If you want to know how out of touch progressives have become, look no further than Vogue magazine. In an article for the magazine published last week, contributing editor Michelle Ruiz asks this mind-numbingly obtuse question: “Why do white women keep voting for the GOP and against their own interests?” How, Ruiz wants to know, could women possibly vote for candidates who are “passionately pro-life” over candidates who are “staunch protector[s] of women’s reproductive rights”? Surely, Ruiz laments, all women ought to be in favor of “a right to health care, to choose what’s best for our bodies, [and] that our children should be safe at school” (in other words, abortion rights and gun control). Voting against these things, Ruiz says, is “unsisterly.”
While there were many thrilling, historic wins for progressive women and women of color in particular in the 2018 midterms, as well as data showing that some white women are peeling away from Trump, white women overall rendered more disappointment.https://t.co/Qz2xbmDeHu
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) November 8, 2018
Ruiz is not alone. An article for Vox calls white women’s support of GOP candidates a “betrayal” and declares that these women are voting in favor of “white supremacy, xenophobia, and misogyny.” Activist Rachel Cargle claims “white women are constantly choosing their whiteness over their womanhood” by voting Republican, and popular feminist author Mona Eltahawy says that “white women voters are the footsoldiers of white supremacist patriarchy.”
Oh please, spare me the “strong southern woman” shit. White women voters are the footsoldiers of white supremacist patriarchy. They submit to white supremacist patriarchy. Their votes show it again and again. https://t.co/iw18mHc1Zi
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) November 7, 2018
The complete and utter refusal of progressives to understand that there might be other legitimate viewpoints than their own would be fascinating if it wasn’t so infuriating. Do Vogue, and Vox, and Cargle, and Eltahawy, and countless others who share their views truly not understand that people might disagree with them? Do they really not know that some women believe that a pro-life stance (or support for the Second Amendment) is pro-woman? Or even that, for many women, a vagina isn’t actually their defining feature? It seems like they actually don’t understand this.
In her article, Ruiz tries to come up with reasons why white women would vote for GOP candidates. “Are they so invested in their own white privilege that they simply don’t care about other women? Are they parroting their Republican husbands and/or brainwashed by Fox & Friends?” Or are they simply “protecting their own power and status”? That’s it, according to Ruiz, those are the choices. White women are either uncaring evil trolls hell-bent on hoarding their own privilege and power, or they’re oppressed victims brainwashed by the patriarchy. Ruiz doesn’t even entertain a third option — doesn’t mention it in her article at all — that these women might just disagree. Tolerance, it seems, does not extend to those who think differently.
How has it come to this? How can Ruiz — and the editors of Vogue, and Vox, and so many other progressives across the country — not know that, for many women, abortion is not the ability “choose what’s best for our bodies,” but the ability to deny someone else his right to have a body? How can they not know that, for lots and lots of us, abortion is morally wrong? We aren’t voting to deny other women a basic fundamental right, we’re voting to protect the lives of the unborn innocent who can’t speak for themselves. We aren’t automatons, voting in lockstep, we are women — diverse, and varied, and capable of free and independent thought.
Progressives like Ruiz worry that women who vote Republican have been “brainwashed” by their husbands or news outlets that convey only right-wing views. This implies that there is at least the notion within the progressive camp that women ought not to vote blindly — “parroting” the opinions of others without thinking them through independently. But what are progressives doing, if not attempting to brainwash and intimidate women? How backward is it that the feminist movement is suggesting that all women must act the same, think the same, vote the same, and be the same?
Surely the ideology that purports to promote diversity, tolerance, and inclusion ought to understand that women are not all the same. Surely they can understand, even, that some women don’t identify solely as women when it comes to their vote — they are also human beings, community members, parents, and spouses. Any woman who finds herself allied to an ideological group that calls her “unsisterly,” or accuses her of “betrayal,” simply for holding a different viewpoint should be running for her life. Women (of all colors) have fought too hard and won too much to be forced back down now. You can call us all the names in the book, you can try to brainwash us into thinking that our votes are against our “own interests,” but we are smarter than that, stronger than that, braver than that. We are women. Don’t tell us what to think.