Like it or not, as the first woman campaign manager to successfully win a Presidential election, Kellyanne Conway has made history for women.
Not that she entirely agrees.
While being interviewed about this historic achievement, Kellyanne called herself a post-feminist. Here’s what she had to say about feminism in full:
“I don’t consider myself a feminist.
I think my generation isn’t a big fan of labels.
My favorite label is mommy.
I feel like the feminist movement has been hijacked by the pro-abortion movement or the anti-male sentiments that you read in some of their propaganda and writings.
I’m not anti-male.
One does not need to be pro-female and call yourself a feminist, when with it comes that whole anti-male culture where we want young boys to sit down and shut up in the classroom.
And we have all of these commercials that show what a feckless boob the man in the house is.
That’s not the way I see the men in my life, most especially my 12-year-old son.
I consider myself a postfeminist. I consider myself one of those women who is a product of her choices, not a victim of her circumstances.”
Whenever any woman declares that she is not a feminist, and then begins to explain WHY she is not a feminist, I immediately become the living embodiment of this GIF:
Conway doesn’t seem to know what the words “feminism” OR “postfeminist” really mean.
A feminist is a person who believes that all people should be treated fairly, respectfully, and equally.
That’s literally it.
My mother is a feminist and she’s a conservative children’s librarian who didn’t start working full-time until the last of her four children went off to college.
We have different beliefs about many things, but we both believe that gender should not play a role in how much money we make and in how we are treated by others.
Postfeminism is a reaction against the preceding iterations of feminism, but that’s about all Conway seems to understand about that movement.
Like so many causes, even within feminism, there has been a long history of infighting and debate.
Postfeminists are reacting AGAINST feeling excluded from the mantle of feminism. Originally these were women of color who, unsurprisingly and unfortunately, have a history of being marginalized.
But these days, postfeminism doesn’t think we should all be treated equally.
Postfeminism thinks that gender isn’t even real, it’s a radical response and a call to action, and it’s something it’s clear Kellyanne does not agree with.
Gender is her bread and butter.
Her favorite label is being called “mommy”, and what is more feminist than to be a powerful woman and a mother?
It’s really concerning that she, and so many women like her, believe that they have to choose between being proud moms and proud feminists. Or proud to love and respect men and still proud feminists. It kills me that women still feel like saying they are feminists is a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with wanted to be treated like a human being.
I could maybe MAYBE start to get behind what she’s saying if there had ever been a woman in her position before the year 2017, but there hasn’t been.
I could maybe MAYBE start to get behind what she’s saying if I made as much money as any single one of my male peers in any single field even though I have an advanced degree.
The history of feminism is complex, I’m not arguing that. But I will say that its modern, core values are painfully simple.
You don’t have to be a democrat or a socialist to be a woman who is proud of what she has achieved in her personal and professional life. You can be a feminist and believe that your place is in the home, for sure! As a feminist, it is your right to assert your value.
Because we are all humans. We all have value.
And it’s more than just a label.
I hate it when people say “I don’t believe in labels” because that’s a dodge. Human beings need labels. We need them so we understand the thing we are looking at. Labels exist to help us break down barriers and understand concepts that might be otherwise overwhelming.
I say I’m a feminist, not because I love the idea of being lumped into one group of people, waving signs and not shaving my armpits.
I say I’m a feminist because the work of feminism is not done.
I say I’m a feminist because I want people to understand that I see them and that I know they have value and that I am invested in the fight to make sure that their rights and value is seen and recognized globally.
If Kellyanne doesn’t want to identify as a feminist, then she shouldn’t identify as a postfeminist.
Words have power, and by invoking them and those labels that Kellyanne supposedly hates, in her public role, she is doing damage to the women who she claims do not even need them.
Speaking of the power of words:
Why You Shouldn’t Be Offended By the P-Word Anymore
This post by Rebecca Jane Stokes was originally published on YourTango: “Sorry Kellyanne, ‘Feminist’ Does Not Mean What You Think It Means“
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