“Being a young conservative woman is not an easy path to take” said Senator Lindsey Graham during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for then Judge Amy Coney Barrett. 

He spoke those words and I felt them. I sat there and reflected on what it has been like being a young conservative woman. It sounds silly to say, because I have not been marginalized for the color of my skin, discriminated upon due to circumstances that I could never change. That being said, it doesn’t diminish my experience with bullying, having my intellect questioned all the time, disparaging words, and death threats, just to name a few. 

I’ve always had a thick skin. Yes, I cry easily because I give in to my emotions a lot but rarely is it because someone called me a name or threatened me. It’s normally tears of frustration or tears of empathy for those who aren’t capable of defending themselves. 

As early as high school, I discovered my interest in politics. I got involved in class discussions in my AP Government class and my parents remember when I called them at work when Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his vice presidential candidate. Then, I found my footing in the political world when I campaigned for Mitt Romney in the hills of West Virginia while I attended school there for a year. I found my voice inside of Harris Hall on Marshall University’s campus. For the first time, I spoke up for my conservative beliefs in class. That was when I started receiving threats for my beliefs. I emailed my professor and told her I was done speaking up in class if it meant that I was going to be threatened with bodily harm. My professor asked me to stop by her office. In that meeting, she encouraged me to continue to stand up for my beliefs. It was at this moment when she told me that just because I didn’t get obvious agreement from people in the class, that many were nodding their heads or too afraid to speak up. 

I learned that my voice wasn’t just about me and using my voice to advance policies that I believe would benefit the country should never be something I feared. I learned the importance of coming prepared with facts and remaining calm even when it wasn’t that easy. 

Though it was the first time that bodily harm had been threatened, it certainly wouldn’t be the last. On social media, I have had dozens, maybe hundreds, of death threats or threats of violence made against me. 

On these same sites, people wish I had been aborted, wish that I got raped, or wish that I was killed. I took none of these seriously and found them so absurd that I would just roll my eyes, maybe respond with a sassy tweet, and keep scrolling. But it’s not that easy for other people. Someone might take these things more personally and no one should “get used to” being bullied. 

Being a young conservative woman on social media can be brutal. The left will aim for the low hanging fruit because intellectually they can’t refute the facts provided to them, so they will attack someone for their looks. There isn’t enough time in the day for a young conservative woman to list out the names that she has been called or what physical feature the left attacked her for. 

The list of countless names we are called is equally as long as the attacks on our looks. If you can pronounce it, we have been called it — a lot. I have learned more insults from social media that I never knew existed. I mean, if those people could just harness that creativity with words into something productive, I think they could finally make use of their philosophy degrees.

I think the only thing I find insulting is being told that I am not capable of thinking for myself. Though counter-productive to their feminist beliefs, they wrongly assume that I play “follow the head of household” leader and all my beliefs come from what the men in my life tell me to believe. I think my parents can attest to how well I listen to instructions and that I don’t blindly accept “because I told you to.” Believe me, my parents still kept me even during my teenage years where my lack of filter or inability to respect their parental authority was blossoming. 

I went through the entirety of my schooling being in political opposition to my teachers or instructors. I was never pat on the back for agreeing with teachers on everything they ever said and even dared to raise my hand to question their beliefs and defend my own. And I was constantly evaluating my beliefs and researching to see what the facts said. I have been stubborn since birth but I have always been able to concede to points being made that I simply don’t have a response to and would go research more on that topic so I can see what the science says and then it would solidify my opinion, one way or another. 

Not only did I obtain a bachelor’s degree in my course of study, but I spent four years having my beliefs challenged daily. I learned how to form arguments and defend my positions without coming off as a heartless, mean, or scared. 

Being a conservative woman isn’t easy but I wouldn’t change my experiences. I am who I am because of my values, my principles, and my experiences, no matter how negative.

To the young conservative woman going through a tough time whether you’re losing friends or feeling like you haven’t found your place yet, do not fret. The dust will settle. Life will go on. Make of it what you will. Don’t allow others to determine your value as a human being based on some silly political argument. 

Caroline C.
FFL Cabinet Member
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