Ivanka Trump is the Pepsi of Feminism. She’s using feminist anger and energy to try to market her products, herself, and her father the p*ssy grabber.
Republicans get pretty outraged that women who care about their personal liberty have the temerity not to worship at Ivanka Trump’s feet. After all, they say, she has a business and is very successful.
Of course, there is no way to prove that Ivanka would be successful without the access to her father’s resources, the family name, and the exposure that comes from being born to the Trump family. So that’s always a problem.
But the New York Times delved into Ivanaka on Monday, and it managed to really explain something that many women feel but can’t articulate. There’s the sense that Ivanka doesn’t really get it, or else how could she stand by her p*ssy-grabbing father. But now there is proof.
When Ivanka was struggling with her brand, the The New York Times wrote, “penetrating the mass market presented a challenge: Ms. Trump’s gilded life felt distant to women who shopped at Macy’s. So, late in 2013, she and her husband gathered with a few employees in front of a whiteboard in their Upper East Side apartment. Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” had just topped the best-seller charts, and Ms. Trump’s team wanted its own catchy yet accessible slogan.
The brainstorming solidified into a new motto: ‘Women Who Work.'”
Not only is Ivanka not one of them – the average American woman who works (most women can’t afford a nanny, for example, and aren’t in the top 1%), but she only became a “feminist” when she needed to freshen her brand, to make herself more approachable.
Ivanka Trump is the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad of feminism.
As Wired put it, Pepsi’s tone deaf message was so superficial as to enrage the entire internet, “All those Women’s Marches, Black Lives Matter protests, and demonstrations outside Trump Tower would be much more effervescent—and effective!—if someone had just brought some soda.”
So Ivanka and her team set about “cultivating an image” — the opposite of actually organically creating a following due to actions.
“Ms. Trump and her team set about tailoring her image to fit the concept. An internal document lists one of her challenges as ‘perceived as rich and unrelatable.’ (An additional one: Most of her followers on social media were men.) Ms. Trump was told to post more down-to-earth pictures on her Instagram feed — less made-up model, more mommy.”
The NTY writers note that Ivanka is a lot like her father. She uses corporate words and doesn’t have strongly held positions. She puts a lot of stock in image and branding, is sensitive to criticism, makes effusive, broad claims, and “Like him, she appears confident she can master realms in which she has little expertise or experience. The two even speak in similar streams of superlatives: ‘tremendous,’ ‘unbelievable.'”
That Ivanka is Donald Trump’s daughter became obvious when she abruptly ended a Cosmo interview during the campaign when she was asked questions about her father’s paternity leave plan; that is to say, they didn’t allow her to offer propaganda about how Trump was great for women and run.
The NYT piece written by Jodi Kantor, Rachel Abrams and Maggie Haberman gave powerful insight into Ivanka in a section where they reported her frustration over her father being caught on tape bragging about grabbing women by the p*ssy, her unfulfilled desire for her father to issue a “full-throated apology”, and her ultimate lack of success in bringing Trump around to really getting the issue.
And there’s one of the problems for women who don’t buy Ivanka as the New Hillary.
Ivanka doesn’t understand exactly why it’s so damaging for her father to be bragging about grabbing random women by their “p*ssy”.
How could she? Not only is Ivanka seemingly OK with the way her father has sexualized her and treats her like a piece of meat in public with his own words, saying he would have sex with her and talking about her breasts, but she is too privileged to understand that so many of her father’s victims didn’t feel free to say no or the cost they paid if they did reject him.
There’s a long list of women who rejected Donald Trump and paid dearly for it. Journalists who were harassed and humiliated professionally for years because of it. This is a man who called a female journalist’s boss to call her a “c*nt” in reaction to a story of hers that he never actually read.
A champion for women? No. Ivanka Trump might as well claim her father is Jesus walking on water than her claim he is an advocate for working women. She is also not an advocate for working women or equality politics. She can’t even handle being asked questions by Cosmo on family leave policies (hint: women’s rights are also about family rights). Most women deal with a lot more push back in the world than that.
Ultimately, Ivanka Trump using feminism as a branding tool off of which she can make more money for herself and her family is a clear indication that she doesn’t value the real issues. She says she’s trying to learn about issues, but then suggested to Planned Parenthood, according to the New York Times, that they split into two organizations, keeping abortions separate. That right there says it all. There is just no clue about the liberty at stake for women when it comes to reproductive freedom.
Not everyone has a family jet they can hop in and take to a place where they offer legal abortions (not suggesting Ivanka has done this, but rather that she knows she can do whatever she needs or wants to do because she has the money and power needed to override any laws).
Ivanka Trump is a superficially insulting Pepsi ad to feminism.