Berkeley College Republicans, or BCR, held a Conservative Women in Media panel Thursday night, at which three conservative women spoke about a range of topics including feminism, the 2nd Amendment and socialism.
The panelists — Kassy Dillon, Antonia Okafor and Allie Stuckey — introduced themselves at the beginning of the event, which was conducted in a question-and-answer style and moderated by BCR members Freya Davis and Alexandra Riva.
According to Davis, the first half of the event was composed of questions crowdsourced through Twitter and Facebook, while the second was composed of questions posed by audience members.
The first point of discussion was feminism, with this question posed to the panelists: “Why do you think modern feminists ignore conservative women?”
Stuckey and Okafor spoke out specifically against a “victim mentality” that they believe characterizes the current wave of feminism, and Dillon and Stuckey spoke out against the notion of intersectionality. The three women expressed a desire to “reclaim” the idea of feminism — to bring the movement away from liberal ideals and toward conservative ones — throughout the event.
Okafor, a National Rifle Association commentator, used female empowerment as an argument for gun rights.
“The 2nd Amendment empowers women, who are physically weaker than men,” Okafor said. “Women need to have that voice. Guns are the greatest equalizer.”
An audience member asked Okafor about her thoughts on a statement from Bill O’Reilly that mass shootings are the “price of freedom,” especially as she evaluated it in the context of Wednesday’s shooting in Florida. Okafor did not directly respond to the question but reaffirmed her support for the 2nd Amendment.
When asked by the moderators if they’ve faced sexism from both “men and women who claim to be feminists,” all three panelists said yes. Dillon added that she has often been “mansplained” to about abortion by men who insist on reminding her that she “has a choice.”
“If you are a woman and you are a conservative, people don’t see you as a woman,” Dillon said.
Stuckey said she believes “the left has made themselves the arbiters of morality” and that conservatives don’t get a say because they are not in the mainstream on college campuses. Even from a policy perspective, Stuckey said, conservatives are often viewed as bigots and racists.
Patrick Little, who said he is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate and calls himself a “counter-Semitic Republican,” had a confrontation with Dillon during the audience questions portion of the event, asking her, “Why do you shill for Israel and the international financial Jews?”
“While he is legally allowed to hold such an opinion, it doesn’t make it any less idiotic,” BCR President Bradley Devlin said in a text message. “Patrick Little is not a conservative, he is not a Republican, and I condemn him in every way, shape and form.”
The panelists said it is important to reclaim words to combat misunderstandings about fundamental ideas such as socialism. Davis said it is important for everyone to hear different opinions on different topics and that the best way to develop an opinion is to hear every side of the issue.
BCR decided to hold this event in order to introduce new perspectives to campus, according to Matt Ronnau, the organization’s internal vice president.
“I think a lot of leftists have the viewpoint that conservatives are sexist and racist,” Ronnau said. “We wanted to bring other ideas and foster a discussion, which is what successfully occurred here.”