In a political landscape that only seems to abound in vitriol and excel in hostility, the #ChampionWomen movement promotes positivity and unity. Specifically geared toward women, this campaign is a breath of fresh air in a society that is all too eager to discredit women based on appearance and/or by delegitimizing their qualifications in order to cast aside their input on issues facing Americans. Independent Women’s Voice launched this campaign to encourage respect and civility for those with differing opinions. As conservative women well know, this is relevant now more than ever.
What is #ChampionWomen?
The #ChampionWomen campaign works to empower women, regardless of political affiliation, by promoting and amplifying the ideas and voices of females across social media, news, and society. The purpose of this campaign is to push back against those who “try to diminish the influence, perspectives, and policy solutions put forth by women by degrading their appearance and delegitimizing their qualifications” and celebrate women instead. To #ChampionWomen is to recognize that women have opinions that are relevant and significant to making change in American society. It is a call to listen and support the spread of women’s ideas – even those with which we might disagree.
The goal is not to be an anti-male campaign. Instead, to be an initiative that focuses on encouraging, supporting, and amplifying the voices of women. Women are the focus of this initiative: championing their ideas and pushing back against attempts to discredit them.
For whom does #ChampionWomen advocate?
The simple answer: all women. The basis of #ChampionWomen is inclusion and empowerment; women of different political standings can be united by the premise that all women must be treated with respect and dignity, and they must return it in kind. Women should be listened to based upon the ideas and solutions they bring to the table, not dismissed because of their appearance. Equating appearance – and mocking or objectifying that appearance– with the quality of one’s ideas is not only demeaning, but it is destructive to civil discourse and positive change. #ChampionWomen seeks to end these attacks for all women by encouraging females to stand up in support of each other, and to call out those who launch these attacks.
Evidence of this fact is plastered across the Champion Women website. Pictures of female political figures are emblazoned across the home screen. Each are coupled with the text of different attacks people and the news media have launched against them. The pictures include women across the political spectrum, from Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to the Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the current Press Secretary for President Trump.
Why should I care?
Women empowering other women is a message most females can get behind – if nothing else, that goal can unite us all.
Far too many women are on the receiving end of attacks that find their shallow roots in appearance; for far too many women, these attacks from others have justified the dismissal of their ideas. If many of us are honest, we are, to some degree, part of that majority who have experienced this.
#ChampionWomen is especially relevant to conservative women, as well. How many times have conservative women been shunned by fellow “feminists” because their ideas do not subscribe to the traditional feminist agenda? How many times have conservative figures – Carly Fiorina or Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for example – been taunted and mocked by the news – and even fellow women – for their appearance, and for their “poor appearance” to be reason enough not to pay attention to what they have to say?
All of this is not to say our liberal counterparts do not endure similar attacks. They do. And they must be condemned with the same vigor that conservative women want for themselves.
All in all, both conservative and liberal women can relate to the goals of the #ChampionWomen initiative. It is essential to those who seek to promote female involvement in politics that these attacks be combated by a unified army of women and their supporters.
How can I participate?
First and foremost, you can treat fellow women with the same respect and dignity you demand they treat of you. This is not an “on-paper” movement; it requires action on the part of all those concerned. If you disagree with a fellow woman, start a discussion rather than launching a verbal assault. #ChampionWomen calls those who agree with their message to be a role model; this means to “be kind, and maintain civility and respect when engaging in political debate. Never stoop to personal attacks.” Further, call out the offenders as you see them.
Also, use the hashtag #ChampionWomen to spread the message of celebration and unity of women. This hashtag can be used to raise awareness and start a discussion about the perception of women in public roles. You can also find other ways to join the conversation here.