Ivanka Trump just wrote a painfully vapid motivational book and it is peak Trump.
The release of Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules of Success was timed perfectly to cash in on the billion dollar graduation gift industry.
The cover features an image-flattering shot of the First Daughter, one carefully selected to exude confidence, success, and BFF-ability.
The title is perfectly hashtag-worthy, the format is strategically constructed to mimic Ivanka’s career blog.
Yet, inside the corporate marketing marvel soon to be remaindered is the kind of fluff that reads like a ‘Quote-a-Day’ calendar vomited into a pile of self-absorbed perkiness.
Ivanka simply has no clue who the majority of America’s women who work really are and instead thinks that success — like one of her made in China scarves — can simply be acquired and tied on.
It is a lie.
If you follow Ivanka’s line of thought, for example, if American women simply work hard enough, they can accessorize themselves with success.
“People who are enthusiastic, diligent, and committed to excellence almost always become highly successful,” she writes. “Conversely, it’s hard to be truly great at what you do if you aren’t genuinely passionate about it.”
The fact is, however, that most American women already work incredibly hard, disproportionately in low-paying service jobs, and all for less money than their male counterparts.
To make matters worse, the longer they are in the workforce, the bigger the wage gap grows.
According to Catalyst, a leading nonprofit advocating for women in the workforce, “The earnings difference between women and men varies with age. Younger women (20-24 years old ) are closer to pay equity and earn 92.3% of men’s earnings compared to older women (55 to 64 years old) who earn just 76.4% of men’s for full-time wage and salary.”
In addition, “Women were paid about 90% of what men earn until age 35, at which point median earnings for women start to slow down, further widening the pay gap.”
Following Ivanka’s patchwork of feel good motivational advice, however, these older women have failed to “prove their worth“ by not putting in enough time at the office or making themselves valuable enough to their employers while somehow being supermoms/super partners/superwomen in stilettos too.
Of course, unless you have been born with a platinum spoon in your mouth, that is not true.
The vast majority of women workers in the country do not have access to an army of household and service workers to provide care for kids after-hours while you toil away at your desk, do the piles of laundry that seem to multiple overnight and make sure everyone is properly clothed, fed and happy so that they have time to dance with their kids — and post the video — during the carefully scheduled 20 minutes of pre-planned merriment.
Nor do they have the same access to elite education, rare opportunities, and posh social networks that Ivanka simply takes for granted.
Ivanka, though, seems mostly oblivious to this reality and content to stand in her rarefied birthright perch atop the glass ceiling and — in lieu of providing real ideas on how to get that ceiling to crack — simply to pretend there isn’t any barrier for “diligent” women at all.
It is all deeply discouraging.
If Ivanka were only the daughter of a billionaire writing a shallow book to boost her profile, it would be easy to simply toss it in the bargain bin next to Paris Hilton’s own, somewhat more honest, attempts at privilege-splaining.
She is not. Ivanka is the daughter and adviser of the current President of the United States who has considerable sway over her father’s policy and has declared herself the personal advocate of career women and working mothers in the current administration.
Now, in typical Trumpian fashion, the First Daughter/POTUS adviser has made it clear in her new book that the “women who work” she is advocating for are really just a tiny, privileged cohort of mothers and executives who think and act a lot like her.
The rest of us, at least in Ivanka’s mind, just don’t count.