HomeLearning CenterInside a Conservative Confab for Young Women, Where Feminism Is a Lie

Inside a Conservative Confab for Young Women, Where Feminism Is a Lie

Originally published by Kara Voght for the Washington Post

The throngs of teen and 20-something women flowed into the ballroom of the Gaylord Texan hotelon a Friday night this month in a blur of shimmer and pink. There were sequins. There were bell-bottoms. There were sequin bell-bottoms. Most opted for some form of heel — often platformed, sometimes bedazzled. Others sported go-go or cowboy boots. (Kari Lake’s daughter wore a rose gold pair of the latter.) A disco ball as wide as a bathtub hung above them, giving them a silvery twinkle as they settled in to neat rows hundreds of chairs long. “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire blasted through the sound system.

They were ready for their trip back tothe 1970s — or to a certain anti-feminist version of the era, anyway.

“That decade fundamentally changed the narrative surrounding women, what our role should be, what our lives should look like,” said Alex Clark, the evening’s unofficial emcee for the Young Women’s Leadership Summit, an annual event thrown by Turning Point USA, a sort of MAGA youth group. “All these years later, I’m not sure that was very good advice. Are you?”

Clark, who hosts a pop culture podcast for Turning Point, dressed for her opening-night speech in a sequined shift dress. The summit’s branding stretched across the screen behind her, all groovy lines and fat serif fonts in mustard, mauve and sienna. It was inspired, at least in part, by “Mrs. America,” the 2020 miniseries about the failed fight to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (with an implicit solidarity with Phyllis Schlafly, not GloriaSteinem).

“In the ’70s, women were given all sorts of lies,” she continued. “They just told us, ‘Well, you can be a man.’ And I guess we’ve kind of accomplished that. But are we happier?”

The attendees couldn’t speak from experience, having been born in the ’90s and 2000s. But Clark, who just turned 30,was very sure the answer was no. “What I’m here to tell you is, if you were to just go back to biblical roots in what God had designed for women to do, we will be happier,” she told them.

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