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Meow. Meow. Here Comes Kellyanne Conway!

Vivia Chen

October 2, 2019

Hello-kittyI think we women should give Kellyanne Conway a big thank you for knocking some sense back into us.

Oh, how delusional we’ve been. Can you believe we were actually buying all that stuff about female empowerment and how women wanted to help each other succeed?

Thank goodness Conway is there to remind us that sisterhood is just a lot of hype. I mean, she’s really been exceptional in demonstrating how vicious women can be to each other, starting with her own remarks about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Just a few days ago, Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, made this remark about Pelosi to a bunch of reporters in front of the the White House:

“She does the worst thing a woman in power can do, which is she just changes her mind because the men around her said, ‘Change your mind. We need an impeachment.’” Conway added. “I don’t know what she had for lunch—an equivocation sandwich?”

Talk about playing up to a bunch of stereotypes. Let’s see, there’s the women-are-pathologically-indecisive stereotype. Then, there’s the women-are-helpless-without-men stereotype. So despite being the most powerful woman in the land, Pelosi is just another female nitwit, suggests Conway. Pow! And coming from a woman, these accusations must be credible. Double pow!

It’s hardly the first time that Conway has tried to take down Pelosi by playing the woman card. Back in the spring, when Trump broke off talks with the Dems, Politico reported that Conway accused Pelosi of treating her like a maid.

Conway told Fox News that when she asked the speaker if she’d like “to address some of the specifics the president talked about,” Pelosi responded coldly: “I don’t—I talk to the president, I don’t talk to staff.” To which Conway replied: “I said to her, ‘How very pro-woman of you.’ Per usual, because she is not very pro-woman. She is pro some women, a few women.”

Well, you have to hand it to Conway. She’s really clever at using feminism to defeat feminism. She’s saying that Pelosi shouldn’t be celebrated by women because she wasn’t nice to another woman.

Conway is also adroit at sowing class divisions among women. She suggested that Pelosi behaved imperially because of her wealth (“Because let’s face it, she is the sixth most-rich member of Congress, she treats everybody like they’re her staff”)—an ironic point, since Conway is hardly a poor church mouse herself. (Remember, she’s married to George Conway, a long-time partner—now of counsel–at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.)

Conway seems to relish good old fashion girl-on-girl bashing. This summer, she couldn’t get enough of the tiff between Pelosi and the four female freshman Democratic lawmakers (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib), calling it a “major meow moment” and “huge catfight.”

Meow moment? Catfight? Seriously?

To Pelosi’s credit, she’s not taking Conway’s bait. In this latest episode, when asked by Joe Scarborough about Conway’s comment about her changing her mind, Pelosi said, “Why would I have to comment on something she said?”

Cool cucumber, that Pelosi.

But Kellyanne ain’t stopping, and her message is this: Women shouldn’t always count on women to be on their side. So expect that road to equality to be bumpy—bumpier than necessary. And watch out for the mean girls. Because they’re out there.


Contact Vivia Chen at vchen@alm.com

On Twitter: @lawcareerist


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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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