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The fun began for Hillary Clinton at the Women in the World Summit in New York City, her very first speech of a long and arduous campaign trail. The annual event focuses on improving women's lives around the world and kicked off her campaign at a feminist event framing women's rights as a main issue in the upcoming election.
This is bad news for the Republican party, which has historically been viewed as unsympathetic to women's issues and can no longer afford to sidestep questions of gender inequality.
Whether or not Carly Fiorina is the answer to their prayers is up for debate.
Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, has been making the conservative case for feminism by attempting to redefine what the word means. Fiorina argues that feminism, which began as a legitimate means of empowering women, has become too ideological and its ideals too aligned with the liberal agenda. She says Republicans need to adopt the term for themselves and find a personal definition that fits without turning it into a political weapon.
The term has acted as a right-wing repellent in the past but Fiorina's take on "feminsim" makes it much more individualistic, encouraging her voters to live the life they want and seek empowerment in their own work. While this take on feminism aligns itself closely with core Republican ideals, the definition fails to recognize broader institutional challenges women face that can only be solved through political action and social change.
Despite labeling herself as a feminist, Fiorina has opposed legislation that increases minimum wage, mandates equal pay, and has pushed for more welfare work requirements. Each of these stances would negatively effect women who are struggling to make ends meet, especially single mothers.
Masquerading conservative ideals of rugged individualism with a can-do attitude as feminism isn't feminism.
Voters who care about women's issues care about social change and Fiorina's refusal to make those changes are not only bad for her campaign, but could be another feminism fail for the Republican party as a whole.