Kellyanne Conway, the current Counselor to President Donald Trump, recently went on record with some comments that are putting her, once again, under the magnifying glass. She said that her gender “helps” in her relationship with Trump, assuming she is being “very deferential.”
“I think there’s a femininity that is attached to the way one carries herself or the way one executes on her duties,” Conway said in an interview that was published yesterday.
“I could tell you a great way that my gender has helped me with the president. I’m actually unafraid to express my mind, but I do it very respectfully – very respectfully and very deferentially.”
Conway, by her own account, serves up her deferential opinions with a “big smile.”
Conway made these remarks in a way that was clearly not meant to be disparaging of her boss. She considers Trump her “elder.”
Her attitude is very disturbing to a number of individuals who feel that her remarks betray a kind of internalized sexism.
“I don’t consider [Trump] my peer. He is my boss and he is my elder,” said Conway. She is technically correct – he is seventy and she is fifty. “That has actually allowed me, in my view, to respectfully but forcefully express my opinion on certain matters.”
Conway has a reputation for bucking with the beltway norm. She wears bright colors and is more overtly feminine than many female politicians.
“I think there’s a femininity that is attached to the way one carries herself or the way one executes on her duties,” says Conway.
In a previous interview she called feminists “anti-male.” She went on to describe herself as “post-feminist, anti-feminist and non-feminist.”
She has also invoked sexism in criticism of Hillary Clinton. “Let me tell you… Hillary Clinton is in search of sexism as a lame excuse for why her disastrous candidacy and campaign lost six months ago.”
Of 24 Cabinet and Cabinet-level positions in the Trump administration, only four are held by women.
In response to allegations of sexist treatment of women in the Trump camp, Conway said, “We’re heard and we’re seen and we’re listened to and we are sought out and sought after for our opinions and our judgment and our ideas and our insight.”
Last year, Trump said in a New York Times interview that Hope Hicks, then his campaign press secretary, provided him counsel “in a very low-key manner so it doesn’t necessarily come in the form of advice. It’s delivered very nicely.”