Is Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina An Empowering Choice For Conservative Women?

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In the interest of wanting to cater to our diverse array of our readership, we figured it was about time we wrote a proper blog post about Republican 2016 Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

Right out of the gate she decided to launch her campaign slamming Hillary Clinton, and while that tactic may have worked 8 or 16 years ago, this time around people saw right through it. Given that the Republican race is very crowded (35 candidates have thrown their hat in the ring at the time of writing this) no candidate can afford to isolate a large section of potential voters.

Being that she was the only female conservative candidate (that is until lesser known Shawna Sterling announced her run) it seemed like a cheap tactic to start out by undermining the other popular female vying for the 2016 top spot – Hillary Clinton.

But over the past few months we have seen somewhat of a different side of Carly Fiorina, one that we are actually kind glad she is banking on, rather than trying to prove how much better she is than the other woman. However we should duly note that at a recent speech on her foreign policy stance at the Ronald Reagan Library, she talked about the need for greater human rights globally.

“China, Russia, Iran, and terrorist groups such as ISIS — these are the big human rights tests of our time. Women and girls are systematically targeted, subjugated, murdered, raped and sold into bondage,” she said before then blaming Hillary Clinton for not doing enough. It is sad that she only pointed out Hillary’s so-called foibles and not any other candidate.

But it seems there are some areas where she hits the right note when it comes to empowering millennials and showing that she has a firm grasp on what young women want. Her background as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard should be seen as a wonderful launch pad to empowering women in the workforce, but instead she started out on the wrong foot.

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However since we are a site dedicated to diversity and wanting to share perspectives from all types of women, we feel that Carly has made a couple of moves that indicate she is starting to see the light somewhat.

The first glimpse we had of her paying attention to what is important to young women, was when she penned an essay about feminism on Medium. In it she talks about her background as a corporate woman climbing the ranks during a time when people like her were a rare breed. But eventually she gets to the point of feminism and controversially stated ” a feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses”. In a very loose way that could be right. Since feminism is about the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, if women have all these three locked down, then yes she can be free to live how she wants.

Unfortunately we haven’t reached this mantle so telling her voter base that this is how she now chooses to redefine feminism is not only incorrect, but misrepresented. You see, she is firmly against abortion, and that’s fine if it were just her own view. But as a political candidate she is seeking to restrict the choices and access of other women because of her own views. In a guest appearance on ‘The View’ she was grilled by host Whoopi Goldberg on why she feels she can restrict other women’s choices yet in the next breath claim a feminist can choose the life she wants. It was yet another reason that proved her to be in her elitist cloud because its easy for her to want to vote down abortion rights, she is past child-rearing age AND her million dollar bank account could easily pay for any healthcare she wanted, unlike many poor women in America.

For the record Planned Parenthood are NOT selling baby parts, they donate tissue for research after a mother consents, and the money they charge is for transportation, not the actual parts. Nothing they are doing is illegal or different from any other medical organization that also performs abortions. Abortions only count for 3% of the services PP provide and a Republican led investigation into their practices is draining tax-payer dollars and could potentially see the defunding of a crucial healthcare provider to millions of poor American women. Former PP president Dr. Alan Guttmacher said after the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that those who oppose abortion and those in favor of legalizing abortion actually share a common goal – the elimination of abortion, which is why an org like Planned Parenthood is so vital because it provides sex education, birth control and other useful resources that will potentially save a woman from getting to the point of needing an abortion.

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She is still firmly against abortion and even went as far as to slam Planned Parenthood after an anti-abortion crusade group released a “gotcha” video, heavily edited to make it look like one of the PP executives who was secretly filmed was talking about selling baby parts for a profit. Carly made a public statement on Fox News (where else!) to say how unbelievable it was that Planned Parenthood could do this. Yes Carly, it IS unbelievable, but not in the way you and other conservatives think. Because she more than any other political candidate in the conservative side (simply because she is very smart and successful) should know to fact check the whole story before making a public declaration based on emotion and what could possibly get votes.

Clearly she is still navigating her way through the public obstacle course that surrounds any presidential candidate, and while we feel she has missed the point about the reproductive rights issue which is a big concern for millennial women in America, there is one area she does have a firm grip on in the right manner for women – the workforce.

In July she gave a speech to the members of Peace Through Business, an international training and leadership program for women under the umbrella of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). Since the program was founded in 2007, Peace Through Business has trained over 500 women from Afghanistan and Rwanda in growing their leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Awesome!

The focus of her speech was “Women can change the world”.

“Human potential is the only limitless resource in the world,” she stated, adding that it is vital for change.

Using her own career journey as an example, she talked about her rise from being a secretary at a real estate firm to becoming the CEO of Hewlett-Packard to make the point that nothing is impossible if we choose to see it as possible.

“There are people who see limitations. And then there are those who see possibilities. I have seen people in all kinds of circumstances but everyone has the potential to change. You have to have courage to challenge the status quo,” she said to her audience.

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“Women make a better world, and no matter the problem, if you get women involved, the problem gets better. Women change the world. We count on your leadership,” she concluded.

The fact that she is choosing to empower and give vision to women from around the world who come from often less privileged circumstances is something we applaud. It is the first time we have seen her (at least during this presidential campaign) come out swinging in favor of women. But what about the women closer to home? How will she empower them to live a life free of restrictions if she is actively voting against the freedom to make their own choices? We haven’t discounted her yet, and will be keeping an eye on how her campaign message, especially toward women, continues to shape up.

Carly also recently participated in a Buzzfeed video about gender stereotypes in the workplace toward women where they flipped the roles. In the video below you can see her as the boss of a company dishing out lines to male employees such as “how do you walk in those shoes?” and “look at you being funny!” to a group of men, showing the subtle sexist ways many women (including her) have been treated in the workplace.

It’s another reason we decided to take more notice of her because if she is truly wanting to empower all women, then this is a good start. Dear Carly, we want you to be a positive candidate for women and especially for conservatives, but we really need you to get on board with intersectionality feminism, not elitist feminism that you redefine for your own campaign purposes. It doesn’t work like that. Please listen to what the woman of America are saying, because having 2 women out of all the possible conservative candidates is an abysmal number. We NEED more women in politics, but women that represent the needs of their potential constituents, not the other way around. Stop with the divisive woman tactics against Hillary Clinton (you don’t see her returning the favor!) and start getting on with the job as you claim you are fit for.

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