President Donald Trump is notorious for his sexist comments toward women. And since taking office a year ago, he’s made no effort to protect women’s rights.
His daughter, Ivanka Trump, who was involved in his campaign and is a senior adviser in the White House, has not made many efforts to stand up to her father’s misogyny. Many critics have called her complicit in her father’s behavior.
But Ivanka Trump recently attempted to join in on the Time’s Up movement, which was started by Hollywood actresses and aims to combat sexual misconduct in the workplace, with a tweet of support.
After Oprah Winfrey’s speech about the movement at the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, Ivanka Trump tweeted, “Just saw Oprah’s empowering and inspiring speech at last night’s #GoldenGlobes. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #United.”
This tweet struck me as insincere. Ivanka Trump promised to be a spokesperson for women during her father’s presidential campaign, pointing to her career as a working mother and experience as a millennial. But, she has been silent on most issues until this tweet. If she truly wants to support the movement, she should stop defending her father and start bringing feminism into the White House.
Until she can do more for those who tweeted #MeToo and #TIMESUP, she shouldn’t try to label herself as a supporter on social media.
Her tweets are, instead, empty activism.
“I think she is a hypocrite,” said Kristine Weatherston, a media studies and production professor and the faculty adviser of Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance. “You can’t walk around acting like a feminist when your father doesn’t implement any of those policies.”
Understandably, many people called Ivanka Trump out on her feminist facade, including some celebrities. Actress Alyssa Milano, who supported the #MeToo movement — which is also focused on raising awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault — responded, “Great! You can make a lofty donation to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund that is available to support your father’s accusers” and linked to the page.
Before the Golden Globes, actress Meryl Streep also called out the women in the White House for not speaking up. She told the New York Times earlier this month, “I want to hear about the silence of Melania Trump. I want to hear from her. She has so much that’s valuable to say. And so does Ivanka. I want her to speak now.”
To hold up her feminist claims and break the silence, Ivanka Trump should denounce her father, who faces at least 21 sexual misconduct accusations by women, according to the Huffington Post. Her failure to do so doesn’t strike me as feminist.
Since Ivanka Trump was a democrat from New York before Trump’s presidency began, I expected she would try to take a stance on the pressing issue of women’s rights. And her father’s 2018 budget proposal did include six weeks of paid leave for families after the birth or adoption of a child, which is an issue she has voiced her support of in the past.
But, if you identify as a feminist, sexual assault is not an issue that can be ignored — especially if your father is an alleged perpetrator. I wonder if she is truly trying to separate herself from her father or if she is just putting up a facade to attract a liberal audience.
Nadine Rosechild Sullivan, a women’s studies instructor, said the tweet is “tone deaf” and “erroneous in itself.”
“I don’t receive her as a feminist,” Sullivan said. “She doesn’t have an analysis of the oppression of many women. She was born with so much privilege that she cannot be connected to the reality that the rest of us live.”
Whether Ivanka Trump’s tweet is a political ploy or a sincere call for unity, the masses are not receiving it well.
If she wants to support the feminist movement, she will do more by staying away from Twitter and participating in real-life political decisions to help women instead.
The internet is a powerful outlet for change, but to be in a position as powerful as Ivanka Trump’s and not utilize it in an impactful way for the feminist movement is a drastic mistake.
Actions speak louder than tweets. Let’s see if you mean what you sent, Ivanka.