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Kellyanne Conway brought 'alternative facts' about feminism to CPAC. Let's clear that up.

She may not be a feminist, and that's OK. But let's get a few things straight.

Kellyanne Conway brought 'alternative facts' about feminism to CPAC. Let's clear that up.

Many words can describe counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, but "feminist" isn't one of them. Just ask her.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Conway discussed what it was like to be the first woman to manage a successful presidential campaign. The discussion, facilitated by conservative commentator Mercedes Schlapp, eventually centered around the label "feminist," and whether Conway considered herself one. She doesn't, and she suggested that feminists "in a classic sense" are "anti-male" and "pro-abortion."

GIF from ACU/YouTube.


Speaking of feminism from an objective viewpoint, Conway's probably right not to claim that title for herself.

Prior to working for the Trump campaign, Conway's most well-known client was then-Representative Todd Akin from Missouri, a man who torpedoed his shot at winning a Senate seat when he justified his opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, by saying, "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

In the past, Conway also suggested that "femininity is replacing feminism as a leading attribute for American women," and she has said, "If women really want to be taken seriously in the workforce these days, looking feminine is a good way to start."

More recently, Conway has suggested that perhaps mothers shouldn't take roles in the White House. She also criticized a 17-year-old girl for asking how Conway rationalized working for someone facing multiple sexual assault accusations, and she "didn't see the point" in the Women's March on Washington.

Conway speaks at CPAC on Feb. 23, 2017. Photo by Mike Theiler/AFP/Getty Images.

If she doesn't want to call herself a feminist, that's fine. What's not fine is the mischaracterization of who feminists are and what they stand for.

First off, feminists (as a group) aren't "anti-male." Maybe some individuals are, but that's not some core requirement. Conway once said, "I challenge anybody to show me where [man-hating] is not part and parcel of the feminist movement." And, while some feminists may very well call their views "pro-abortion," a more accurate view of the broader feminist population would be that they believe decisions about what people do with their bodies are best left up to them — and not the government.

GIF from ACU/YouTube.

Nor do feminists, as a group, see themselves as victims of circumstance, something Conway has said on multiple occasions. Feminists simply acknowledge that obstacles remain in the fight for gender equality. The pay gap, sexism in the workplace, and a host of other issues stand between the world we live in now and a world with gender equality.

None of this is to say that it's impossible for a woman to succeed in the world. Conway is proof that, yes, women can find success and achieve their goals.

But just as Obama being elected president didn't close the book on racism, a handful of successful women doesn't signal the end of sexism.

Conway doesn't have to be a feminist. But the rest of us won't give up until we've reached true equality for all women of all ages, all races, all religions, and all sexualities.

Conway is interviewed by Schlapp during CPAC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Watch Conway's full CPAC interview below.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."