers of Conde Nast’s New York City headquarters, but for the rest of us Americans, it’s a fact of life.
Conservatives don’t have fancy magazine spreads to honor ourselves and let young girls know there’s another way to empower women.
It’s unclear if Glamour and the likes will ever open the gates to conservative women. But they would be wise to recognize the power of pairing the faces of the female-led White House press team alongside the faces of the Women’s March. They would also be wise to recognize that 2017 was Conway’s year, whether they personally like President Trump or not.
It wasn’t good luck that enabled Conway to become the first woman to run a winning presidential campaign. Her success was built on decades of hard work that began at 29, when she decided to compete in a male-dominated industry and started her own polling firm. Climbing to the top of her industry, then running a successful presidential campaign? She earned her spot in the history books.
Women’s magazines would also be wise to realize the #MeToo movement wouldn’t be the same without Carlson, a former Fox News anchor who dared to speak out before others did, too. The mainstream media ignored stories of sexual harassment and assault for years. Similarly, women’s media have developed a pattern of ignoring the voices and accomplishments of conservative women. In both cases, the narratives were too problematic, so they took the easy way out and ignored some basic, albeit very inconvenient truths.
“Disappearing” the accomplishments of women who have spent decades fighting for a seat at the table is shameful, and far from the “feminist” thing to do. When women’s magazines deny conservative women their hard-earned spot at the table, real feminists can only roll their eyes—or for some, roll in their graves.