By Avery Ballmann | Staff Writer
Wednesday evening the Network of Enlightened Women’s (NEW) Baylor chapter invited conservative public speaker and Turning Point USA ambassador Lily Kate Cole to speak on radical femininity and its harm against women.
St. Louis, Mo., sophomore Aly Mikesell, president of NEW, began rebuilding the low-activity club and began hosting more events this semester. Ten members of NEW attended Cole’s presentation of “What is a Woman.”
“We wanted to bring that perspective of having the empowerment and the independence that we have worked for so long and that we strive to be as women, but also recognize femininity and how important that is and just to see the balance,” Mikesell said. “Lily Kate represents that so well and speaks on it so well, so we invited her to come.”
Cole has been homeschooled her entire life and does not attend college. Cole hosts a podcast called “Sanity Check” and has spoken at over 16 different college events.
“Essentially, if I had to give a one-sentence definition of ‘radical feminism’ it’s the infusion of Marxist financial principles into third-wave feminism, which is inherently deconstructionist and wanting to abolish any semblance of tradition in the culture that we have,” Cole said.
A common gender role Cole said she believes is that a man’s job is to protect his wife. This is mentioned in the Bible in Ephesians 5. In Cole’s presentation, she said that women “are the last line of defense in civilization.”
“If we’re the ones who are supposed to be protected, we don’t understand how to fight for ourselves whenever that threat comes, then who are we? We’re going to get trampled right over,” Cole said. “We’re going to believe all of the lies that the left has, so in summary, I believe that women need to be equipped with the ability to understand themselves, understand what makes them unique, understand what makes them powerful in a different way than a man’s power, but still powerful nonetheless.”
Cole believes the left-wing and radical feminists are tearing down femininity for women, causing women to be unhappy and unsatisfied. She used statistics such as COVID-19 divorce rates and Texas birth rates to support her argument.
NEW accepts any members, but Mikesell said the members are typically those that align with their ideology and the activities they participate in. Last week, they had an event at the Heart of Texas Shooting Center.
“Our goal is to really form a community where like-minded women, specifically conservative women, so they can come and find comfort in knowing they can talk to each other and confide in each other,” Mikesell said. “Especially in college it can be hard to find a community of like-minded people and that’s what we want to provide our members.”
Cole left her influencer life and became a public speaker to speak on femininity, freedom and other political topics.
“After doing research and conversations and reading about in very depth what feminism is, I have really found that we don’t even have an appreciation for what femininity is,” Cole said. “In fact, it can be used as a tool to fight this radical feminist narrative which is destructionist, as I defined in the beginning. So that’s the main reason, is because I see it as an opportunity and we need to take it.”
This was NEW’s last event for this semester and the group plans on having future events in the fall.
“We are working on rebuilding the NEW club at Baylor,” Mikesell said. “We want to have a variety of different aspects.”