In the midst of our nation's heightened political climate, it seems as if politics is polarized more than ever. Voters witnessed the impact of identity politics in the previous national election. As Facebook and Twitter are flooded with political debate, it seems as if the ability to engage in civil discourse has been lost. In the past election cycle, women's issues were a major focal point. Firstly, the country was presented with the potential to elect its first female president. Discussions of workplace diversity, the gender pay gap, and racial divide brought up serious concerns of inequality. Women were infuriated so much so that they organized all across the nation and came out strong, but not unified, in the notable Women's March. The March was arguably politically fueled and perceived by conservatives as an anti-conservative movement. Since the March was purposefully scheduled the day after President Trump's inauguration, the idea of "resistance" was interpreted as "anti-Trump." Interestingly enough, a pro-life feminist population was excluded from being sponsors of the movement. This story received national coverage, and is a topic of debate. The 2018 Women's March proved to be just as political with speeches encouraging people to only vote Democrat in the following elections. The Women's March is a microcosm of our nation's inability to find common ground. This project will explore the ideologies of conservatism and feminism and develop the concept of the "conservative feminist." In this study, we surveyed students studying political ideologies at Arizona State University, assessed results, and then conducted informational interviews to explore those results in greater depth. Accordingly, this thesis explores questions such as: Why did a civil rights movement become seemingly polarized? What are the semantic and conceptual obstacles to "conservative feminism?" The goal of this analysis is to explore the stigma of political ideologies and labels, and to open the discussion for better understanding of feminism, conservatism, and conservative feminism.
- Conceptual Obstacles and Opportunities for Conservative Feminism
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