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Kellyanne Conway schooled by Merriam-Webster dictionary on feminism definition

Senior Trump aide made up her own definition, saying: 'I look at myself as a product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances, that's really to me what conservative feminism is all about'

Charlotte England
Friday 24 February 2017 20:07 GMT
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'Feminism' is defined as 'the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities' according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary
'Feminism' is defined as 'the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities' according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary (Getty Images)

One of Donald Trump's senior advisers has been gently reminded about the meaning of feminism by The Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Kellyanne Conway, the first woman to run a successful US presidential campaign told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that she does not consider herself a feminist “in a classic sense” because the term is associated with being “anti-male” and “pro-abortion”.

Her comments quickly trended on social media, prompting the dictionary to step in and clarify the meaning.

Feminism is defined as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”, it said.

Ms Conway had attempted to give her own alternative definition of "conservative feminism", during a conversation with the commentator, Mercedes Schlapp.

“There's an individual feminism, if you will, that you make your own choices," she said. "I look at myself as a product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances. That's really to me what conservative feminism, if you will, is all about.”

According to Merriam-Webster, the number of people looking up the technical definition of feminism spiked after Ms Conway mentioned it.

The dictionary noted in a blogpost that feminism became a word in 1895, a time of political organising for women's equality that would eventually lead to women's suffrage.

It is not the first time Merriam-Webster has taken to Twitter to explain the meaning of the word to Ms Conway.

After she coined the term "alternative facts" to explain inaccurate and misleading statements made by press secretary Sean Spicer, it said: "A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality."

It added: "*Whispers into the void* In contemporary use, fact is understood to refer to something with actual existence."

Ms Conway told the CPAC conference that Mr Trump was an ally to women, describing him as “a family man” and praising him for promoting women, both in his business ventures and as president.

“Donald Trump is someone who is not fully understood for how compassionate and what a great boss he is to women,” she said.

She added that, as a mother of four, she faces the same challenges as all women in finding a balance between work and family, a dynamic she said Mr Trump understands.

Ms Conway said she also looks forward to the arrival of a female president one day.

“I would tell my three daughters and your daughters, or you, that the job for first female president of the United States remains open, so go for it,” she said.

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