Ivanka Trump had a new book hit shelves this week, and for anyone who likes a terrible hate-read or some schadenfreude, you are in so much luck. The book, titled Women Who Work, was written before last year’s election, as Trump makes excessively clear in the forward. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the ethics violations from rolling in, as official State Department accounts have jumped in to help promote the book. (Once again, that’s a thing that’s very much not allowed.)
Ethics violations aside (that’s a thing we find ourselves saying a lot these days, isn’t it?), the most important thing about the book is this: It’s bad. It’s so bad. Trump starts off the book describing the soul-searching she did as she backpacked in Patagonia, nervous about leaving her cushy fresh-out-of-college job at a real estate firm, that she only took as a sort of gap year experience-builder before exiting for her even cushier, guaranteed career at her family’s empire. You know, relatable stories for working women!
But Trump’s idea of working women is basically just women like herself: elite, sleek, women born into wealth and privilege, with connections, support systems, and endless financial resources. In talking about balancing work and family, she mentions those who make that possible–her two nannies–exactly twice.
She describes the kind of woman she sees as “multidimensional,” personified first and foremost by her mother, whom she recalls walking the halls of her business in four-inch heels and full makeup. Her mother was “unapologetically feminine in a male industry.” Ivanka really doesn’t seem to understand that this isn’t breaking the mold of anything. That her own overt femininity, like that of her mother and women like Kellyanne Conway serves to reinforce the strict image of perfection necessary to be allowed entry into the existing “man’s world” of business. We can’t “have it all,” we must have it all, or we can have nothing. Elle’s review puts it succinctly: “she’s not so much ‘challenging’ the expectation that mothers or workers be conventionally pretty and well-groomed as she is promoting it, creating an image of Working Mom Barbie enjoying a wholesome day off.”
And above all, Ivanka loves to quote. She calls writing “wordsmithing pieces of content,” a phrase NPR points out serves to blur “the distinctions between writing, editing, and borrowing.” Each chapter is preceded by a full-page, faux-handwritten inspirational quote, flattened out to it’s most meaningless platitudes, to the point where a quote about slavery from Toni Morrison’s Beloved is meant to relate to the burden of answering so many emails. She also tags each quote with the hashtag #ITWiseWords. The IT stands for Ivanka Trump, essentially attempting to claim the words as at least partly her own idea.
All of that is why we should feel no shame in rolling around in the warm enveloping folds of these positively scathing reviews. Here are just some of the top quotes about Ivanka Trump’s work as a content wordsmith.
Source: The Mary Sue