When Conway was first appointed as Donald Trump's campaign manager in August 2016, she became the first female to run a Republican presidential campaign. While Trump lauded Conway as "an expert on female consumers and female voters," Conway downplayed her gender's significance, telling The New Yorker that "I tell people all the time, 'Don't be fooled, because I am a man by day.'" Despite her demurral, it's clear that Conway does consider herself something of an expert—she's even written a book entitled What Women Really Want.
This wasn't the first (or last) time that Conway has criticised or downplayed the feminist movement. In a speech given to the Conservative Women's Network in 2011, Conway called feminism "doom and gloom," and argued that "revulsion towards men in your life" is "part and parcel of the feminist movement." She also claimed that "femininity is replacing feminism as a leading attribute for American women," and that "if women want to be taken seriously in the workforce, looking feminine is a good place to start."
Despite Conway's own divisive opinions on feminism, it appears that adding her to the Trump campaign managed to soften his image for many female voters. As Republican strategist Katie Packer put it, "She has created a niche where candidates can check a box and say, well, they've got a woman advising them." Apparently, this strategy worked well for Trump, as 53 percent of white women voted for him in the November general election.