Recently, I spent two days at the hub of conservatism in Washington, DC. Nope, not the White House, but the Heritage Foundation for the Network of Enlightened Women’s National Conference—also known as NeW—where a group of college-aged conservative females gathered to discuss and learn about Republican policy and leadership. And yes, Kellyanne Conway was there.As a 24-year-old liberal woman who cried watching Hillary Clinton lose the election live at New York’s Javits Center, this wasn’t a room I ever thought I’d find myself in, and my preconceived notions ran rampant—all I could think was that I didn’t have the right clothes, let alone the bandwidth for the mental gymnastics it would take to talk to women about Donald Trump without combusting.This author figured out that they will never agree on things like abortion but she did have empathy and understanding for this group of conservative women.
I started thinking about Hall’s ideal definition of feminism, and how she believes it should be a network of women supporting each other to run for office. Before the conference, I never really thought about wanting more Republican women in positions of power, I only focused on what was happening on the left. Now having met these girls, and witnessing how tough-as-nails they are, I’ve never been more confident that the future of the Republican party is female—and, in that way, they have my support.