The greatest irritation that exists for conservative women is the general view that NOW, Planned Parenthood and the League of Women Voters speak for them. It's a perception that has been permitted to take root and flourish in our culture for some fifty years with little opposition from conservative women because those women have not necessarily been inclined to focus on such matters for the sheer fact that this would draw them away from the things that matter most to them – family, friends and community. For this reason, conservative women have traditionally resisted organizing to rebuff the popular myth that all women link arms and walk in lock step with progressive leadership.
Conservative women – by their very natures – disdain the three ring circus that liberal feminism has always been. They see the Sandra Flukes of the world and immediately reject association with the gimme-feed-me-indulge-me debauchery of such histrionic displays. As ridiculous as our nation's Flukian journeys into free sterilization or our excursions into VMA pornography have been, the truth is that the negative imagery of liberal feminism isn't as new as it is…well, wearing thin with all the shock and awe. Fluke and Cyrus are perhaps less ambiguous symbols of liberal feminist goals but the goals remain the same. It is and always has been about the degradation of the culture through the debasement of women.
In the past, conservative women have coped with all of this by simply trusting that the chaos would resolve itself on its own, but the unbridled force behind this culture shift now precludes conservative women from hoping for the best. Sandra Fluke and Miley Cyrus force an unwanted culture war upon conservative feminists, but they also represent an opportunity to highlight the destructive nature of liberal feminism.
The predictable image of a silent and complacent conservative feminist began to change with the election of Barack Obama back in 2008 when some women noticed a shift in the American culture that did not mirror their own beliefs. Those women woke one day to discover a political movement that was threatening to inexorably upend the traditional family values that hold our society together.
Women like Stacy Mott of Smart Girl Politics were elbow deep in diapers and Sesame Street at the time but suddenly found themselves mesmerized by an election of historic significance – not for the color of the then candidate's skin as the mainstream media wanted them believe but for his appalling political convictions that no one seemed to notice for the color of his skin. So befuddled, so in awe were these women over the slow motion train wreck that was unfolding before them that they reached out in the only way they could in consideration of their young families to assure themselves that they weren't alone in their fears. They took to the internet.
That's exactly how Stacy Mott began her political adventures. She was so frustrated by the unraveling candidacy of John McCain that she – like many conservative women – began reading and commenting on blogs as an outlet for her frustration. She decided that her choice to stay at home with her young family did not have to keep her from participating in the political process. She started blogging on a regular basis around the time that Sarah Palin joined McCain's ticket on the advice of a fellow writer. She developed the Smart Girl Politics moniker and didn't let up on her political fervor until just after the 2008 election.
Stacy had no idea of the impact she was having with conservative women until she asked her followers whether they wanted to continue talking post-election politics. She was overwhelmed by the positive response and within days she and her friend Teri Christoph had created an online home for conservative women to brainstorm strategies for driving the culture in a positive direction.
The concept was simple. It was about getting conservative women involved in politics – women who were not typically involved like stay-at-home moms and younger single women. It was about giving them ideas on how to impact their communities in a positive way. Whether it was the simple act of helping them contact their representatives and writing op-eds or delving into more complex projects like advising women on how to run for office, the point was to connect conservative women with the resources that they need in order to affect political change. SGP began developing training courses for activists and candidates and as SGPs popularity grew, they shifted their attention by taking on important issues like health care and education. Health care was actually their first foray into issue-based politics. They focused on Blue Dog Democrats in an effort to shift momentum away from the Left's preordained passage of Obamacare.
Even though the health care battles rage on, conservative women now have a go-to for basic activist training in blogging, in video blogging or in using social media effectively. SGP even offers training on how to host a radio show and how to write an op-ed.
Better still, women who have never before considered becoming active in politics now have a resource that will help them determine if running for office might be an option for them. What is unique about Stacy's and Teri's medium is that they are developing leadership in conservative women so that those women can confidently take the first steps toward running for office. And once they've made the decision to run, many resources are made available to help them launch their candidacies.
Of course, not everyone has the time or inclination to be a senator or congresswoman and that's just fine with the ladies of SGP. While SGP certainly assists women in gaining state and federal offices, Stacy and Teri don't believe that real changes in our culture will take place in high level positions. Their most important counseling deals with local, grassroots activism. SGP encourages women to run for city councils or school boards because that is where the most effective culture shifts occur.
"Just an example – Common Core is energizing conservative women to get involved in local elections. The Common Core standards that are sweeping through the states are directly impacting our families. It's great that some women can pull their children out of the public system and go to private schools, but most of us can't do that. We have no choice but to get involved if we want to safeguard our families. When we see things such as Common Core influencing what our children learn and think, we need to step up and make the decision to run for positions that will impact the curriculum. There's simply not enough participation from women on the Right in those leadership positions and that's got to stop because there are a lot of changes to be made on the local and state levels," says Stacy Mott.
Now, while it's true that this online connectivity got the ball rolling, it's all just talk if there are no personal connections are being made. That's why Smart Girl Politics now has local chapters of volunteers throughout the country and also holds a summit once a year so that conservative women can get together face to face in order to talk about issues that concern them. They just had their last summit in August in Indianapolis, Indiana where they held focused panel discussions on Common Core, minority outreach and youth outreach.
Stacy was amazed that the weekend's most powerful event involved a discussion on Second Amendment rights and a fieldtrip to a local gun range where fifty women participated in the "Armed and Fabulous" program by learning the basics of shooting and gun safety.
Gun rights and Common Core will be hot topics for future events to be sure, but so shall the ongoing battle against the Left's personalized destruction techniques that are being used to hinder conservative women who choose to run for office. Stacy emphasizes that SGP will continue to brainstorm strategies and formulas to combat those smear campaigns that the Left employs against conservative women to shut down the free exchange of political ideas.
"We cannot be afraid. We have to use our political voices. The mainstream media is not going to change so we have to find ways around them. We have to start at the ground level within our communities. It's going to take all of us. If we don't do this now – if we can't get conservative women running for office and active in the political landscape then we are as good as done. This is not a short term strategy. This is a long term approach. Democrats sat back patiently for some fifty odd years and quietly, progressively altered the nation's culture. We will not be able to change the direction in just a year or two."
The significance of the Smart Girl strategy is clear. If we are to change the perception that all women adhere to the philosophies set forth by Planned Parenthood and NOW, then we must stand up against that mythology by acting as a force of equal strength within the political arena. Obedient acceptance of the Left's pathology will not stop the cultural erosion that this nation is experiencing.
If you are looking to volunteer, if you are looking to run for office, if you want assistance in learning to work within social media circles, check out the Smart Girl Action site and you may discover a level of activism that makes sense for you.