Conservative Women Are Used to Unequal Treatment. We’re Successful in Spite of It.

As a conservative woman, last month’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings were difficult to watch. The favoritism shown to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and the contrast between her hearings and those of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s, exacerbated years of frustration felt by many conservative women.

Numerous headlines featured Democrats angry at Republicans’ treatment of Judge Jackson because she was asked about her record of lenient sentences for child pornography offenders as well as her views on Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project. Op-ed writers expressed outrage at what was perceived as partisan Republican attempts to score political points or appease crazy evangelical constituents.

As I watched the hearing unfold, my mind went to the fall of 2020 when I was a senior at the University of Notre Dame. After Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame graduate and Catholic mother of seven, was nominated to the Supreme Court, I expected our campus community to greet the news with excitement and honor, despite the politics surrounding it.

Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 13, 2020.
Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 13, 2020.

I was wrong. My classmates organized a massive student protest, joining faculty members in denouncing Barrett’s nomination and arguing that Barrett was unfit to serve on the nation’s highest court.

The Constitution won’t interpret itself. Ketanji Brown Jackson owes us an answer on her judicial philosophy.

Why? Because of the ammunition they found in mainstream news headlines.

Let’s look over the main talking points: Barrett had ties to a Handmaid’s-Tale-like-Christian group. She wanted to overthrow Roe v. Wade and force all women to have babies. She was a religious bigot who would use the Supreme Court to push her “radical” agenda. She probably adopted her children from Haiti as a colonizer, and she had a large family just to show off.

Barrett’s parenting choices were criticized. Yet, people wept last week when Jackson apologized to her two daughters for her time spent away from them.


Interviewing students for the campus newspaper, it seemed that many of my peers had bought into the firestorm of attacks against Barrett and become ardent apostles of the narratives. Suddenly, something that could have united us as a campus (a ascending to the highest court in the land) had become divisive and hateful.

Why was Barrett treated differently? For the same reason Joe Biden and other Democrats filibustered the nomination of 

Brown was a single Black mother who grew up in rural, segregated Alabama and overcame poverty to become a “self-made African American legal star.” You would think Democrats and feminists would have cheered her on.

Yet in 2005, after Bush resubmitted Brown’s nomination, Biden voted against her. And when Brown was on Bush’s shortlist to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and would have been the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Biden again on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Why? Because Brown was an outspoken conservative.

Abortion felt like an excuse to avoid helping. 

Biblical courage: 

Conservative women have known for years that because they do not fit the narrow definition of liberal feminism they’ll be Just look at the case of pro-life feminists, who have been told that they have

Amidst the praise and celebration of Judge Jackson that Justice Barrett was denied, celebrating countless leftist women ignore the contributions of the many qualified conservative women.

I commend the various women of the year lists that uplift women who champion human rights. But what about the women who are on the frontlines of the abortion debate – the greatest human rights debate of our century? What about women like Lila Rose, who founded Live Action at the age of 15? Her organization educates women on the as well as the cruelty of abortion.

What about women like Kathleen Wilson, founder of a pro-life maternity home who quietly works to support women in crisis? Her work with in Fredericksburg, Virginia, stands in stark contrast to places like Planned Parenthood.

“We don’t say, ‘when your baby’s born, you have to go,’” she told the Daily Signal, 

“As a conservative woman, you know you’re not going to get the glowing profile so said Dana Perino, co-anchor of FOX News Channel’s morning news program “America’s Newsroom” and co-host of FOX’s “The Five.”

In a written statement that Perino sent to me, she emphasized that conservative women shouldn’t dwell on their unequal treatment. Perino said that reading Peggy Noonan’s as a Capitol Hill staffer 25 years ago, helped her to realize that her own thinking and approach to policy issues was conservative – and that was OK.

“Since then, I have watched as numerous women in conservative or Republican circles – the most successful ones – got on with their careers and didn’t dwell on not being celebrated in women’s magazines,” Perino said. “That wasn’t the validation they were looking for or that they needed.”

This can’t happen again: 

America is wallowing in political silly season: 

Perino pointed to the media’s poor treatment of Melania Trump. As First Lady, she was often snubbed by outlets that now heap praise on women in the Biden administration. – a space Melania never occupied as First Lady.

The media certainly were no friend to former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Yet, journalists now fawn over Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who was Psaki to work for MSNBC.

“When Psaki first appeared in the press briefing room, in January 2021,” Psaki’s Vogue feature read, “there was a collective swoon from roughly half the country.”

In a slightly less favorable review, a Vogue article labelled McEnany a 

According to McEnany, Republican women should expect this unfair treatment because “no matter what Republican administration it is, 

Take a woman who should have been praised by feminists for being the Instead, she was trailed by nasty commentary wherever she went, often about her physical appearance.

Last year, Winsome Sears, a Black Marine corps veteran, in Virginia. Sears’ disavowal of Critical Race Theory and her pro-life views practically guarantee that she will never be praised for this accomplishment the way that a progressive woman would be.

Republican made history when she defeated her incumbent rival in 2014 and became the youngest woman elected to Congress. Her background working for her family’s New York small business is similar in some ways to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rags-to-riches story. Yet, unlike Ocasio-Cortez, she has been absent from Vogue features, women of the year lists and

“As she’s risen in Republican leadership, she gets more scorn than admiration from the media,” Perino said of Stefanik. “Again – she doesn’t complain about it, and that’s why she’s successful.”

As of 2019, identified as Republicans or. Republican women won a – a milestone that received little praise or recognition.

At this point, conservative women are well aware that they So they might as well toughen up and get their work done.

“You’ll succeed in your careers and feel much more satisfied than if you chase elusive popularity posts from the media,” Perino said.

But it’s not just about the glowing profiles and the recognition. Partisan media – not to mention big tech – are incredibly damaging for our country. They foster division, and encourage students and young people around the country to become fashionably intolerant of people like Justice Barrett without even fully understanding why.

The unequal treatment has the potential to effect the outcome of elections, and it prevents young women from seeing the strength and value of so many powerful conservative role models.

In many ways, the disparate treatment puts conservative women at a permanent and costly disadvantage. But maybe that’s the point.

Until that changes, women should get comfortable working hard to be their best selves for themselves, and not anyone else, Perino said.

“The media doesn’t matter,” she said, “You do.”

Reporting by USA Today.