Republican Party: Where Are All the Women?


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Christina Dobbek, Opinions Editor

When people think of female Republicans or conservatives, they might think of Sarah Palin or Megyn Kelly and then pause, struggling to think of any more. In the modern world, it’s not difficult to think of countless Democratic or liberal women: there’s Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Michelle Obama, Ilhan Omar and so on. There is clearly no shortage of female role models for young Democrats and liberals.

And contrary to popular belief, there is no shortage of conservative women in the United States. While more women vote for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates, the percentage voting for Republicans is not small.

According to the Center for the American Woman and Politics, 41 percent of women voted for Donald Trump in 2016, 44 percent of women voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and 56 percent of women voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984.

So if there is a large of a portion of women  voting for Republican candidates, why are there so few conservative women in Congress?

According to the Center for the American Woman and Politics, there are currently eight Republican women in the Senate and 13 in the House of Representatives. I honestly couldn’t tell you why this disparity exists, but it has a huge impact on the perception of the Republican party and the conservative movement.

To be clear, I couldn’t care less about the demographics of Congress, but I do care about the impact that demographics have on the perception of the different sides of political spectrum.

Some people think that the lack of gender diversity in the Republican Party in Congress is a consequence of sexism, but I don’t see that as an overarching issue in the party.

One of the major impacts that I see on having a lack of gender diversity in the Republican Party, however, is the fact that girls have so few female role models to look up to with conservative ideals. My political role models on the conservative side, for example, are mostly men including Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, Ronald Reagan, Dennis Prager, Ted Cruz and Thomas Sowell.

There are so many conservative male politicians and political commentators that I have the luxury of choosing my favorites from the large pool. For women, however, it is a bit more difficult. Since there are so few women speaking out for conservatism, the only female in the political sphere I truly look up to is Nikki Haley.

As much as I wish there were more female role models in politics for girls like me to look up to, I do not consider this disparity an injustice.

In terms of achieving equality between the sexes, all I care about is women having the opportunity to create change in government if they choose to do so. Many women don’t want to run for positions of public office. Some women want to be doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, psychologists or mothers.

I don’t believe that men are incapable of representing women. People are capable of representing people. Sure, the different sexes have different viewpoints and experiences, but no one person’s viewpoints and perspectives are the same as the person sitting next to them.

I do, however, hope that little girls don’t grow up with the same problem that I had finding someone like them to look up to especially now with the worsening political climate. If more women don’t make their way into the Republican Party, girls like me might feel isolated and confused.

It is important for strong conservative women to step up and become the role models that girls like me have been looking for.