Mom Says She Had to Fight Ivanka Trump for Maternity Leave -- & That's Just Wrong

Recent revelations about what it's like to be a woman working for Ivanka Trump highlight the distinction between her actions and her political rhetoric. For example: A woman who claimed she had to fight (hard) for a halfway decent maternity leave while she was working for Ivanka is making us see Ivanka's alleged hypocrisy a little more clearly. And we don't like it. Ivanka has built her brand #WomenWhoWork on claims she empowers women, but her actions often prove that's little more than another aspirational brand play.

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In other words, Ivanka seems to support the deeply mysoginistic Trump campaign in every way, then turns around and pretends to care about our issues. Am I the only one who finds that totally insulting?

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Am I the only one bothered by the fact that Ivanka wants to wrap herself around #WomenWhoWork, yet a former executive at one of her companies, Marissa Kraxberger, is saying Ivanka made her fight for maternity leave after having her first baby? In her Facebook post, Kraxberger said it herself: "... when I recently saw a commercial with Ivanka and her father and their 'maternity leave' policy I felt like I was going to be ill."

Same.

Here's the full post:

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For what it's worth, Ivanka Trump's "brand spokesperson" responded to Jezebel about Kraxberger's claims by saying this:

The team at Ivanka Trump is saddened by this mischaracterization of how our company developed its industry leading culture and benefits package. In addition to paid leave, we also offer all employees flexible work schedules and unlimited vacation and sick days.

As a company for women, run by women, we spent a considerable amount of time in the early days of building our business developing a unique corporate culture and engaged in meaningful dialogue about the benefits that would be most impactful to the people working at Ivanka Trump. 

While we respect differing political views from employees, past and present, we are steadfast in our belief that we have built a culture and a brand to be proud of and are deeply committed to supporting and empowering women.

It would be easier to believe Kraxberger's retelling of her experience working for Ivanka Trump is a "mischaracterization," as her spokesperson says, if it didn't line up so neatly with so much of what we've seen ourselves of Ivanka Trump's dismissive behavior of American working women.

For instance, am I the only one who's bothered by Ivanka lining up a book deal for next year to release "highly tactical, solution-oriented content" for working women, yet helping develop her father's childcare plan which doesn't offer new fathers family leave? That's despite the fact that family leave policies that include men are proven to cut down on hiring discrimination against women, help close the wage gap, and, you know, promote one of the best solutions a working mom can have -- i.e., a ... wait for it ... baby daddy who helps out?

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Am I the only one who's bothered by the fact that Ivanka Trump was given the world stage at the Republican National Convention to introduce her father and help explain his vision for our country, but instead of offering American women anything new or helpful, after the speech concluded, she decided to send out a tweet instructing women to "shop the look"? It's like she's just telling us, "Don't listen to my father's anti-women policies, just buy my dress. K?"

(P.S. the $158 dress is made in China.)

Am I the only one who's bothered by the tales and transcripts coming out from Trump's days on The Apprentice, where he's said to have demeaned and harassed women with regularity and impunity? One of the transcrips showed, according to People, what Trump reportedly said about contestant Emily West:

I assume you're gonna leave this off, don't put this sh*t on the show, you know. But her skin, her skin sucks, okay? I mean her skin, she needs some serious f*ckin' dermatology.

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Now these comments were reportedly made in 2010, before Ivanka's time in the boardroom. But she was on the set of The Apprentice for many years. Did she sit there and listen to her father speak this way to women working on that TV show without speaking up? Where was her empowerment for women who work for her father then?

So when it comes down to it, there is nothing about Ivanka Trump's public persona that indicates she sees women who work as anything more than a market to sell her baubles and bits of wisdom to.

Kraxberger's story just displays Ivanka Trump's larger issue. For Ivanka, working motherhood is a brand -- a lifestyle sensibility. For the rest of America's working mothers, it's a juggling act that often feels impossible because of the anti-woman, anti-family policies passed by the government pretty much always.

So if you want us to take you seriously as a working mother, show us you actually understand what it's like. You want us to see you as a champion of motherhood? Maybe you could do one thing for any American mother besides try to sell us stuff. 

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Disavowing your dad's disgusting behavior altogether and forging your own path apart from his would be a great start. We don't need another cheap dress. We need leadership with courage to make America work for women. For a change.

Get to work on that, then get back to us.

 

Image via Fortunata / Splash News

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