Ivanka Trump: Debunking the Mythology
Last week, Donald Trump did what he does best: hire family members for jobs for which they’re wholly unqualified. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, now has roughly 27 such jobs by himself, from solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the national opioid addiction, to acting as diplomatic lead on US relations with China, Mexico, Canada and various other countries, to rearranging the government as a company that serves serving us, the “customer-citizen,” through the Office of American Innovation:
The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.
Last weekend, Kushner flew to Iraq with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to single-handedly secure peace and destroy ISIS with his one-two punch! Is there nothing this 36-year-old real estate agent can’t do?
Ivanka Trump, because she’s Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, gets an official White House position, too. Every job she ever had her dad gave her, so why stop just because he’s President? In her perfectly decorated West Wing office, she’ll guide policy related to “women in the workplace,” whatever that means. Trying to position herself as the voice of working American women while taking a job only available to her because her father is President isn’t helping her “cause.” Last November, Ivanka claimed on 60 Minutes that she wouldn’t work in the administration — she was “just going to be a daughter.” We all knew that was bullshit. What we did learn from that interview was that Ivanka lies just as easily as her father. As we’re reminded by a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Trump repeatedly reassured the public that his children wouldn’t have any role in the government. Is deceit hereditary?
Ivanka claims she’s passionate about advocating for women. I’m not sure when she began this advocacy career, but let’s look at some of the working women issues that have come her way — and her profound silence about them.
When I first interviewed with Ivanka I was 2 months pregnant, she called to offer me a job, which I was at the time very excited about, and when I asked about maternity leave she said she would have to think about it, that at Trump they don’t offer maternity leave and that she went back to work just a week after having her first child. I somehow was dumb enough to accept the job after agreeing upon having the discussion further down the road about how we would handle the time after my baby was born.
Ivanka bragged about jumping back into work a week after giving birth to her first child. That’s nothing to brag about. It shows she didn’t feel a need to bond with her child, or had so much hired help that she could go straight back to work. If you take more than one week, Ivanka says, you’re just not dedicated to your job. I don’t know a single mom who’d ever consider going back to work full-time after a week.
Even after finally succumbing to pressure, Ivanka’s company only gives two months for maternity leave — and only to mothers. If you’re a two-dad house, no paternity leave. If you’re a two-mom house, only the birth mother gets time off? This isn’t progressive, innovative or advocating for families. This is a typically corporate, male-dominated policy for heterosexual couples.
By advocacy, does Ivanka mean having a business selling women’s clothes made by a company without paid maternity leave? G-III, the contractor designing and overseeing production (in Asia, of course) of her clothing lines, gives the bare legal minimum for employers with more than 50 workers: 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Never mind those the factories in Asia where people work under inhumane conditions to make that classic peep-toe pump that Ivanka wants you to buy.
Now that the shit sandwich known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), aka Trumpcare, is dead and buried in the backyard, let’s look at how Ivanka’s fingerprints were nowhere near the women’s health issues involved in the non-debate debate over that bill. I would have thought that if her father was creating a shiny new healthcare legislation for 300 million Americans, Ivanka would jump at the opportunity to advocate for women! Instead, AHCA would have stripped millions of them of health insurance — and all funding for Planned Parenthood, removing the ability of poor and low-income women to access birth control. How is making women more susceptible to pregnancy “advocacy”? AHCA would have gutted Obamacare’s guaranteed maternity care, leaving pregnant women to pay for prenatal doctor visits out-of-pocket and at full cost. Then the House Republicans working on the bill — all male — introduced the “manager’s amendment,” requiring any unemployed woman on Medicaid to find work within 60 days of giving birth or lose her coverage. Hope you didn’t have a Caesarean or any other complications that would keep you from finding that great job! Remember, Ivanka went to work one week later! Get a nanny, you lazy women.
Ivanka could have demanded paid maternity leave in AHCA, or, better yet, advocated to continue to cover maternity visits at no cost, as under Obamacare. But she chose to say nothing. She could have whispered in her father’s ear and argued for keeping Planned Parenthood funded, allowing millions of women to have access to birth control and other reproductive health services. She chose to say nothing. Ivanka could have raised alarm about forcing new mothers to find a job with a two-month-old child at home. She chose to say nothing. I assume Ivanka chose to say nothing because she thinks all families have a mommy and a daddy and all live in nice homes with nannies. Poor single moms don’t exist in Ivanka’s world, so she chose to say nothing. Medicaid enrollment would have been capped by the states and women would have been left off the rolls with no insurance when they needed it most. But Ivanka chose to say nothing.
Instead, she took her perfect family to Aspen and skied while her father and Paul Ryan laid waste to women’s health just to appease the Freedom Caucus, which turned out to lay waste to Trump’s really truly horrible negotiating skills.
Supporting Her Sexist Dad
Ivanka has supported her father and his derogatory remarks about women for years. When the Billy Bush tape came out, she had an opportunity to speak up about sexual assault and take her father to task for his disgraceful and vulgar language and behavior. She chose to say silent. When her father made sexist remarks about how dangerous it is for a wife to work, she chose to stay silent. When her father laughed about visiting the changing rooms while teen beauty contestants were half-naked, she chose to stay silent.
I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed,” Trump told Stern in the recordings. “No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it…. ‘Is everyone OK’? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”
If you have the stomach for more, here is a list from the last 30 years with every single sexist statement Trump made. As an adult, Ivanka stayed silent.
This is the super 30-something professional-go-getter hashtag that Ivanka thinks is advocacy. The video on her website is so off the mark it’s embarrassing. Does she know this video does not represent 98% of working women? In Ivanka’s world, we’re all starting cool businesses, we’re all really attractive, we’re all fully employed and we’re all beautifully dressed! Our biggest problem is which awesome new bar to have Happy Hour in on Friday! #prettygirlproblems
This tone-deaf idiocy is on the website:
The modern working woman looks fundamentally different from women in previous generations. For the first time in history, we’re embracing the fact that our lives are multidimensional. We’re doing work we love, work that inspires us, and we’re also pursuing our passions and making them priorities. We sat with 13 amazing women to ask what work looks like to each of them.
What exactly does “multidimensional” mean? Let me tell you what most women’s lives are like. Stay with me — it gets gritty. Most women don’t love their job but work because they have to. Many women are married but must work to pay the bills. Most women get up every day and don’t greet the nanny but wake their kids, get them dressed and fed (if there is food in the house) and get them to school or barely affordable daycare. Then they go to their job at an office — and not an executive office like the one that Ivanka’s dad gave her — or to the restaurant to wait on tables, or to the hotel to clean toilets, or they’re a cashier, or a secretary, or an underpaid nurse, or a maid, or a teacher. They’re not running farm-to-table quinoa pop-up restaurants. Their passions are not their priority because they don’t have time or energy to go after their passions. They come home exhausted, picking up kids from after-school programs (that Ivanka’s father wants to cut), makes dinner, does laundry, helps with homework, bathes the young ones and puts them to bed before falling into bed herself. Those are the #realwomenwhowork.
When has Ivanka actually ever been an advocate for anything? I think she’s an advocate for women just like her: pretty, well dressed, climbing the corporate ladder. No one who actually does advocacy for a living has ever heard of her. Like her father, she thinks if she says it, it’s true. Like her father, she’s delusional, living in an alternate reality (with alternative facts).
Ivanka Trump is not my advocate. Clinging to the hope that she will save the US from Trump’s deadly ignorance and ego isn’t going to work. She doesn’t have the influence people think she does or we’d have seen her influence on his choices already. Giving her husband all the high-profile jobs while relegating her to advocate for women’s “stuff” tells me exactly what he thinks of her. It’s not as a person he takes seriously. She may have his ear, but I don’t think he is listening.