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Television personality discusses being conservative, feminist as a Latina

| Friday, September 22, 2017

FOX News contributor, author and spokeswoman for the LIBRE Initiative Rachel Campos-Duffy spoke on being Hispanic, modern-day conservatism and feminism at an event in the Carey Auditorium on Thursday night. The lecture, titled “Si Se Puede: Latina and Conservative,” was sponsored by Notre Dame Young Americans for Freedom and the Notre Dame College Republicans.

Rachel Campos-Duffy spoke about Hispanics, conservatism and feminism during a lecture Thursday night.Rosie LoVoi | The Observer
Rachel Campos-Duffy spoke about Hispanics, conservatism and feminism during a lecture Thursday night.

Campos-Duffy discussed her grandparents’ immigrant background and her father’s start in poverty, saying they chose to live in America for a reason. With America’s “secret sauce” of freedom, limited government, free enterprise, hard work and personal responsibility, she said, her family rose out of poverty.

“I think that the most important thing my parents taught us was that you are never too old to learn and that you are not a victim,” she said. “That is a very countercultural thing to hear these days where everybody is a victim.”

Citing a statistic claiming 2 million more Hispanics fell into poverty during Barack Obama’s presidency and saying that inequality worsened, Campos-Duffy argued that a more conservative administration is better able to help the Hispanic community.

“Today, one of the most underreported stories of this particular presidency is the volume of regulations that President Trump is rolling back, and it is quite frankly the source of so much of the economic growth that we are finally seeing in the job market,” she said. “ … Logging is back, mining is back, the energy sector is back and main street small businesses — and these are the mom and pop stores that so many Hispanics dream of owning and passing onto their kids — these businesses are also seeing the yoke of business come undone.”

Claiming that competition makes business perform better and increases innovation, Campos-Duffy said capitalism and entrepreneurship have lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system. She said socialism in places such as Venezuela has left people “desperate and hungry” and in “unspeakable poverty.”

“What political party has the ideas and the policies to lift our families out of poverty?” she said. “Which party wants to give you scraps off the government table to make you dependent and comfortable in your poverty?”

Campos-Duffy also spoke about a Latina version of the feminism that she said was more pro-life and family-centered than mainstream feminism. Arguing that modern-day feminism has become “almost exclusively about abortion rights,” Campos-Duffy said feminism should “elevate the debate” and not sink too low.

“If Trump’s vulgarity offends — and it does at times — we lose our moral high ground when we as a gender go there, too,” she said.

Saying that “old-guard feminists are trapped in the 1975 or 1985 version of feminism,” Campos-Duffy said women must feel less pressure to stick to the feminist script, which Latina women do more than most by being more pro-life and staying at home at a higher rate than other demographics.

“I say, pursue your education, pursue your dreams but do not be afraid to slow down or jump off the professional train when your heart calls you to tend to things that last — marriage, babies, happy kids,” she said.

She said that she ignored the far-right voices that told her to do nothing outside of the home, as well as the voices that told her the work she was doing as a stay-at-home mom was “not important.” She also said Latina women are influencing conservative feminist values.

“Conservative and Latina women like me are proudly redefining feminism in a way that actually gives women more freedom to chart their course and find freedom on their own terms,” she said.

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About Alexandra Muck

Alexandra Muck is a Notre Dame senior majoring in business and economics. Originally from Dallas, she currently lives in Howard Hall.

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