Media are criticizing a speech by Republican nominee Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump at the Republican National Convention in which she asserted that her father is “a fighter” for women. Media say the characterization is “ironic” and “an enormous crock,” given Trump’s “platform and history.”
Ivanka Trump Claims Her Father Is “A Fighter” For Women
Wash. Post: Ivanka Trump Described “Her Father ‘As A Fighter’ For The Nation And Women.” Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the Republican nominee, introduced her father in a July 21 speech at the Republican National Convention “‘as a fighter’ for the nation and women,” according to The Washington Post. The Post reported that Trump “promised that her father would make a special effort to help working mothers” by supporting legislation to diminish the gender pay gap and to create affordable child care. From the July 21 Post report:
Ivanka Trump, the polished, careful daughter of a shoot-from-the-hip presidential candidate, made a personal appeal to female voters who remain skeptical of a Trump presidency, describing her father “as a fighter” for the nation and women.
“My father values talent,” said Ivanka Trump, a vice president of the family Trump Organization. “He recognizes real knowledge and skill when he finds it. He is color-blind and gender-neutral. He hires the best person for the job, period.”
“At our family’s company, there are more female than male executives,” Ivanka said to sustained applause. “Women are paid equally for the work that we do and, when a woman becomes a mother, she is supported — not shut out.”
She said her father hired women for key jobs “long before it was commonplace.” The mother of three small children also promised that her father would make a special effort to help working mothers.
“As president, my father will change the labor laws that were put in place during a time in which women were not a significant part of the workforce and will focus on making quality child care affordable and accessible for all,” she said. [The Washington Post, 7/21/16]
ThinkProgress: “An Examination Of His Platform And History Indicates” That Trump Is Not “A Champion Of Women.” ThinkProgress reported that while “Ivanka Trump tried to portray her father as a champion of women” in her speech, “an examination of his platform and history indicates quite the opposite,” pointing out that he “has shown zero interest in thinking about” affordable child care and “has a reputation for demeaning women.” From the July 21 ThinkProgress report:
Ivanka Trump tried to portray her father as a champion of women while introducing him on the last night of the RNC. But not only is there no evidence that the man who has a reputation for demeaning women is actually a champion for them — an examination of his platform and history indicates quite the opposite.
“Politicians talk about wage equality, but my father has made it a practice at his company,” Ivanka said. “He will work for equal pay for equal work, and I will fight for it too right alongside of him.”
Trump Organization’s salaries are not public, but that claim doesn’t hold up on his campaign. Trump pays his male campaign staffers 35 percent more money than female staffers. That’s partly because he has only two women among his senior-level staff, and just 28 percent of his staff is made up of women. One former staffer filed a complaint earlier this year saying she was paid $2,000 a month — about half what several men with the same title make.
She also talked about how Trump would help families. “As president, my father will change the labor laws,” she said, suggested (sic) he’d make “child care affordable and accessible for all” and provide support for working mothers.
While affordable child care is a cornerstone of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Trump has not released any plan for child care. The candidate has also shown zero interest in thinking about the issue. When an organizer asked him for his thoughts on child care back in December, he replied, “I love children” but refused to engage further, saying, “It’s a big subject, darling.” [ThinkProgress, 7/21/16]
Vox’s Emily Crockett: Trump “Has Barely Said A Word About Women’s Economic Issues .... And When He Has, It’s Been Vague Or Contradictory.” Vox staff writer Emily Crockett wrote that “it was really surprising to hear that Donald Trump will fight for” equal pay and affordable child care because “Trump has barely said a word about women’s economic issues on the campaign trail, and when he has, it’s been vague or contradictory.” From the July 21 Vox article (emphasis original):
To hear Ivanka Trump tell it at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Thursday night, her father, Donald Trump, is a model feminist when it comes to women in the workplace.
Perhaps it seems a bit surprising to hear the RNC crowd enthusiastically cheering for employment rights for new moms — although it shouldn’t be, given that the American public broadly supports paid family and medical leave policies.
But it was really surprising to hear that Donald Trump will fight for these kinds of policies. Trump has barely said a word about women’s economic issues on the campaign trail, and when he has, it’s been vague or contradictory.
Maybe Trump will start making workplace fairness issues for women a real priority on the campaign trail. Maybe he’ll even come up with a proposal that makes a lick of policy sense. But neither of those things seems likely. [Vox, 7/21/16]
Slate’s Jessica Winter: Ivanka Trump “Grossly Mischaracterize[d]” Her Father’s “Positions And Beliefs.” Slate features editor Jessica Winter decried Ivanka Trump’s speech, writing that she “grossly mischaracterize[d]” her father’s “positions and beliefs” about pay parity and affordable child care. Winter wrote that there is “no evidence of” Trump embracing either of these policies “as an executive, in his campaigning thus far, or in the Republican Party platform.” From a July 22 Slate article:
But no one could have predicted that Ivanka would veer so far from that script that she’d end up reading from the DNC platform, on behalf of a candidate who sounded a lot more like Hillary Clinton than her father. “At my father's company,” she told the cheering crowd, “there are more female than male executives. Women are paid equally for the work that we do, and when a woman becomes a mother, she is supported, not shut out.” She recited familiar stats on the gender wage gap, continuing, “As president, my father will change the labor laws that were put in place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce, and he will focus on making quality child care affordable and accessible for all.” She then reiterated her earlier point about the gender wage gap: “Politicians talk about wage equality, but my father has made it a practice at his company throughout his entire career.”
Let’s pause for a moment. Ivanka Trump is talking about a man who once said, “I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing.” A man whose campaign has been sued for gender discrimination and that, according to an analysis by the Boston Globe, pays its female employees one-third less than its male employees. A man who once called pregnancy “an inconvenience for a business” and who threw a tantrum when a lawyer in a deposition needed to take a preplanned break to pump breast milk for her three-month-old baby, calling her “disgusting.” This is the man, according to Ivanka Trump, whom we can trust to end pregnancy discrimination, close the gender wage gap, and bring affordable, presumably subsidized childcare to American families, despite no evidence of any of these plans in his performance as an executive, in his campaigning thus far, or in the Republican Party platform.
[W]e know that Ivanka Trump’s father values blind loyalty over most any other character trait. Perhaps the tenderest act of loyalty Ivanka could perform in this arena was to grossly mischaracterize his positions and beliefs before the biggest audience of their lifetimes. [Slate, 7/22/16]
NY Magazine’s Rebecca Traister: Ivanka’s “False Promises About Donald Trump’s Interest In Addressing Gender Equality” Were “An Enormous Crock.” New York magazine writer-at-large Rebecca Traister criticized Ivanka Trump for “delivering a pack of false promises about Donald Trump’s interest in addressing gender inequality,” calling that portion of the speech “an enormous crock.” From the July 22 New York magazine article (emphasis original):
Ivanka Trump is a talented speaker and possibly gifted politician who on Thursday night gave the best speech of this week’s Republican convention. In it, she acknowledged the changing role of women in America before delivering a pack of false promises about Donald Trump’s interest in addressing gender inequality.
This portion of Ivanka’s speech was beautifully delivered, cogent, and mostly right on the money. It was also, with regard to her father, an enormous crock.
Ivanka certainly shouldn’t cast a vote for her father, a man who has not only shown zero interest in addressing any of the workplace inequities his daughter laid out, but whose campaign rests partly on the premise of returning America to the earlier era Ivanka described, in which women were treated as dependents, not as economic actors or as professionals or as equals in any realm. [New York magazine, 7/22/16]