The Controversy of Conservative feminism: How a Conservative Ideology Hinders Republican Women’s Electability and What This Means for Women’s Issues

Thumbnail Image
If you need an accessible version of this item, please email your request to so that they may create one and provide it to you.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The core of women’s issues in America are deeply rooted in long-standing political barriers. Despite advancements that have narrowed the gap between men and women in terms of voting rights, reproductive rights, and workplace and education rights, we still see significant discrepancies between the number of men and women who hold important positions in politics. There is a particularly large gap when comparing the number of Republican women vs Democratic women who are elected. When women are prevented from holding these positions of power, their ability to develop adequate representation for women’s issues becomes severely obstructed. This paper will analyze the historical trends of congressional elections, with particular focus on the influence of the 2018-2020 elections, to demonstrate how a conservative ideology creates a barrier of its own for women’s electability. By framing these facts around the “paradox controversy” of conservative feminism, this data will illustrate how the rejection of identity politics – specifically gender politics – and lack of emphasis on women’s issues in the Republican party has contributed heavily to preventing Republican women from getting elected, or even running in the first place. To conclude this research, the feminist discussion section will explore how conservative feminism tends to be in opposition with non-conservative contemporary feminism1, and how a reanalysis of this relationship through political representation can benefit women’s equality.
This paper was co-winner of the 2021 Burgess Award. It was written for Fall 2020 ENG-R 224.
Link(s) to data and video for this item