Should We Support Ivanka Trump?

Headlines from the past few days make it apparent that Trump’s eldest daughter has been suffering from her father’s election:

‘Sales of Ivanka Trump apparel slumped at Nordstrom’

‘Upset with Trump the President, consumers boycott Trump the brand’

‘More companies drop Ivanka Trump products’

Here we see a female entrepreneur- a breed which is unfortunately still rare in the modern world- having her business boycotted due to the actions of the men in her life. On paper it’s a feminist’s nightmare, but in practice I think it’s pretty justified.

Don’t get me wrong, as a rule of thumb judging women for the actions of the men orbiting them is a no-go, but in this case, to blame men for the entirety of her demise just isn’t accurate. It’s not about boycotting Ivanka because of Donald’s actions (first name terms amiright), it’s about boycotting Ivanka because of her own. Or should I say lack of. Because yes, he is her father, and yes it would be blady awkward at their next family Thanksgiving if she publicly condemns his behaviour, but it’s still her choice not to do so. To deny that she has a choice is, as Sartre aka King Of My Heart describes it, ‘bad faith’.

Trump ran a campaign on pussy-grabbing misogyny, a pro-life ideology and the aim to defund contraception (which affects millions of women), then upon getting into office pulls a ‘why da fuk u do dat?’ face to the women’s marches underway meanwhile Ivanka does… nothing. The absence of action is action in itself.

Do I want to support a woman who doesn’t support other women? No.

More importantly, do I want to support a rich, white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cis woman, who doesn’t support all those women, less privileged than her, that will be affected by the Republican policies? All the no.

Does this make me a bad feminist? Please. If your feminism requires supporting women which have too much money to even need your support at the expense of those that actually do, then I’m cancelling my membership ASAP. We need to evacuate this idea that disliking one woman is synonymous for disliking all women. Just like hating Quorn scotch eggs doesn’t make you a bad vegetarian.

Realistically, Ivanka probably doesn’t speak out against her Father because she agrees with him- and the likelihood is that if we’d grown up surrounded by the same beliefs as her, we’d also end up aligning with Donald, so I’m apprehensive to blame her for her upbringing. However this poses an interesting problem: should we boycott someone due to their beliefs?

I don’t buy from Starbucks because they don’t pay their taxes and avoid Primark as they’re big on child labour (although Google says they’re better now, I’m stuck in 2008), so maybe someone like me is partial to a little boycott. But let’s be real here, they can be hard! New Balance, Amazon and Walmart are all funding big T’s ideals but are we really going to sift through all our possessions and bin (/recycle for the eco-warriors out there) everything out of fear that it looks like we’re pledging our support? Probably not. It seems that deciding whether to boycott due to beliefs is a decision you have to personally make.

But for Ivanka’s brand, it’s been pretty effective. Zappos (apparently that’s an American shop, I thought it was one of the Muppets for a good half hour) and the US version of TK Maxx have already pulled their Ivanka products.

Should we feel sorry for her? I don’t think so. Ultimately, women like Ivanka don’t need defending. They will always be privileged, regardless of whether you buy from them or not. But for me, it’s the hypocrisy of it: I’m not going to support a woman who doesn’t support other women.

It’s not about blaming her for her father’s actions, it’s about judging her for her own. She’s an educated adult and therefore fully capable of understanding her family’s influence, yet her inability to do so, in my eyes, makes her unworthy of our support (espesh as her ugly bags are like £140 as if I have the money for that). Choosing not to support Ivanka means I can spend my time supporting women who get less airtime instead. WOC. Trans women. Lesbians. The people who will actually be affected by Trump’s decisions and deserve to have their voices heard.

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12 thoughts on “Should We Support Ivanka Trump?

  1. siobhanfashion says:

    This post pretty much sums up all the feelings I have towards Ivanka which I’ve never been able to articulate myself. My judgements are founded in the fact that she is a woman in a position of power and influence, yet she doesn’t use her platform to support other women. On a side note, I’ve spent a good half an hour or so scrolling through your posts and I keep wanting to just comment “yes!” on them. I’m so on board with your ideas and really love that you’re blogging about them. Can’t wait to read more in the future! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      Women supporting other women shows that WE are the feminists the world needs, not women like Ivanka💁🏼 She makes me v sad but then your comments have made me so so happy- thank you muffin! I’m glad you’re enjoying, I’ll let you know when I’ve taken over the world so you can be my vice pres xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • siobhanfuller says:

        Just realised I was linked through my fashion blog from like 5 or 6 years ago which is pretty embarrassing. Sign me up to be VP though, I’m all over that! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. sheandthewhale says:

    Hmmm this is really difficult… I mean I totally agree about the absent of action is the action itself part, it hurts to see women who choose not to be on the side of women…and if my own father had the same opinions about that pussy grabbing thing, I probably won’t even attend to his funeral (Not trying to be dramatic here but we are never close)
    But from another point of view, I don’t know if i can judge her, even if she is one of the most privileged kind of people in the world, I would probably never know how she gets through her day and if she sleeps at night, and after all she is a human being, with problems i cannot even understand, I just hope that she will realise there are consequences when choose to stay silence in situation like this.
    I hope this isn’t too random :p my thoughts tend to be flying all over the place on saturdays xD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      Hehe my thoughts are flying everywhere everyday, it’s not just Saturdays! Ultimately, I think she doesn’t realise / is choosing to ignore the consequences of her and her family’s actions- they’re all really intelligent people so I think it’s just ignorance. And personally I don’t want to support someone like that xo

      Like

  3. tartantights says:

    Hey Jess This is a cracking post which articulates a very difficult dilemma faced by many feminist thinkers at the moment namely do we boycott the daughter for the sins of the father. Like you, I wouldn’t normally advocate this path but this case is different and it’s different because had she dared to take a stand she could have forced him to reevaluate his behaviour and priorities. The fact that she decided not to take this course of action indicates her at least tacit approval of his behaviour and that to me is the game changer in this case.

    You ask if we should boycott someone because of their beliefs and I will admit that there are certain organisations which I will never buy from, not because of their support of the no campaign to keep Scotland in the UK but because of the way they went about it. For example I’ll never buy Ultimo lingerie or shop at Asda due to their overly aggressive stance on this issue, nor will I buy anything which is wrapped in the Union flag. Having said that, I don’t mind a small union flag displayed on a product to show the country of origin but to cover a product like this when selling it in Scotland is at best insensitive and at worst inflammatory. I say this because there is not only the yes v no split on this flag there are also sectarian issues which need to be considered. If you read my poem Tears At The Bells you’ll get it and why these issues are still more important than I’d like them to be.

    So it’s my belief that boycotting Ivanka Trump doesnt make you a bad feminist just as enjoying a Caramel Wafer from Tunnock’s a pro UK company doesn’t make me a bad yes voter or a bad member of the SNP. To think otherwise is to give us headaches and heartbreaks we neither deserve nor need.

    Keep up the good work and the brilliant and thought provoking posts.

    Love And Best Wishes
    Gayle XXX

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there (bit of a weird phrase when you think about it, but accurate all the same). You can’t boycott everything because even if you don’t buy from one company you end up finding out that they own 27 other companies which own companies which have shares in other products and it’s basically all just one capitalist web. Unless you want to live alone, naked in a forest, you have to be savvy with boycotting. The Ivanka one seems justified but like you say, eating a caramel wafer wouldn’t make you a bad SNP supporter. It’s so interesting reading about your experience as a Scottish person during the referendum and how you’ve applied it to this situation- one of my favourite things about having comments on my blog is so I can hear people’s stories and be educated so thank you! X

      Like

  4. Samantha Wiggs says:

    I also found myself wondering if Ivanka was treated fairly in the backlash of her father’s Monster-like behavior. But I came to the same position as you in that her choice to stand by his side speaks more about her character than her brand does. This is a great post! I’ll definitely be sharing xxx

    Samantha // aleggygal.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      Thank you! This post was inspired by a convo I had with a woman on Twitter who thought we should support Ivanka, so for a while I was worried that I’m made the wrong judgement or wasn’t seeing her side properly, but now I’ve spent so much time thinking about it and this is the only conclusion I can draw that makes sense to me. I’m glad you share my line of reasoning xo

      Like

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