By Maria Beltran
On March 11th, the former chair of the Virginia GOP spoke to the Northwestern College Republicans about feminism in the 21st century.
Nearly 30 people attended the event sponsored by the Northwestern College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation. Interestingly, the Northwestern College Feminists were absent from the event.
“We have not been promoting the College Republicans’ event because we find some of the things the speaker has said in the past to be very problematic as they seem to be sex negative and anti-LGBT,” Co-Director Anna Nowinski wrote in an email.
In her talk on Tuesday, the conservative author of the 2012 book “Divider in Chief” delved into different 21st century notions of feminism. Obenshain said she hoped to “bring a message to college campuses different from left-leaning professors that present feminism from their side.”
“The war on women? It is a joke to say there’s a Republican war on women,” Obenshain said. “This mythical war is nonexistent and offensive to women. The real war on women comes from Democrats who undermine women by creating dependency on government.”.”
“This notion is not self-fulfilling or empowering,” she said, “it is the government pushing women down.”
A single mom of four who says she’s experienced discrimination in the workplace, Obenshain said women should be better equipped to speak for themselves.
“A lot of women need that extra push. Women need something different.” Obenshain argued that feminism in the 21st century is very confused and in danger of becoming irrelevant.
She said she thought the future of feminism could be over or irrelevant if women continued to fall for the line about the war on women. In this case women would be permanent victims to government dependency, an antithesis of how Obenshain defines feminism.
Obenshain proposed a new form of feminism: empowerment feminism, which she believes will come from conservatives.
“Empowerment feminism will mean talking about how genuine liberty, economic liberty, and non-dependence brings about the greatest ability to create and build your life in any way you so desire without the government stepping in.”
She closed with a challenge to the assembled audience: “Stop allowing the government to treat you like victims.”