WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway waits for the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump for a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room at the White House January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. Citing the hack of computers at the Democratic National Committee by Russia, Trump said that the private and public sectors must do more to prevent and protect against cyber attacks. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images
By Kate Dwyer
February 2, 2017

In a new Cosmopolitan profile, Kellyanne Conway discussed the sexism and sexual harassment that she experienced early in her career. The highest-ranking woman in the Trump administration, launched the Polling Company in 1995, where, she told Cosmopolitan, ”I encountered all kinds of sexism.”

“The most extreme examples were unwanted sexual advances. Always by older men, often in positions of power, with some fancy title before their name and an R or a D after it,” Conway shared.

But she didn’t tell anyone about being sexually harassed because, she said, “It wasn’t called that back then.”

“It would be embarrassing to the twentysomething or thirtysomething-year-old girl to try to make some federal case out of somebody who was in a huge position of power. You’d rather just pretend it didn’t happen, that it was your fault, or that it would never happen again,” Conway explained.

Unfortunately, it’s this type of mentality that lets perpetrators get away with their actions. According to a 2015 Cosmopolitan survey of 2,235 full-time and part-time female employees, one in three women experienced sexual harassment at work. The same survey found only 29% of women who experienced sexual harassment at work reported it.

Conway’s apparent resignation to what happened early in her career is being tied her apparent resignation over President Trump’s infamous 2005 comments about sexually assaulting women and subsequent assault and harassment allegations. When questioned about Trump’s comments by CNN’s Dana Bash, Conway said, “I was offended and I think the language is offensive and disgusting and I’m very happy that he apologized.” Critics accuse her of viewing sexual harassment as unfortunate but dismissible.

However, Conway added in the Cosmopolitan interview: “The idea that you think you’ve got the right to stick your tongue down my throat is pretty darn disgusting.”

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