Since Trump’s election, there has certainly been no shortage of vitriol and rage thrown his way. Deserved or not, what has been especially sad is the amount of rage aimed at his daughter, Ivanka.
In the days and weeks following his inauguration, online protests led many clothing outlets to remover her hugely successful fashion line from their stores. She was grossly criticized for her appearance and fashion choices. Joan Walsh went on national television and perplexingly shamed her for choosing an outfit for an international appearance as “too girly”.
We have celebrities proudly marching in an organized “Slut Walk” every year to proclaim a woman’s right to dress and act as sexually provocative as she wishes without being harassed, but an educated businesswoman is attacked for being too “girly”.
Most recently, a hair salon in Iowa was blasted with rage-filled messages after Trump stopped in with Iowa governor Kim Reynolds for some styling.
What is especially sad about the reactions to a simple hairstyling appointment is that is explicitly counter productive to the cause of women everywhere. The salon owners, employees, the companies who serve the salon – all of these entities employ and empower women. A visit from any president’s daughter is a huge boost for a small business – particularly one that primarily serves women. Why on earth should a female-friendly business reject the opportunity to bring in more business? And why on earth should they be punished for the sins of a man who has not set one foot in their establishment?
Ivanka Trump has played no part in her father’s tom-foolery, his marriages, his adultery, or any of his actions for that matter. There is absolutely no proof she’s ever approved of any of that, and it certainly isn’t reflected in how she personally conducts herself. What she has done is used her position as the daughter of the most influential man in the world to advocate for policies and programs that support women at home and around the world.
She’s been a vocal proponent of paid family leave, something that most certainly does not fall under Republican auspices. She’s hosted summits at the White House for female small-business owners. She’s publicly advocated on the international stage for the rights of oppressed women in authoritarian countries.
Barrack Obama’s daughters were not of age to exert much influence on international affairs, and Michelle Obama was relegated to typical First Lady sandbox of politically benign campaigns like healthy lunches and fitness. Ivanka has been able to use her wealthy, privileged life to springboard herself into the very influential position of a top advisor to the president.
While millionaire celebrities are using their platforms to complain about not earning as many millions as their male counterparts, Ivanka is actually working with international women’s groups to address the deep poverty of women in underdeveloped countries. She has stood in front of the United Nations and confronted representatives about the horrors and realities of human trafficking, a subject no one in the Obama administration seemed keen to take on and certainly not in front of the United Nations.
It is also important for Ivanka-haters to understand that she is a liberal. She only changed her political affiliation to legally vote for her father. She brings her New York liberal sensibilities to an administration that most on the left fear as the second coming of Hitler.
I’ve never been able to understand people who claim they would never grace the likes of Donald Trump with an audience. If you think this man is so dangerous, so horrible for our democracy would you not take any opportunity to publicly confront him? Or bend his ear? Or plead your cause? Instead of retreating in rage, any thinking person with the chance to meet personally with Trump should take that opportunity to pour out all the indignation they constantly express on social media.
Ivanka Trump is not my favorite White House presence. I have followed her career for years and I know she is a dedicated liberal. It disturbs me that she has such influence on the President. However, there’s no reason to paint her as the devil. She is an educated, intelligent business woman who has seized the opportunity every one of us wishes we had – the opportunity to influence the influential on the behalf of those in need.
She is a CEO, a White House advisor, a mother, and an advocate for women of all classes – a liberal woman’s dream. Instead of trashing her and every innocent business she touches, everyone who is pro-woman should be encouraging her to continue pushing women’s issues to the front of the president’s agenda.
Women- this is your voice…don’t reject this rare opportunity because of a last name.