Michelle Obama believes the 42 percent of women and 53 percent of white women who voted against Hillary Clinton only did so because someone—presumably our patriarchs—told us to.
“Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their [sic] own voice,” the former first lady declared, speaking at a conference in Boston. Believe it or not, the pomposity only got worse from there.
“What does it mean for us as women that we look at those two candidates, as women, and many of us said, that guy, he’s better for me, his voice is more true to me,” Obama said. “Well, to me that just says you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like,” she continued, apparently unaware of the cognitive dissonance evident in telling 125 million adult women what they must think about a presidential candidate while simultaneously encouraging them to find their own voices.
The Stockholm Syndrome trope as applied to conservative women is not a new one. Apparently, according to the Left, not only are grown-up women incapable of telling a handsy college boy “no,” we’re also incapable of formulating our own political opinions—that is, if the conclusions we come to aren’t in lockstep with the Democratic agenda. But imagining that women on the Right are mere sock puppets for their husbands, sons, and fathers is a crucial illusion for an ideology that has constructed a political paradigm entirely upon identity.
The Left Is Afraid of Free Individuals
If their worldview is too fragile to bear the weight of problematic women like Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, or Theresa May, it’s because it posits that a person’s race, class, and gender determine his or her outlook. Because leftism recognizes only the collective, women who believe in limited government, traditional gender roles, or the pro-life cause are dangerous cracks in the shield against the patriarchy.
When they confront a woman who sees herself as an individual, rather than primarily a member of the female tribe, leftists like Mrs. Obama short-circuit and have to resort to the condescending conclusion that conservative women must not really be the masters of their own fates. Like 2017’s favorite metaphor, “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” Serena Joy, they must have unwittingly become the enforcers of their own “oppression.” Conveniently, this “logic” doesn’t extend to left-wing men, who are not considered self-hating for being on the minority side of their own sex’s voting gap.
As the Left likes to chant but apparently can’t absorb, women are people. There will never be a single political ideology that represents millions of American women with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. This seems like an obvious truth to anyone with a modicum of common sense, but common sense is far from common these days. For the Left, female diversity—not just in party registration but in life choices—is a problem to be solved.
Vote With Your Genitals, Not Your Brains
“As a white woman, I personally find this [lack of a unanimous female vote] to be extremely disappointing,” laments Lauren Levinson on the popular fashion and beauty site PopSugar. “No matter what your stance on the economy, foreign policy, or other issues, we women must rally together to elect a candidate in 2020 who openly respects our gender, takes sexual assault seriously (and hasn’t been accused of it), and will actively campaign on behalf of women’s rights, be it the choice to have an abortion or equal pay.”
Levinson’s suggestion sounds eerily like the “compromises” Democrats offer to spineless Republicans in Congress: just agree with everything we want, and we’ve got a deal! Whether it comes from a women’s magazine or the former first lady, the implication is that success looks the same for all women, when the reality is that we have vastly divergent visions for where both ourselves and the country ought to go.
As much as we wake up every morning hating to disappoint PopSugar, conservative women across America aren’t interested in that offer. We’ll continue to raise our own voices for the principles we believe in, even if they aren’t in concert with the message Mrs. Obama, beauty columnists, and virtually the entire press corps tells us we must like. Sometimes our husbands even let us out of the kitchen long enough to vote.