Miss USA 2017 Kára McCullough Clarifies Her Controversial Stances on Feminism and Health Care

"I am privileged to have health care," she said

By Samantha Schnurr May 16, 2017 1:24 PMTags

On the heels of her Miss USA winKára McCullough is spending her first days with the crown putting out the flames on a controversy her words ignited. 

During the Q&A portion of the annual beauty pageant, the Washington, D.C. winner was asked whether she considered affordable health care for all United States citizens a right or a privilege. 

"I'm definitely going to say it's a privilege," she answered Sunday night. "As a government employee, I am granted health care and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs, so therefore we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we're given the opportunity to have health care as well as jobs to all the American citizens worldwide."

She also came under fire for her take on feminism, which she would like to exchange for the term, "Equalism." "I don't want to consider myself like this die-hard, you know, like, 'I don't really care about men,'" she said. "One thing I'll say, women, we are just as equal as men when it comes to opportunity in the workplace."

Meet the 51 Miss USA 2017 Contestants
ABC/Good Morning America

Two days later, she took a seat across from Good Morning America's Michael Strahan to respond to the mounting backlash surrounding her answers. In clarifying her points, it sounded like she shifted her stance. 

"I am a woman, I'm going to own what I said," she responded. "I am privileged to have health care and I do believe that it should be a right and I hope and pray moving forward that health care is a right for all worldwide."

"I am privileged to have health care. I want people to see where I was coming from. Having a job, I have to look at health care like it is a privilege," the new Miss USA continued.  

In regard to her take on feminism, the 25-year-old wanted to be clear she wants women to get the recognition they deserve. 

"For me, where I work at with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, equalism is more of a term of understanding that no matter your gender, you are still given the same accolades on your work, so I believe [if] the person does a good job, they should be, you know, credited for that in a sense, but I don't want anyone to look at [it] as if I'm not all about women's rights because I am," McCullough said. "We deserve a lot when it comes to opportunity in the workplace as well as leadership positions."

As a final note, "I've seen and witnessed firsthand the impact women have."