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Find community, keep your faith: new guide tells conservative women to stay strong

In ‘You’re Not Alone,’ conservative leader offers alternatives to liberal feminism

The Network of enlightened Women recently launched a book on thriving as a conservative woman on campus, including tips on choosing a college, finding a mentor, and dating with an eye toward marriage.

“You’re Not Alone: The Conservative Woman’s Guide to College,” published Jan. 1, was written by Karin Lips, president of NeW and an alumna of the University of Virginia. Her book breaks down how a young woman can find a school that feels right for her and suggestions for her time as an undergraduate.

Lips (pictured) told The College Fix in an email on Jan. 3 that the book is about “how important it is for young conservative women to intentionally build a community.”

“I encourage them to join conservative clubs and take advantage of opportunities that will put them in the room with other conservatives,” she said.

Other strategies the book suggests for finding support include picking the right major, joining a faith group, and seeking a reliable faculty mentor.

Lips hopes this guide will serve all types of conservative women, including those who are less politically outspoken, she told The Fix.

Lips founded NeW as “as an organization for conservative university women to provide an alternative to the liberal feminism I saw on campus,” according to her website. “It turns out there were a lot of women who felt like modern feminism didn’t represent them.”

Lips’ book is divided into four parts: College Preparation, the Campus Atmosphere, Campus Organizations, and Personal Advancement. Each section includes anecdotes from Lips and other women highlighting strategies that might work for a woman on her own journey during college.

Finding like-minded friends, Lips says in the guide, is important in countering self-censorship and the social pressures that come with belonging to the conservative minority.

The book cites a 2022 poll from the nonprofit Knight Foundation that found “a majority of students (65%) agree strongly or somewhat that their campus climate prevents some people from saying things they believe because others might find the remarks offensive.”

Book also speaks to women who prioritize personal life over politics

“Some young conservative women choose not to lead with their political views,” she said. “Yet others find that being the ‘conservative girl’ on campus helps them make friends. Their peers who may tend to be quieter about their views appreciate these women for standing up for what they believe in and then approach them.”

In the book, Lips also addressed women who prioritize family over public life.

“According to Her Campus Media, 85% of college women want to be married by the age of thirty,” she told The Fix. “Politics is only one part of your life on campus — don’t neglect your personal life!”

She told The Fix she’d “ like to see this topic talked about more on campus.”

Lips also turned to Brad Wilcox for advice on how college women can pursue marriage. He is the director of the National Marriage Project and a sociology professor at UVA.

“Start looking for a good man in college and maintain high standards for relationships in college,” Wilcox wrote. “If you find your future husband in college, great. If not, you’re setting yourself up for making better choices later in young adulthood. Women who move slowly and deliberately in relationships tend to forge better marriages.”

The book concludes with a reminder to women that they should be confident in their beliefs and unafraid of new connections and experiences.

“While campus might feel lonely, you’re not alone,” Lips writes. “If you are feeling lonely, you can always join the NeW community. It was created for women like you.”

MORE: ‘Single and childless’ adults are less happy than married couples: scholars

IMAGE: KarinLips.com, Network of Enlightened Women

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Colleen Dean is an graduate student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, currently pursuing an M.A. in Catholic Studies. She received her undergrad degree from Franciscan in political science with two minors in Spanish and human life studies. She has also written for Lone Conservative.