Ivanka Trump has been touted as an expert on “women’s issues” in her father’s administration, joining White House meetings and speaking at an international summit alongside Angela — all of which attracted criticism for being self-serving and hypocritical. Her book “Women Who Work” came out last week and was excoriated by critics for the same reasons. Now the most pointed criticism is coming from the mother of the feminist movement herself: Gloria Steinem.
In an interview with Refinery29, the 83-year-old Steinem was asked whether Ivanka Trump was trying to co-opt feminism. “She hasn’t co-opted feminism,” Steinem responded. “Nobody on earth thinks she’s a feminist, are you kidding me?”
After defining a feminist as “somebody who believes in full equality of the sexes,” Steinem outlined her trouble with Ivanka:
“I have not seen her standing up and saying women should have a right to control their own bodies and decide when and whether to have children,” she said. “I saw her being interviewed by ‘Cosmopolitan,’ and she was asked about her maternity leave policy, but it’s only if you physically give birth. It’s not for adoptive parents, not for fathers.”
“That happens to be the same policy as every authoritarian regime on Earth that I know of, including Hitler’s Germany,” Steinem continued. “I’m not saying that she knows this, but [the Nazis] were paying women to have children. By accident, perhaps, that’s her policy. So it’s perfectly natural for the [Cosmopolitan interviewer] to say ‘What about fathers, what about adoptive parents?’ And when she asked that question, Ivanka stopped the interview.”
In a February interview with the “New York Times,” Steinem cited Ivanka’s attitude toward parental leave as justification for boycotting the products made by her company. “It’s appropriate to boycott her not because [Donald Trump] is her father,” Ms. Steinem said, “but because she supports his policies.”