The Toxic Dynamic of Gen X Kellyanne and Gen Z Claudia Conway
Claudia’s streaming is Gen Z’s way of getting shit done.
( Left: Kellyanne Conway; Right: Claudia Conway / Instagram )
You would think that with the level of attention that KellyAnne and Claudia Conway’s relationship gets, an investigation into their relationship would have started sooner.
For months now, Claudia has documented KellyAnne Conway’s emotional and verbal abuse on her TikTok, full stop. But KellyAnne’s power, as a former senior adviser and mouthpiece for Trump and his administration, shielded her from having to take accountability for abusing her daughter. (KellyAnne has alleged that Claudia requested investigations from child services more than once and “they found nothing.”)
That was, until last week. On Jan. 25, a topless photo of 16-year-old Claudia was posted to KellyAnne Conway’s Twitter account. In other words, child pornography was posted. If you’ve followed the story, you know there has been a bit of back and forth this week between Claudia, her mother and the internet with regards to how and who actually posted the pictures. KellyAnne could have taken the photos as blackmail, or her Twitter could have been hacked. The internet’s still trying to figure it out!
At first Claudia told her 1.7 million TikTok followers that her mother should go to jail for taking and posting the photo as blackmail. Her viewers ralied behind her. Then, the Conways got quite a bit of attention. Later, Claudia took down the videos where she named her mother as the culprit. She posted a new video where she walked back her previous statements and said KellyAnne loved her despite their endless (and public) disputes. It’s complicated, I know.
But as public and intense as the Conway’s relationship is, the KellyAnne and Claudia mother-daughter dynamic feels sort of relatable.
Claudia has claimed when asked that it is impossible to hold her parents accountable because they are too powerful. So, left with seemingly no other options, Claudia turned her camera toward the situation, in true Gen Z fashion.
She’s spoken out on her support for Black Lives Matter protests on TikTok, was the first to break news on her family’s COVID exposure and has of course slyly streamed her mother’s berating.
Clearly, even though Claudia has been raised by conservatives, she does not find herself defaulting to those beliefs in a way that someone in her position generations prior may have. And this isn’t uncommon for our generation. According to a 2020 study by the Pew Research Center, only about 20% of Gen Z voters approved of Trump, compared to Gen X’s 42%.
Gen Z grew up in a world with a lot more freedom and intersectionality. Being an authentic version of yourself is encouraged, whether you are a woman or not.
We’ve grown up with not only the internet, but social media and quick access to information. Many of Claudia’s “alternative facts” she was getting online were most likely alternative to the ones she was getting at home.
Gen X women, on the other hand, were raised to be empowered, but only so much so. They still had to fit society’s shoulder-padded mold of what a powerful woman was. In many ways, KellyAnne is an empowered woman. She has made it to the top of her field and were we living in the 1980’s, I could honestly see people viewing her as a feminist icon. Who am I kidding?! Conservatives view her as a feminist icon today. (Fucking cringe.)
Anyone who is reading this who has a specific breed of Gen X mother is probably very familiar with Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach or some other form of keto. The worst thing for these women was being fat. They bought into the diet culture for like, gosh it’s been over 25 years now, and aided and embedded in the development of countless eating disorders in their daughters. It speaks to the way many Gen X women viewed women’s roles and so often projected it on their daughters.
My hope is that the investigation into KellyAnne’s alleged posting a photo of her underage and topless daughter on Twitter is done with the same meticulousness that an investigation like this would have been done were KellyAnne not a former presidential adviser.
I can’t say that I am hopeful though, considering the way quite literally every investigation of folks who are part of the Trump administration is gone. Perhaps now that he has been removed from power, there will be less bias. We can only hope for that from the law enforcement agencies.
What can we the people do, you ask? Continue to raise awareness for this issue and remind the Republicans of their hypocrisy in this situation (and literally every other situation).
To report a child in an abusive situation, please call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). You can also visit childwelfare.gov for more insight on how to report abuse.
Ingrid O’Connor is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She loves poodles, Red Bull and late night talks with friends. Her big three are Pisces, Taurus & Libra and has paid for multiple professional astrological chart readings despite claiming she doesn’t believe in astrology.