The “Elephant” in The Room: Being a Conservative in a Family of Liberals

The table is set, the dinner filling the kitchen with a sweet aroma, the finest silverware and china is laid out, the memories of years past fill the room…

For most of us, we automatically envision the sentimental Hallmark image of a family gathering around the holidays, with generations all in harmony. Remembrances of the past, of the “good old days”, and looking toward a future of more fun memories yet to come. The whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins, in laws, all together plucked from their busy schedules to remind everyone of the value of family. Uncle Joe started his new business. Cousin Mary is settling into college. Aunt Lisa got some new clippings for her garden. Grandpa and Grandma came back from their bucket list luxury cruise. Seems like everyone’s got something new to share this year! However, reality can be quite the rude awakening from the idyllic scene you’re daydreaming…

There goes Aunt Susie again on how Trump will start the next nuclear holocaust! Cousin so and so is talking incessantly over the latest anti-Trump (insert cause here) rally and joined the Social Justice League on campus, and your in-laws are decrying all the “microagressions” they were “triggered” by this past week! Uncle Steve who’s a Black Lives Matter fan keeps accusing his brother, who’s a cop of being a racist, since “all cops are racist”, and everyone is angry it’s Thanksgiving, since it celebrates the genocide of the Native Americans, and is a “colonialist atrocity” that’s triggering! Not to mention, Mr. and Mrs. Snow(flake) have been invited over from next door, but feel uncomfortable at the lack of diversity amongst the gathering…

This may sound far fetched, but for many families, this is the reality! More and more conservatives feel “in the closet” as our society becomes more rampantly liberal. The 2016 election has divided many people in America, and almost like a second civil war, it can be brother against brother! So, what’s a conservative to do at a gathering that is majority liberal? The easiest path would be the wise advice to stay away from sensitive topics in mixed company, such as politics, however, not all circumstances are so easy to judge! What about that conversation about how all conservatives are backwards bigots who hate any social progress? Or the one where blatant propagandized lies that are obviously false are sworn as holy truth? One may be able to hold their tongue to keep the peace, but there’s only so far people can go, so many years of the same diatribes, before the urge to say at least something will spring forth! Better not to wait until you’re ready to explode! There should be nothing wrong with being allowed to put in an articulate view, or rebuttal now and then.

You see, the issue is not in itself, about how to one up your relatives in a family gathering political debate, but the double standard that often exists in such gatherings that the liberals are allowed to openly speak an opinion, yet it is often the conservatives that get told to hold their tongues and shut up! Why doesn’t the “no politics at dinner” rule apply equally to ALL parties? I can see, that in a majority liberal family, you are indeed the “outlier” or the “radical”, but if politics and social issues are “on the table” so to speak, why must conservatives be shut up simply becuase we hold the opposing view? It’s just another example of radical liberal double standards and hypocrisy! Is it fair that Uncle Joe can spew all the vitriol he wants about Trump and accuse you of “white fragility” while you are expected to shut up and take it to keep the peace? Is it fair that the family friend gets to grill you about “racial solidarity” or “internalized misogyny” because you’re a conservative of color or a woman?

It may be understandable, if one is super-humanly gallant, to stay out of the liberals sounding off in their intellectual echo chamber on their own, in fact, may be the most peaceful course of action, but direct insults to you personally should not be tolerated. That for me, is where the line is crossed. You can spew all you want about Trump causing nuclear war, you can whine about how “triggered” you are, or how you’re going to kneel for the anthem after dinner at the Thanksgiving football game, you can say any brainwashed hooey you want amongst your liberal comrades, but call ME a name? It’s on! I wouldn’t advise returning rudeness with rudeness and lowering yourself to vitriol yourself, but having an articulate comeback ready can outwit the most vitriolic of snowflakes, and even if it doesn’t, and they keep spewing hooey, you know you were the one who made the most sense! And it shows your class and intelligence to all who witness, even if they don’t say it.

If complete silence is not realistic for you otherwise, an articulate, intelligent, well researched rebuttal would be in order. Got the statistics wrong? The story isn’t straight? Tell them politely and professionally. The aim of the game is not always to convert and convince. That’s way too unrealistic considering the radical liberals! The aim is to present an intellectual challenge, a new unconsidered point, and to show others present opposition is not always hostile, or heated, but can be intellectual. You can’t ultimately control what others think or say, so don’t agonize over it. However, you do have control over how you present yourself in a debate, and show how articulate you can be.

When have we come to the point where we cast others out into the darkness simply because we disagree on politics? Why is everything about character and morality, and anyone with a different view is a bad person, not just a bad debater? Poor character is a whole other ballpark than poor logic! If we demonize our opponents, we close our minds to all the nuances, and facts of their view. Just because someone’s view is unpopular, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any merit, even if it’s not strong enough to sway you. I’m going to admit something: I have liberal friends too. I’m a social conservative, and am socially at odds with many of my liberal peers, acquaintances and friends. However, I can still be friends, and ground our friendship on mutually shared opinions, interests, and values. I’ll admit that while radical snowflakes are not friends of mine, moderate liberals who will listen to my points certainly can be 🙂 The thing is, the labels of “liberal” and “conservative” do not define us as a whole multidimensional person. I have some views that are more traditionally liberal (albeit a few with nuances). I like topics many liberals like too outside politics. If I alienated everyone who didn’t think as I do, I’d be one lonely person!  I’ll reach out and be allies with religious conservatives even though I’m not religious. I’ll connect with the secular community even though many are liberal. I just find our common ground, and leave the rest. Liberals, conservative friends open your minds to new ideas, and can be like any friend that you can hang with and have common interests. A spirited debate is not an argument if both sides can shake hands in the end. The same rules go for family, only the stakes are higher! You only have one family, and family ought to be cherished and the bonds nurtured, as no one will be there for you like family. A family divided is common now, but a sad, sad thing 😦

Overall, try to keep politics a forbidden topic at the table, but if it comes up, you have just as much right as anyone else present to speak your mind. A last but hopefully encouraging point is, experiments have shown such as the Asch experiment, that if even one person speaks up in the minority view, others will feel far more comfortable, and often have the courage to do so as well. Speaking out has another benefit other than for your views or yourself: it can give others the courage to “come out” and speak out too 🙂

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Share some of your stories of liberal lunacy over the holidays! What were some of the craziest things to happen at a family gathering in your family ? 🙂 Comment below…

The (New) Modern Woman…

The image of the “modern woman” has pervaded since the rise of all waves of feminism. She may be different depending on the era, the woman who could vote, the woman who could work, the woman who could wear pants, get dirty, own property, choose her husband, plan her family or chose not to have one, think for herself, be heard in the world, have a voice in society, etc..etc… The modern woman was one who could look to a bright future for herself, on her own terms. It’s a vision that all women like to think of themselves being able to be. However, like most idealistic visions, the reality often falls short. Am I saying that the “modern woman” ideal is necessarily bad, in the qualities listed above? No, not really. I want women to have autonomy, to get to choose her life choices, to decide who she deems worthy of marriage, to think for herself and be heard in the world, yes, all of those are not things I’m against. The problem arises though when this vision goes to extremes and becomes radicalized. The “modern woman” of today is not what our grandmothers and great grandmothers who fought for the vote pictured in their youth!!!

The “modern woman” of today is one who embraces vulgarity, loudness, and vitriol over the strength that comes from valid ideas and the feminine softness of ladies past. She is one who embraces sexual anarchy rather than sexual freedom through promiscuity and immodesty rather than tempered choices. She is one who will flaunt that sleazy vulgarity through “pussy hats”, dressing like vaginas, smearing fake blood to mimic menstruation as “girl power”, and shun all aspects of traditional femininity. To her, sex is a handshake not a milestone. A child is a burden personally and professionally to be cast aside and neglected emotionally, mentally, even physically lest it get in her way of being the “modern woman”. Motherhood is enslaving, not her highest calling as a woman. A man is the enemy, a hindrance and source of all oppression just waiting to force her back in the kitchen! Divorce is normal for the empowered woman, and marriage is merely dating 2.0. The honor and privilege of being a wife is now erased through terms like “Ms.”. Feminine dress is seen as enslaving and dis-empowering, as she must mimic a man in all aspects of her life to feel worth something as a person. She must have a career like a man does, earn like he does, dress like he does, think like he does, even talk like he does to feel worthy and empowered. A man in all but name! She must talk back, never compromise or acquiesce to her husband or father’s wishes, even partially least she be oppressed by the patriarchy! Protest male only spaces while entitled to women only spaces. Hate standards of beauty, decry make-up, bras, nail polish, beauty products, as part of the “patriarchy”. Mistakes bossiness and pushiness for healthy assertiveness and confidence. Sees perversion, injustice and oppression in girls being girls and embracing girl things such as dolls, dresses, fairy tales etc… Be the perpetual victim, damsel in distress when it suits them such as the #MeToo card, etc… etc…

That said, many reasonable women who decry the hypocrisy, inherent sexism, condescension, and vitriol of the radical feminist movement would think the notion of the “modern woman” must be thrown out! However I propose the idea can be reclaimed for the positive. There is a way, I feel to reach a healthy middle ground in this desire for more equality, while also embracing traditional feminine virtues and our womanhood as is, not feminist imposed pseudo-manhood! I propose a vision where we can be ladies of elegance and grace, like our grandmothers, while also embracing some positive aspects of the desire for increased autonomy and independence for women of today. Being a lady does not mean you have to be stuck in 1918 in 2018 😉 For example:

  • The modern woman can make her own choices, but chooses them because she should, not merely because she can!
  • The modern woman uses her freedom to enhance her life, not spite others, such as doing something specifically to “spite the patriarchy”…
  • The modern woman has sexual freedom, but not sexual anarchy! She knows with freedom comes responsibility, and embracing hook up culture only leads to danger, unhappiness, STD’s, unwanted pregnancy, etc…etc…
  • The modern woman chooses her partner freely, without being coerced or forced by her father, but honors and cherishes the man she chooses and respects his wishes…
  • The modern woman can embrace a marriage of equals in dignity and worth, with separate but complimentary roles…
  • The modern woman can give her heart and her person to one man in marriage, till death do you part, be “one flesh” with him and give yourself to him without being his “property”, as he ought to do the same for you. She knows that she is forever his, and he is forever hers… She embraces the title of wife (“Mrs.”) as an honor, not a slave-name!
  • The modern woman is not “dependent” on a man, but leans on him, looks to him in times of hardship and vulnerability for him to be her rock and protector, with the knowledge she does so freely and that she will be his rock in his time of need. She knows she can share her sorrows and joys with him, without being “dependent” and “weak”…
  • The modern woman listens to the wise counsel and guidance of her father in her younger years and as a budding woman, so that she will not be lead astray by bad people and tricked by her own naivety to the world, without feeling her father owns her and micromanages her life! She lets him give her away at the alter, in the spirit of transferring the role of his love and support to her new husband, who when he passes, will be her rock as he once was. Not in the sense it is a literal transfer of property anymore!
  • The modern woman can be a leader without leading the same way a man might go about it. She realizes that the strongest people can be the most soft spoken and gentle in nature but rise to every challenge…
  • The modern woman can embrace traditional feminine dress and styles, and live her life unhindered by that choice without the pressure to wear pants just because a man does! Her worth comes from inside her, not what’s covering her legs!
  • The modern woman can be the keeper of the home, nurturer of the family, and be worth more than anything to her family and to a wholesome society of intact families raised in love and devotion.
  • The modern woman can have a career, but values the title of M.O.M. or M.R.S. over any degree or credential or title she might earn!
  • The modern woman can speak her mind and use her voice for the betterment of her society, but does so through facts, logic and reason, not vitriol, shouting and ad-hominem attacks!
  • The modern woman defends the wronged, not as a man should through physical strength, but in her own special way, through using her voice as a woman to advocate for wrongly accused men for example in this #MeToo hysteria, or the neglected and devalued child by the ideology of radical feminism as another…
  • The modern woman can think in a deep intellectual manner, but not forget her manners as a lady in her conduct and get heated and spew vitriol at the opposition!
  • The modern woman knows assertiveness and confidence is NOT snapping orders and domineering over others, rather the persistent, quiet and reasoned assertiveness and knowledge of her skills and her worth…
  • The modern woman is responsible for her actions, and accepts the consequences with grace and understanding, not crying victim, and blaming everyone but herself for her own transgressions.
  • The modern woman is not a victim, but empowered to stand her ground in the face of injustice and unethical coercion. She has the power to choose integrity over the superficial rewards coercion has to offer her.
  • The modern woman has a voice to be heard, but conveys her ideas with elegance and grace as a lady, not a “Nasty Woman”…
  • The modern woman can be a true lady, one of elegance, refinement and grace as her fore-mothers did before her, while also embracing the modern freedoms women can have….

Overall, the “modern woman” of reason, is a lady in spirit and character, while taking the best female empowerment has to offer such as increased autonomy and independence. She is bright, driven, a victor, not a victim, a leader, a nurturer, a devoted partner, a dutiful daughter, a loving mother, a person of integrity and accountability, a deep independent thinker, a person of refinement, has strength in her quietness, embraces her traditional femininity and is above all, a LADY!

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A “Matriarchy” is NOT what I have in mind for empowering women!

My #WalkAway Story Series: James

My #WalkAway Story Series is a bigger and more long term project for A Lady of Reason, and it’s all about YOU! This is your big chance at getting your voice heard and your own story out there! For many closeted conservatives, afraid for our livelihood, social networks, family connections, even physical safety now, being stuck in the closet can be extremely isolating and it’s easy to feel like it’s you against the world sometimes! I certainly feel that way! By sharing our stories collectively, I hope to give a voice to you, my dear readers and followers here on WordPress and Social Media, to show each other camaraderie and that in fact, we’re NOT alone, just in the shadows. Well folks, it’s time to come out of the shadows and into the light! The “silent majority” is at least half of our nation, so you’re not truly alone. Come and hear others, and add your own voice, your own story to the mix, of what it’s like being a conservative in an increasingly Leftist country! Send me an e-mail at aladyofreason@outlook.com or direct message me at @aladyofreason1 on Twitter to add YOUR story!!! 🙂 I’ll send you the standard question list, or you can just write it free form as a narrative…

This wonderful #WalkAway story comes from James, a Twitter fan who reached out to me via direct message! I apologize if anyone could not contact me before by direct message on Twitter, but now I have remedied the issue so if anyone wants to, they can send me a message request asking for the #WalkAway question list 🙂 James’ WalkAway story is very insightful and worth the read!

Tell me about yourself briefly:

My name is James. I am an American, born and raised, and I am in my early thirties. I am a practicing attorney and I deal in international contract law. My career has afforded me the opportunity to travel and live in many different countries. I am currently based in Colombia.

When did you become conservative? If you were ever liberal, what made you walk away?

I don’t know that I “became” a conservative so much as I always was one and just didn’t know it. When I was in high school and college, I called myself a liberal but only as a result of never having met a self-identified conservative. For that matter, I never recall encountering libertarians or anarchists or agrarians or any other type of politically involved person. Until I was in my mid-twenties, everyone I met was either leftist or politically agnostic.

I went to a Jesuit high school and then on to undergraduate and law at a Jesuit university. As you may know, the Jesuits are very deep in to social justice. During my tenure under “The Order”, I was heavily involved in social justice and liberation theology politics. As I reflect on it now, it seems hilarious. Many of the Jesuit priests I knew were engaged in teaching ideas considered heretical by the Catholic Church (pro-abortion, pro-divorce, and so on).

Once I left law school and entered the real world, the economic realities of life began to immediately hit me. My previous leftist leanings in this area began to fade rather quickly. I did not enjoy paying near 50% of my income to the government, only to turn around and aid clients (corporations, unions, NGOs) in bilking the government for that same money. However, I remained resolutely socially liberal. Specifically, I was heavily indoctrinated in to women’s rights issues.

My conversion in to social conservatism was merely a matter of changing my identifier, as I had really been quite conservative my whole life. Although, I didn’t know it. I dated the same woman from the time I was in high school until my last year of law school. We broke up and I entered the contemporary dating market with eyes wide shut… at 23 years of age. The first woman I dated after law school was my boss’s daughter (he set us up). She was very in to women’s issues, as well. As she should have been, because it turned out she had been working as a prostitute for a number of years. When her father and I found out, not only did her “woke” friends help her move out of her fathers house, they also assisted in filing suit for parental abuse and neglect against the man. I have known him for many years. The man is a saint.

There was a lot more to it than that, but suffice it to say that I began to question exactly what purpose much of the feminist doctrine I had been taught actually served. As I continued dating, my poor innocent conscience was shocked by the things I was hearing from the (often upper middle class) women I was dating. You name the issue and I have a story. Tattoos from head to toe. Morbid obesity masquerading as body positivity. Three kids out of wedlock or three abortions to avoid it. More sexual partners than a whole neighborhood of women would have had “back I the day”. But the worst of it was that it all came with an attitude of extreme entitlement – the idea that any man should just accept them as they were, with no improvement and no explanation.

All of this drove me to actually read some of the foundational feminist thought leaders. And… my eyes were opened. I would encourage anyone who supports feminism to please read notable feminist author (Greer, perhaps as she is a bit more palatable). It will cure you of your feminism completely. And so I walked away, leaving some family and lifelong friends.

Do you feel at all afraid to be openly conservative? If so, how do you cope with being closeted?

How I feel about openly espousing conservative views depends on where I am. When I am in the US, I spend a lot of time in NYC, LA, and Chicago. I simply do not discuss politics in these places. It is too great a risk to my business. However, when I am in South America or, even, Russia or China, I am fairly open about it. That I feel more at ease speaking freely in the latter two countries than the United States should frighten anyone with any sense.

I deal with being a closeted conservative in the US by spending as little time as possible there. I very much regret to say that travel has caused much of the luster of America to fade. If I do return to live full time in the US, I will most likely move to a more rural area in the Western states.

What advice to you have for other conservatives afraid to speak out?

I will not offer untested advice. I will only tell you what I am doing. Much of the fear I see comes from conservatives afraid of institutional and social retribution. I am minimizing the potential for this in my own life. I have opened my own legal firm and I am broadly diversifying my client base. I have extended my social network to include people I otherwise might not interact with – farmers, blue collar workers, the devoutly religious. They are some of the most decent and down to earth people I have ever met. And, as I alluded to earlier, I am looking at relocating to a more rural environment in a red state. I hope you will find, as I am finding, that minimizing the downside allows a person a certain political freedom and license they might not otherwise have in these crazy times.

Thanks so so much James!!! I agree that while closeted, interacting with a diverse base of people does help you open your mind to others, such as fellow conservatives 🙂 I agree with your take on how feminism has become too radicalized! It’s hard, I’d think in Law to be openly conservative, as in many jobs, since the whole smearing of Kavanaugh by his own law Alma Mater!!! All I can say is stay strong and persist… To borrow the Lefty terms: Resist! Persist! 😉 Of course, you’re always welcome to write for my blog anytime! We need voices like yours to show others they’re not alone!

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