When addressed with the question whether X or Y is better, any reasonable person answering the question should be capable of two speech acts: (1) a determination of X or Y, and (2) producing a reason why that choice is a good one. Often we just allow folks to just to perform (1), and we let them keep their reasons for themselves. But its in the reasons that we find all sorts of interesting things, and we may, ourselves, learn something about X or Y. Importantly, those reasons should be about X or Y, what properties they have, maybe their history, what about X or Y appeals to you.
Here's a kind of reason that fails that requirement: I'm the kind of person who always chooses X. Or, I was brought up choosing X. Or, if X was good enough for my parents, X is good enough for me. Now, those reasons are pretty weak — they amount to the concession that X and Y aren't objectively any better than one another, but because of the contingencies of history, I've ended up an X-ist. Since it's just trouble to end up changing, I'll stay one. Again, that's a reason, but a very weak one. And one that, again, concedes that there's not much relevant difference between the two. Ad populum arguments and those from tradition need not be fallacious, but even in their non-fallacious forms, they still aren't very good. They, really, aren't answers to the question. The question was which was better, not which you choose.
Here's another type of answer that fails, too. Say that those who like Y are repulsive in some way. Perhaps they all talk funny, or are from the wrong side of the tracks. Maybe they don't dress right, drink too much, and so on. Again, these speech acts effectively concede that there's very little to distinguish X and Y objectively, but the determination comes down to the kind of person who chooses one over the other. But that's no determination of what's better, just an expression of distaste for other people being transferred to the things they believe. Um, ad hominem abusive, anyone?
All of this is a setup for a review of the Smart Girl Summit (note, don't click that link unless you're ready to see a pink-ified Capitol Building), a gathering of conservative women, to discuss women's issues. John Hawkins, of Human Events, covered the Summit (he also was a speaker), and he approvingly quotes a number of the attendees responding the the question: Who better represents the feminist ideal: conservative women or liberal women—and why.
Here are some of the responses:
"All I want to know is why do feminists hate women?"
"I would say conservative women because we can take care of ourselves."
"I've always thought conservative women, maybe because I am one."
The first two fall into the ad hominem variety. The first one seems like it's from Upsidedownsville. Moreover, it doesn't answer the question: who's better at capturing the core of feminism? The answer: feminists hate women. Well, at least it makes finding the answer easier.
The second, being a comparative judgment of the people, again, is an ad hominem reason. But it's ambiguous. "Take care of ourselves" can mean one of two things: (i) get a job, balance a checkbook, and make decisions without being told what to do by a man, or (ii) look nice. I have suspicions (especially given the comments below the article) that it's (ii) — liberal feminists are ugly, and their hideousness is a reductio of their views. It's an old slander, and one that doesn't go away, unfortunately.
The last one is just, well, sad. Confusing reasons and causes happens, but this is a particularly eggregious case. Again, if the only determining factor as to why the third respondent chooses conservative feminism over liberal is the simple fact that she antecedently identifies as a conservative, then her answer is no indicator as to the compared value of what she chooses. She's not responding to what liberal or conservative feminisms are, but acting out her identity. It's all a big show, amounting to nothing.