“There seems to be great resentment of both as power hungry and wanting to control men,” said Marjorie J. Spruill, the author of “Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics.” “Whereas Hillary is called castrating or shrewish, Conway is often called a slut. The implication is that she is using femininity to control men.”
Ms. Spruill noted that Ms. Conway had leaned back to take pictures as a favor to the participants, but that some critics had cast the pose as a sexual come-on.
Ironies abound. Ms. Conway is loathed by many Clinton aides as the architect of a presidential campaign that they felt used overtly and implicitly sexist messages. Mr. Trump repeatedly denigrated women for their appearance and, after taking office, directed his female staff members to “dress like women.”
Many conservative women, from Sarah Palin to Ann Coulter, have emphasized their femininity to distance themselves from feminists, whom they accuse of hating men. In a recent interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Ms. Conway said she supported many feminist principles but said she would not call herself one because feminism is anti-male, pro-abortion and identified with the left.