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Kellyanne Conway on feminism: I'm 'a product of my choices

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, said during remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday that she was raised to be a “strong woman” but she rejects the label of “feminism.”

Conway, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, became the first woman to successfully manage a presidential campaign when Trump was elected in November.

In spite of her accomplishments, she said, she doesn’t identify with the label “feminist.”

“It’s difficult for me to call myself a ‘feminist’ in the classic sense, because it seems to be very anti-male and it certainly is very pro-abortion, in this context, and I am neither anti-male nor pro-abortion.”

Conway did say she subscribes to an “individual” feminism because she looks at herself as a “product of my choices not a victim of my circumstances.”

Conway said she would advise women seeking to advance their careers to “know who you are” and to not worry about what “naysayers say.” “Nobody understands your life buy you,” she said, stressing the importance of a “work-life balance.”

The longtime GOP activist said that, as the mother of young children, she struggled to make a decision about working in the White House, but added that “opportunity does not always knock twice.”

She noted that “the job of the first female president of the United States is still open” and young women should “go for it.”

Conway also told a story about a time early in her career when she was asked to speak at an event with a male pollster. She was then asked what she charged as a speaking fee.

Conway, who had never been paid for a speaking engagement before, said she “froze” and didn’t know how to respond. She said she decided to borrow a line from the film “When Harry Met Sally.” “I’ll have what he’s having,” she said. And she was paid the same rate — $3,500.

Asked what her boss is like in private conversations, Conway replied that Trump is “funny,” “gracious” and a “family man.”

She joked that the “biggest compliment” Trump could bestow on a member of his staff is “you are really high energy.” “In the campaign I would tell the young staffers, 'if you see him coming around the corner start doing jumping jacks,'” she joked.

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