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Kellyanne Conway, president and CEO of the Polling Company and the campaign manager of US President-elect Donald Trump's campaign, speaks during the 4th Annual Women Rule Summit in Washington, DC, December 7, 2016. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

'Not feminism'

Kellyanne Conway explains decision to decline White House job in bizarrely gendered terms

December 8, 2016

Conservatives have questioned why Kellyanne Conway, the GOP’s first female presidential campaign manager and the first woman in history to lead a successful U.S. presidential campaign, isn’t treated by the left as a feminist symbol. Conway’s recent comments at Politico’s “Women Rule” event on Wednesday — if her 2011 assertion that women should “embrace femininity, not feminism” wasn’t enough — could help to explain why.

Conway revealed to the audience that she did not intend to take a job in Donald Trump’s White House because the time commitment would prevent her from being able to mother her four children — a decision that most would understand, especially given that all four of her children are under 12 years of age. When Conway related how she explained the decision to her male colleagues, however, the story took a different turn.

“I do politely mention to them the question isn’t would you take the job, the male sitting across from me who’s going to take a big job in the White House,” said Conway. “The question is: Would you want your wife to? Would you want the mother of your children to? You really see their entire visage change. It’s like, oh, no, they wouldn’t want their wife to take that job.”

No good mother, Conway seemed to imply, would put her career over spending time with her children. And no good husband, apparently, would want his wife to do so — even though, by her rationale, he himself has no need to think twice about taking on a time-consuming job of his own.

President Obama’s senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, addressed the audience at the event later on and said that she approached Conway backstage to encourage her to reconsider taking on a role in the White House.

Read the full story at Slate.


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