Kali Holloway at Alternet has an outstanding article up about Ivanka Trump, and how many very gullible liberals insist on thinking she is some sort of liberal moderating force on the Tiny Tyrant. That could not be further from the truth, she’s every bit as ruthless, power hungry, egotistical, and conservative as her father. Ms. Kushner Trump also appeals to a certain type of feminist, one who is not remotely interested in intersectionality, and not all that interested in feminism, when it comes right down to issues. Ms. Kushner Trump’s most recent book is called “Women Who Work”, and let’s take a look at the above photo. Of all the women who might read this post, does that come close to representing you, in any way? Let’s hear it for those working women, if they are white, and part of the 1%!
Just a bit from the article here, the whole thing is well worth reading (emphasis mine):
The irony of all this is the feminism that Ivanka has upheld is steadfastly retrograde and classist, perpetuating an image of womanly success as a kind that requires they both do and have it all. You can see it in her fashion line’s Women Who Work campaign, which also happens to be the name of her forthcoming book. She measures women—and here she pretty much only means white women; the rest of us barely enter the picture except as occasional tokens—by the same yardstick used by the patriarchy and, not coincidentally, her father. Success is being rich, thin, attractive, the boss (at the office and in bed) and never once letting the difficulty of juggling it all make you bitchy. According to the rules of her brand of consumerist feminism, the first rule of fighting sexism—aside from living up to its every impossible expectations—is to never complain about sexism. In the Trump Card she suggests, for example, “separating the real [sexual] harassment from the benign behavior that seems to come with the territory.” Learn to take unwanted advances as compliments, ladies!
“Frankly, I think the biggest message that Ivanka is espousing is that, sure, women can get a seat at the table … if they’ve already got a hefty leg up and they pander to the men above them,” Teagan Walsh-Davis, co-artistic director of The Jades theater group, told the Chicago Tribune. “I can certainly appreciate the idea of using your privilege for good…But her goals seem to be a lot more shortsighted. When she talks about advocating for working women, she’s talking about women who are already successful. She’s seeing ‘working women’ as a monolith of her own class. In her mind, it’s mostly women who have already made it. In the family leave plan she’s tried to propose, most of the tax benefits go to families earning over $100k a year.”
Trump voters get a lot of richly deserved derision for gullibly swallowing Trump lies despite all contradictory indications. The same might be said of Ivanka among (white) liberals, who’ve endlessly given her chance after chance, in the hope that the feminist glimmers they’ve seen will fully shine. It’s not that 45 isn’t listening to his daughter, who is pleading with her father to do the right thing. The reality is, Ivanka and her dad are on the same selfish, kleptocratic page. Despite all her up-with-women talk, Ivanka doesn’t pay interns and reportedly required a full court press to offer maternity leave to employees. In her new role in the White House—which makes her a high-ranking member of her father’s administration, but with no actual title so as to skirt anti-nepotism laws—she’ll continue to offer no advocacy for the vulnerable and marginalized.
She never even pretended to care about issues facing black women or other women of color, and it’s a safe bet that streak will remain unbroken. Expect her “deafening silence” on the destruction of Planned Parenthood to continue; her pushback on the GOP’s anti-women’s health care to be nonexistent. She’ll keep putting out empty, faux-enlightened statements for as long as it serves the administration and her brand, which she still controls and has refused to put in a blind trust, conflicts of interest be damned. The goal is to keep a line open between the White House and the Trump Organization, and to keep downplaying the threat of this administration by outright lying about it in soothing tones. Ivanka is Rose, feigining innocence before betrayal in the horror movie “Get Out,” she is the 53 percent of white women—the ones she was hired to speak directly to—who voted for Trump even though they knew deal but like the benefits of white supremacist patriarchy. Like those women, Ivanka has signed on to do the bidding of that system in exchange for personal gain.
It’s more of the same that we’ve seen from Trump’s team, and a reason to stay weary. Ivanka is a key part of the strategy. Start recognizing her as such.