There is no War on Women here



The rhetoric of the Democratic Party this election cycle has been devoted to the narrative of a War on Women being carried out by the Republican Party.

In Colorado, this narrative is so dominant, and less than effective, that Democratic Senator Mark Udall has picked up the nickname “Mark Uterus” from the press.

Here at the University of Minnesota, the narrative is clearly not true. Several young women hold leadership positions either in the university’s own chapter of the College Republicans, or the state organization itself. Elizabeth Hazekamp, formerly the Secretary of UMN’s chapter, is currently the co-chair of the state organization. In her current capacity she coordinates volunteer efforts and helps establish and grow chapters around the state.

“I think those tactics [of the Democrats] portray women as weak and unable to provide for themselves,” said Hazekamp. “That is why I love being a conservative, people around me believe I can do whatever I set my mind to without the government or a man providing for me.”

Hannah Rosencrantz is the executive director of UMN’s College Republicans, and is involved in planning weekly meetings, recruiting members and volunteers, and whatever else needs to be done on a day-to-day basis. Her comments were of a similar nature to Hazekamp’s.

“When it comes to the stances each party takes,” said Rosencrantz. “I believe the Republicans are in fact more pro-women, as they include the lives of unborn women in their consideration, as well as supporting pro-growth, pro-business policies that increase employment possibilities for women.”

One of the main issues Democrats define as a women’s issue is reproductive rights. Women are far less unified on such issues then the Democrats would have people believe. According to Gallup polling, only 47 percent of women describe themselves as pro-choice, with 46 percent describing themselves as pro-life, a far cry from the public perception.

Rebecca Dorin, secretary of the UMN College Republicans and a devout Catholic, said that she wants the government to stay out of people’s sex lives. She finds the idea of government-provided birth control to be “creepy.”

“As a woman who doesn’t believe in birth control I find it saddening that my tax dollars could go to support that,” said Dorin. “So I would rather be with a party that allows women to make their own choices without the government intervening.”

The rhetoric of a gap in compensation between men and women has also been shot down as a fallacy. The responses of the conservative women on campus were direct and blunt.

“There isn’t a pay gap,” said Hazekamp. “That is all people need to know, it is the left side twisting numbers and not accounting for the professions people truly want to take part in.”

“By focusing on these issues, they can portray women as victims, and use that victimization to their advantage,” said Rosencrantz. “I think that’s just wrong, especially since the terms “reproductive rights” and “pay gap” are misleading in nature anyway.”

The on campus reception of conservative women, and conservatives in general is less than spectacular. Rosencrantz described a feeling that people assume she’s a liberal, and that she felt like she was “outing” herself as a conservative, a less than comfortable thought given the campus climate.

While she was tabling for the UMN’s chapter, a professor spoke to Hazekamp and stated that because she was a conservative, she “likes to watch people die in the street” in front of her.

Republican women are strong and present on campus, even in spite of its political climate. One thing was made very clear by Dorin, Hazekamp, and Rosencrantz: all issues are women’s issues.