Don’t Hate Glamour for Reporting on Conservative Women
Sneering at those willing to step out of their bubble is not constructive
Iron Ladies’ most recent Collection contained a link to an article in Glamour Magazine exploring the views of conservative women attending the Network for Enlightened Women National Conference (called NeW). Samantha Leach, 24, attended the conference and spoke to several women to find out what they believe about feminism. Leach readily admits her liberal bias, and freely acknowledges she hadn’t the faintest clue what conservative women were like. “This wasn’t a room I ever thought I’d find myself in, and my preconceived notions ran rampant,” she wrote. She wore pearls because she thought she’d blend in better, only to discover nobody else was wearing pearls. Some attendees sported dreadlocks, and even a nose ring or two.
This young journalist did something admirable here: she confessed her bubble, and confessing your bubble is the first step toward allowing yourself to hear viewpoints you disagree with, which is what she happened to do at NeW. Heck, she even got introduced to the fine cuisine of Chick-fil-a. She was calmly exposed in face to face dialogue to such conservative opinions as, “I want equality of opportunity, and they want equality of outcome;” “I understand women want the right to do whatever they want with their body, but if it’s at the cost of another’s life… then I [want abortion] to be illegal;” and “I think being pro-woman shouldn’t be, and isn’t, a partisan issue.” Those are vanilla mantras to entrenched conservatives, but to a 24 year old writer at Glamour? Those are lines that might’ve passed through her ears many times prior, but this time, it seems, she actually heard them as novel and worth thinking about.
After sharing her discovery that conservative women “can be woke as hell,” Leach concluded with this:
“There are definitely some issues — abortion in particular — that we’re never going to see eye-to-eye on, but I gained a deeper sympathy for how isolated from other women they sometimes feel and how they’re without established female icons in their party. And yet they do persist as vocal champions of their beliefs… Before the conference, I never really thought about wanting more Republican women in positions of power; I only focused on what was happening on the left. Now having met these women, and witnessing how tough-as-nails they are, I’ve never been more confident that the future of the Republican party is female — and in that way, they have my support.”
Enter Faith Moore of PJMedia, who decides it would be worthwhile to rip Leach a new one for deigning to have a dialogue with conservative women while starting with liberal premises…because, you know, she’s a liberal. According to Moore, Leach was only at the conference to “deride and make fun of women whose viewpoint differs from hers.”
Moore writes in an ironically condescending tone: “She paints herself the enlightened “feminist” coming down from on high to mingle with the poor, sad, unenlightened ‘non-feminists.’” Ridiculing Leach’s “tone of wide-eyed discovery,” she then asserts that the young journalist’s claim that she understands conservative women “laughable “— never mind the fact that Leach never went so far as to say she totally got everything about conservatism, but simply wrote that she felt some sympathy for them in some ways. Nevertheless, Moore continues to mock Leach’s obvious leftist perspective on women’s issues, including on the gender pay gap and the Trump presidency, which Leach wholly appropriately inserted into her piece of leftist opinion journalism (no, it’s a thing. I checked).
No seriously. Moore is mocking Leach for 1) Being a leftist 2) Leaving the comfort and security of her liberal bubble and 3) writing leftist things in a leftist outlet. Basically Moore’s whole spiel is, Wow, can you believe this Leach girl? How can she, like, BE a liberal and hang out with conservatives for a day? The nerve!
Moore’s sneer piece was totally unconstructive. What’s her goal here, besides getting like-minded readers to sneer along with her? Isn’t that what she’s accusing Leach of doing? Does Moore imagine that Leach, after reading her hit piece, would be more or less inclined to visit with “the natives” again?
It is this kind of “red meat” conservative media content that drives wandering left-leaning people back into their tribal village. It does not promote greater understanding of anything at all and it just makes inter-ideology dialogue harder. So here’s some free advice: when deciding what to write and how to write it, think about how it might be received by people you eventually hope will be persuaded to your point of view. Or are you only interested in vanquishing enemies over persuading new friends?