Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, revealed to Time how she explained to her daughters why their mother — a self-proclaimed “strong, independent, freethinking woman” — didn’t vote for the first female presidential candidate in U.S. history.
Featured in Time’s “Firsts: Women Who Are Changing the World,” Conway admitted that it was possible to be “excited” for Clinton as a result of her historic run, but admitted that voting for Clinton for the sake of putting a woman in office was not on the table when it came to sticking to her principles.
Conway’s unconventional feminism
During her interview with Time, Conway said that her 20-plus-year career in politics was not a cakewalk and not achieved without hard work.
“There were few women consultants; there were few women candidates; there were certainly few women congressmen and officeholders,” she told Time of her rise from a research assistant at a Republican polling firm to becoming counselor to a sitting U.S. president.
“I have described [it] as walking into the men’s locker room at the Elks Club, holding a bachelor party,” she added.
Admitting that she got ahead by thinking “like a man” and acting “like a lady,” she began feeling comfortable in finding her footing in the male-dominated political world.
What she told her daughters
Conway, 50, told Time that when her three daughters asked why their mother didn’t vote for the first female presidential candidate in U.S. history, she told them that, while she respected the fact that Clinton’s was running, it did not mean she would support the Democratic candidate simply on the grounds of being a woman.
“I would tell [my daughters] that I respect very much that Secretary Clinton was running for president, and it showed that in this country anybody can do anything if they set their mind to it,” Conway explained.
“At the same time, I tried to explain to them that you could be excited for someone with whom you disagree and share in that moment in history as a proud American,” she said.
About women as a whole, Conway added, “We are making our own choices and really making history every day — but yet making history in the fact that we are increasingly in control.”
Conway on feminism at large
Conway has spoken about feminism several times since emerging as the face of President Donald Trump’s campaign.
“I relish the idea of a female president in my lifetime,” she told Glamour in 2016.
About Clinton’s run, she added, “True feminism means you’re strong and independent enough to stand on your own. It motivates me to say that I’m for a woman, but not that woman.”
Conway in February admitted that she doesn’t consider herself a feminist “in a classic sense,” because she feels that rhetoric surrounding the concept is very “anti-male” and “pro-abortion.”
Speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference, Conway said, “It’s difficult for me to call myself a feminist in a classic sense because it seems to be very anti-male, and it certainly is very pro-abortion, and I’m neither anti-male or pro-abortion.”
“So, there’s an individual feminism, if you will, that you make your own choices,” she explained. “I look at myself as a product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances.”