Right now, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington D.C. (or perhaps Mar-a-Lago) sits Trump, who has recently shown support for empowering women. Before you get too excited, I’m talking about Ivanka, not the Donald himself.
Ivanka unofficially serves in her father’s administration as a special assistant to the president, an unpaid position with no direct governmental influence. Trump says this will not stop her for advocating for the “economic empowerment of women.” Trump has said that while she has and will make her opinions known to her father, she has no control over how he will actually set policy for the administration.
It looks like Ivanka will be fighting an uphill battle with her father on this one. There are only four women in President Trump’s cabinet, and none of those are in high ranking positions. Furthermore, only 23 percent of the president’s White House staff is female.
Now that is not enough in itself to say that the Trump administration has a problem with women, but when coupled with the restriction the government has placed on funding for safe abortions around the world, the cuts made to a program aimed at decreasing maternal death, as well as reducing the protections for women who have been harassed or assaulted at work, maybe there is an issue in the White House.
Ivanka has been advocating for both paid maternity leave as well a child-care tax credit in her role as assistant to the president.
And while I agree that these issues are important and long overdue, they are not enough to bridge the gap between sexes (economically, socially, politically), that the Trump administration is actually making wider. Some have said that Ivanka is the feminist in the White House, most of this praise actually comes from the left, not conservatives.
I can tell progressives this. Do not hold out hope for Ivanka changing the correct trajectory of this administration. Remember, just because someone is aligned with a few of your goals, that does not mean that they are your ally, and that does not mean that they are a member of your group. Feminism demands political, social, and economic changes that likely cannot come about while Donald Trump is president.