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.