Kellyanne Conway muses that the White House is no place for working moms

Kellyanne Conway muses that the White House is no place for working moms
Source: AP
Source: AP

At the Politico-hosted Women Rule Summit on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump's adviser, Kellyanne Conway, mused that rule of the White House would be better left to men — mothers, she said, would do better to stay home. 

"My children are 12, 12, 8 and 7, which is bad idea, bad idea, bad idea, bad idea for mom going inside," Conway said, according to ABC. "They have to come first, and those are very fraught ages."

Conway, who ran Trump's presidential campaign, also encouraged women to "go for it" and "ask for what we think we deserve," according to the Washington Post. She also that she "could maybe help America's women in terms of feeling less guilty about balancing life and career." 

But Conway was clear in her ultimate message. "We still have to make choices, and there are limits," she said, according to ABC. She went on to discuss how she dealt with male colleagues who raised the possibility of Conway in a White House role: by inviting them to imagine the horror of having a wife with a demanding career.

"I do politely mention to them that the question isn't 'Would you take the job?' — the male sitting across from me who's about to take a big role in the White House — but 'Would you want your wife to?' And you really see their entire visage change," Conway said. 

Kellyanne Conway says President-elect Donald Trump gives working moms the thumbs-up — it's just that she, personally, can't justify this motherly mistake.
Source: 
Andrew Harnik/AP

The reaction, ABC noted, wasn't confusion at the question, because why wouldn't they support their spouses in moments of professional success? It wasn't to recoil in anticipation of some sexism, either. Instead, Conway said, "They wouldn't want their wife to take that job."

She clarified that the position hadn't been forced upon her by Trump, whose daughter, Ivanka, has outwardly made the support of working moms among her most important goals for her pseudo-role in her father's administration. 

"Mothers and married women and unmarried women — they're all welcome in the Trump White House, and he's made that very clear to me," Conway said, adding this was her "personal choice."

And it's an entirely unsurprising one. After all, this is a woman who, when confronted with a series of freshly surfaced tapes documenting Trump's sexually aggressive and predatory behaviors, called him "gracious" and a "gentleman." This is a woman who has wondered aloud whether rape would even happen if women weren't physically stronger. It seems fair to say that, when it comes to sexism, Conway simply doesn't get it — a theory further evidenced by another proclamation she made at Wednesday's summit.

"It's a great time to be a woman in America," she said. 

For many, many women, it most assuredly is not. 

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Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

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