8 Surprisingly Feminist Republican Quotes

There once was a time when supporting women’s rights was a tenet of the Republican party — that was before 1980 when it revoked its support of the Equal Rights Amendment. More than 30 years have passed, and the party has taken stark opposition to reproductive rights and has either put social rights issues on the back burner or disagreed with them altogether. Based on a gathering of cringe-worthy banter regarding women, generalization about the party’s stance on feminism seems pretty warranted. But doesn’t anyone stand out from the pack? There are feminist quotes by Republicans and for women that prove that there’s still hope for the party and who knows, maybe even an expansion of its female constituency.

Let’s first, though, take a closer look at what the 2016 GOP candidates have had to say about women thus far. The presidential campaign this year has been especially telling regarding Republicans' generally anti-feminist views. Carly Fiorina, the only woman running for the Republican primary, has spoken about adopting a larger focus on women’s rights and well-being in America — something she falsely claimed Obama has not done — but disappointed feminists when she expressed her strong support for the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

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Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee made a speech in 2014 and likened abortions to the Holocaust. OK.

If you felt something incredibly powerful at Auschwitz and Birkenau over the 11 million killed worldwide and the 1.5 million killed on those grounds, cannot we feel something extraordinary about 55 million murdered in our own country in the wombs of their mothers?

While presidential contender Jeb Bush was running for governor of Florida in the 1990s, he delegitimized women’s agency without blinking an eye. So it’s that ingrained, huh?

[Women] should be able to get their lives together and find a husband.

And, last but not least, everyone’s favorite candidate… Donald Trump. During a September 2014 interview he made a comment to a female reporter that inspires intense rage.

I mean, we could say politically correct that look doesn't matter, but the look obviously matters … Like you wouldn't have your job if you weren't beautiful.
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So, in case you were wondering why a round-up of surprisingly feminist quotes by Republicans was necessary, well there you have it. To relieve the anger you now have from a look at those anti-women quotes, now take a look at some feminist quotes from Republicans.

Margaret Chase Smith On A "Woman's Proper Place"

Having been a member of Congress for almost 24 years as the only female senator, Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman in American history to announce her campaign for the presidency in 1964. She ran as a Republican. In a 1949 speech, she challenged the popular outlook on “the proper place of a woman.”

My answer to that question is short and simple — a woman’s proper place is everywhere …You never hear the comment that ‘Men are all right in their place’ because their place has never been restricted … If there is one proper role for women today it is that of alert and responsible citizens in the fullest sense of the word. Citizenship is without sex. It makes no distinction between the rights and responsibilities of men and women in America.

Barry Goldwater On Religion And Politics

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Barry Goldwater, who was the 1964 Republican Party presidential nominee and a five-term senator, made a speech to the U.S. Senate in 1981 that warned the U.S. primarily of the influence of religion in politics. Inherently, his speech, whether intentionally or not, applies directly to those who oppose women’s rights for religious reasons also.

I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

Mary Crisp On An Amendment To Ban Abortion

Mary Crisp, co-chair of the Republican National Committee in 1977, was shunned from by her party years later for publicly opposing its anti-abortion stance. In 1980, she gave the GOP platform a piece of her mind as its equal rights policies devolved in front of her eyes.

We are about to bury the rights of over 100 million American women under a heap of platitudes.

She chose to remain a member of the Republican Party nevertheless and told an Orange County clerk in 1996 that not allowing a woman control over her own body "would be to turn my back on everything I learned about being a Republican — things like justice, equality, liberty and personal rights."

Kathy Hawken On Planned Parenthood

North Dakota Rep. Kathy Hawken is a Republican who stands alongside Planned Parenthood and even rallies with them. In an interview with Salon, she explained her stance on Planned Parenthood, as well as her disappointment regarding the Republican Party’s trajectory.

Within the Republican Party, it is not particularly easy to speak out on this issue, which is for me very sad and very contrary to what the Republican Party has always stood for to me, which is personal responsibility. … People say, ‘No, this is not a war on women,’ but I don’t know how else to explain it.

George H.W. Bush On Federal Funds For Family Planning


Planned Parenthood features a page called “Republicans for Planned Parenthood” that illustrates the historical connection between the Republican Party and women’s rights and encourages more Republican Party members, especially women, to stand up for those personal rights.

In 1970, Representative George H.W. Bush supported research in family planning before he was elected president.

I introduced legislation earlier this year which would provide federal funds for research in family planning devices and increased services to people who need them but cannot afford them. We must help our young people become aware of the fact that families can be planned and that there are benefits economically and socially to be derived from small families.

Richard Nixon, Also On Family Planning


During his first year as president, Republican Richard Nixon made a point similar to Bush's:.

It is clear that the domestic family planning services supported by the Federal Government should be expanded and better integrated … It is my view that no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.

Olympia Snowe On Going Backward

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More recently in 2012, former Republican Senator of Maine Olympia Snowe addressed the party’s devolution when it comes to equal rights.

And now it comes to contraceptive coverage … You know, it really is surprising, because I feel like it’s a retro debate. It took place in the 1950s. It’s sort of ‘Back to the Future,’ isn’t it? And it’s surprising in the 21st century that we would be revisiting this issue.

Rudy Giuliani On Who Should Make A Woman's Decisions

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In 2007, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that he has no place in a woman’s decision-making process.

I believe the best way we can have common ground in this debate that you’re hearing is if we put our emphasis on reducing abortion and increasing the number of adoptions, which is something that I did as mayor of New York City. But I think ultimately that decision that has to be made is one that government shouldn’t make. Ultimately, a woman should make that with her conscience and ultimately with her doctor.