For the past few years in West Virginia, the Republican Party has witnessed the efforts of Secretary of State Betty Ireland and others to mobilize women and promote their influence within the party. West Virginia certainly has demonstrated little prejudice at the ballot box, selecting Ireland and Shelley Moore Capito to two of the most important positions possible. Both remain extremely popular with voters in general, not simply their own parties.
At the national level, Governor Sarah Palin has captivated the electorate. Liberal Democrats who never would have supported any Republican now pledge to vote for McCain. Palin is not just a woman to fill a place on a ticket. She understands family, hard work, and the challenges we all face at some time or another.
You never probably figured you would hear the words Republican and feminist in the same phrase. After all, Rush Limbaugh popularized the term "feminazi." The feminism shown by Republican female leaders is different. Women ought to have the cultural freedom to make choices. The women's liberation movement exerted pressure on women to decide to leave the home and go into the workplace in the same fashion as they were pressured to stay home and take care of the family in previous generations. Today's feminism shown by Republican leaders emphasizes an honest appraisal of life and making decisions to help yourself and your family.
Republican feminism preaches self-reliance. A woman should have the opportunity to run a business without over regulation and taxation. A woman has every right to protect herself whether inside or outside her home. That means that we should encourage women to educate themselves on firearms and buy them. Miranda Lambert would probably be one of the first to say that a well armed woman is a safe woman. If more would be sexual assailants got shot, we would see fewer kidnappings and rapes overall. No one wants to get shot.
Republican feminism means allowing women to choose their priorities without pressure and then respecting those decisions. Betty Ireland would have dominated in a re-election run for Secretary of State but she made the right choice to put family first. Other women in different situations will make different decisions and not bow to outside pressure to do what others think they ought. This is real world feminism, brought to you courtesy of the Republican Party.