Ivanka Trump Says, 'My Father Is a Feminist,' Forgets to Use Scare Quotes

Illustration for article titled Ivanka Trump Says, My Father Is a Feminist, Forgets to Use Scare Quotes

Today, Ivanka Trump, daughter of GOP presumptive nominee and melted Claymation villain Donald Trump, made an interesting claim. “My father is a feminist,” she told London’s Sunday Times. Oh, cool.

Trump, who yesterday tweeted a photo of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton together with a Star of David and a pile of Benjamins, does not, at first, second, or 500th glance seem especially concerned with women’s rights. For starters, his campaign staff, which is 75 percent male, pays its female staffers significantly less than its male ones. And amidst his bloviating, Trumples has made some pretty despicable remarks about women too.


But let’s hear Ivanka out. Via New York:

“My father is a feminist. He’s a big reason I am the woman I am today. People talk about gender equality. He has lived it, he has employed women at the highest levels of the Trump Organization for decades, so I think it’s a great testament to how capable he thinks women are and has shown that his whole life.”

“Lived” gender equality, huh? A white man with enough money to give Scrooge McDuck an aneurism would be, I suspect, more inclined to “live” absurd privilege than equality of any kind. But hold on — Ivanka Trump has more to say:

“[My father] always told me and showed me I could do anything I set my mind to if I married vision and passion with work ethic. He’s also surrounded me with strong female role models who have done just that since I was a little girl.”


One recent role model might be Kellyanne Conway, who Trump recently hired to teach him about women. Conway has famously argued for “femininity, not feminism,” referring to the latter as “gloom and doom.”

And yet, it’s true that Trump has been frank in his admiration for Ivanka. Specifically, he’s been frank in his admiration for her body, as when he asked another woman, “Don’t you think my daughter’s hot?” Ivanka was 16 at the time.


Image via Getty.

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I’ve thought about this and realized that it can be both. I believe he thinks his daughter is an exceptional woman (and not just the whole “if she wasn’t my daughter I’d...” bit of effluvia). I believe he encouraged her. Because she’s his. And that alone makes her exceptional by virtue of those yugely great genes. But that doesn’t make him a feminist. Hiring women doesn’t either. He can have his reasons that aren’t anchored in a belief in equality. Because with the first time he called a woman a pig, the first time he made a joke about a woman’s “irrational” treatment of him based on her gender and with his consistent and constant scorn and dismissal and his name calling he gave up the right to say that he was for women. He may elevate Ivanka. And Melania. Even Ivana and Omorosa. But he doesn’t support women as a whole. And if you don’t then you’re an ally to a few. But not to all of us. You are not what the women of this country need or deserve. Or any of the minorities. Or really anyone at all. (including the polka dotted people)