Donald Trump's history with women does not exactly endear him to many of us, as a president or as a person, and certainly not as a hypothetical boss. But White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, without a trace of irony or hint that she was attempting to make a joke, declared that every woman should hope one day to have a boss like hers.
Donald Trump can be described in many, many ways, but being a friend to women is surely not the first thing (or second, or third, or thousandth) that would come to mind for most people.
This is a man who bragged and joked about committing sexual assault; who used his position as a beauty pageant host to sexually harass adult and teenage contestants; who gets a thrill out of publicly humiliating and degrading women; and whose litany of despicable words, actions, and views has consistently disgusted and angered women who have had to watch his rise to the White House in spite of it all.
This is not a man whom most women would be comfortable spending five minutes in the same room with, let alone entering into the unbalanced power dynamic of boss and employee.
But ladies, perhaps we have it all wrong. Kellyanne Conway apparently thinks so, and graciously wants the rest of us to experience the “heartening” joy of having a boss who treats us the way Trump treats her:
MACCALLUM: …at the press briefing today, and said that you had been counseled on the matter and that he had nothing more to say. How were you counseled?
CONWAY: I’m not going to comment on that, Martha. I actually had nothing more to say about it.
MACCALLUM: What about the letter that has come from Chaffetz and Cummings in the House, that has gone to the government ethics board? And they say they consider that to be a very serious — potentially a serious violation of the government ethics code.
CONWAY: We are aware of that letter and we are reviewing that internally. I am just really happy that I spent an awful lot of time with the president of the United States this afternoon, and that he supports me 100 percent.
MACCALLUM: So, you spoke about that matter, and he is not — doesn’t have any intentions to suspend you?
CONWAY: We spoke about a range of matters and he supports me 100 percent. In fact, it was was a heartening moment. All I can say to the women of America is, at some point in your life, you ought to have a boss who treated me the way that the president is treating me today.
It is nice to know that Trump has his employees’ backs, though supporting one against accusations that she potentially violated federal law by hawking Trump’s daughter’s merchandise during a television appearance is not exactly a shining example of integrity.
And being willing to do so in no way erases Trump’s myriad other misogynistic actions. He may not have ever treated Conway the way he apparently treats any other woman in his line of sight, but that offers little assurance to other women that we might be so fortunate as to receive the same regard.