Merriam-Webster Defines Feminism For Conway

by Kelly Tunney
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

President Donald Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway may have been temporarily "sidelined" from TV appearances, but that doesn't mean she's no longer making headlines. At the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, Conway's declared herself not a feminist because to her the classification is associated with being "anti-male" and "pro-abortion." In response to Conway, Merriam-Webster tweeted the definition of feminism, which will hopefully enlighten her to its real meaning.

According to the dictionary, feminism is defined as "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities." Conway was the first female campaign manager to successfully lead a presidential campaign, and honestly could be a good role model for girls if she stopped insisting that feminism is a man-hating group. Her reasoning behind Conway's refusal to prescribe to the feminist label is due to the difference between feminism and conservative feminism. She said,

I believe this generation, particularly the younger people, don’t really like labels. We’re not necessarily joiners, or liking to label ourselves. That’s great in its own right, so I don’t know about calling yourself a feminist. I also, for me, 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’m neither anti-male or pro-abortion. So there’s an individual feminism, if you will, that you make your own choices. Mercedes, I look at myself as a product of my choices rather than a victim of my circumstances, and that’s really, to me, what conservative feminism, if you will, is all about.

The comment demonstrate's Conway's distorted view of feminism that suggests women are sitting around complaining about how men are bad and the world is unfair. In reality, feminists understand that there are biases toward men — and also white men, which represents one part of intersectional feminism — in the world, and that those biases need to be overcome by breaking down the barriers women face for equality. Feminists work to level the playing field, not eliminate the competition — which, in Conway's comments, is men.

Interestingly, Conway does prescribe to some of the tenants that feminists believe in. In the same conversation at CPAC, Conway encouraged women to fight for equal pay, and also to run for president.

This isn't the first time Merriam-Webster has had something to say about the current political climate. The dictionary has trolled President Trump since his campaign by offering up definitions for terms that have applied to Trump's administration, including "fact." Hopefully it will continue to call out the administration's troublesome comments to set the record straight and give the rest of us a little satisfaction.