Een interessant stuk van dames heren kleega's van ELLE.com:
For those of us who overdosed on Disney princess memorabilia growing up, good news: Thanks to Donald Trump and his legion of terrifying yet well-coiffed children, Americans are now closer to living in a monarchy than we have been since 1776. And Ivanka Trump—blond, pretty, well-mannered, given massive amounts of power over the citizenry thanks to nothing but her genetic makeup—is the closest thing we'll get to a princess. Which is how we'll all get to find out: Princesses are terrifying.
It's not clear yet what role Ivanka Trump will play in her father's administration. What is clear is that she will have one. It was reported Wednesday that she would occupy the White House offices usually reserved for the first lady. (Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks pushed back on this report.) Ivanka was initially tapped to join Trump's two oldest sons as part of his "blind trust"—assigned the role of keeping the $3 billion conflict of interest that is the Trump Organization alive while her father was off presidenting. And yet, almost immediately after Trump was elected, she began holding meetings with foreign heads of state and hunting for houses in D.C. In subsequent weeks, Ivanka's name was floated for every position from "climate czar" (although she has no relevant expertise re: climate change) to first lady (although Trump is married) to, most ominously, "women's rights" and/or child care policy: "If you look at Ivanka—she's so strongly, as you know, into the women's issues and childcare.... Nobody could do better than her," Trump told Fox News last Sunday.
First of all: Many, many people could "do better" than Ivanka Trump on "the women's issues." Then again, nearly every job Ivanka has been considered for is wildly inappropriate; as author/journalist Kurt Eichenwald noted, even that "blind trust" spot would likely require her to receive high-level intelligence briefings. (The problem here is that even knowing which deals create conflicts of interest would require her to have more information on U.S. foreign policy than any private citizen should.) No matter what her title is, Ivanka's essential role remains the same: to integrate a very specific vision of exceptionalist white womanhood into the Trump brand and presidency. By presenting a very specific type of exceptional success, she is the Trump presidency's built-in excuse for failing the rest of us.
But before we get into the powerful symbolic role she's set up to play, it's worth revisiting Ivanka's actual contribution to Trump's "women's issues" policy, namely the family leave and child care proposal put forth by Trump during the campaign. By many estimates, it was a sexist mess: The paid-leave portion of the plan provided leave only after childbirth, and only for biological mothers; it did not cover paternal leave, same-sex or adoptive couples, or parents who requested leave to care for a sick child. The plan was credited to Ivanka, with Trump claiming she'd personally begged him to introduce it.
The plan was also something that Ivanka appeared unable to defend, or even describe. When Prachi Gupta of Cosmopolitan pressed her on a controversial provision in a now infamous interview, Ivanka repeated her prior statements word-for-word several times and then abruptly ended the interview. "I think that you have a lot of negativity in these questions, and I think my father has put forth a very comprehensive and really revolutionary plan to deal with a lot of issues," she sputtered. The point isn't just that Ivanka Trump was defensive about "her" plan; the point is that she seemed unfamiliar with it. Nor did she seem familiar with the issue itself, outside of her few preset talking points. What, exactly, did she think the interview would be about?
When Ivanka has engaged with women's issues, she's done so primarily through her marketing team; her work isn't feminism, but femvertising. Ivanka's much-touted #WomenWhoWork campaign—which launched from IvankaTrump.com in fall 2014, and is the basis her forthcoming book—is really more of an elaborate fashion ad than a policy proposal. Nor was it ever meant to be more than an ad; the campaign, Ivanka said, was aimed mainly to change the perception that "'work,' when associated with women, wasn't marketable."
On the site, four appropriately sexy and aspirational "working women"—one is Ivanka; one lists her career as "stay-at-home mother"; none of them mention politics—discuss their careers in the most general terms possible. Three out of four women coo Handmaid's Tale–ish platitudes about "being the best mother I can be." (One, a schoolteacher, is apparently childless; her segment still revolves largely around her ability to nurture children.) The overall effect is both soothing and dystopian, like watching a ladies' yogurt ad directed by Leni Riefenstahl. None of them discuss their struggle with the cost of child care, lack of paid family leave, wage gap, or any of the other things that occupy most working women. If viewers approve of the woman in question, they can "shop her look," with said look being comprised entirely of Ivanka Trump–brand clothing. That clothing, by the way, comes from a manufacturer that does not provide maternity leave.
Her work isn't feminism, but femvertising.
Patriarchy has always had room for the Exceptional Woman—the one woman smart enough, sweet enough, strong enough, soft enough, pure enough, sexy enough to satisfy all of our culture's contradictory demands on women, and thus make it to the top of a sexist system on merit alone. Patriarchy needs that woman. She provides men with an excuse to blame women for their own pain and struggles while simultaneously assuring women that sexism only needs to be outwitted to be overcome. She tells us that the system is survivable for women—you simply have to be the right kind of woman.
Exceptional Women don't exist in real life. No one is unaffected by sexism; no woman, no matter how well-behaved, is ever safe. But some women, by dint of privilege and good luck, are fairly convincing avatars. This year's Exceptional Woman is Ivanka Trump, and she's such a convincing Exceptional Woman that she's helped make a self-confessed sexual predator who ran the most openly misogynist presidential campaign in modern history palatable to a large number of Americans.
Of course, Trumpism is unsurvivable for women who do not happen to be exceptional Ivankas. "Being the best mother you can be" probably doesn't sound aspirational to a woman who's lost her birth control due to the repeal of Obamacare and can't abort her resulting pregnancy due to increased state abortion restrictions, lack of federal funding, and/or the overturning of Roe. The support staff who provide Ivanka's soothing greige lifestyle—domestic and child care workers who are predominantly female—will not find their work-life balance enhanced by child care proposals that don't cover the cost of caring for their own children, or by the lack of a livable minimum wage.
The goal of Trumpism is not to benefit women. The goal is to benefit one woman, Ivanka, or the one type of woman she represents. She provides her father with a human credential and downplays his sexism; in exchange, she gains an invaluable boost for her aspirational lifestyle brand (only $10,800 for the bracelet Ivanka wore on 60 Minutes!) and the opportunity to charge strangers $50,000 for a "coffee chat," thus proving that women really can succeed after all. We're not meant to benefit from her; we're meant to look at her, and think about how we can be more like her. We're meant to blame ourselves for falling short, as we have with every other Exceptional Woman to date. Ivanka is the Disney princess; we're the peasant chorus members who watch, and serve, and sigh at her pretty hair. Hell, maybe we'll even pitch in some background vocals on a few of the big musical numbers. Peasants always do, in those movies, even though they're probably all starving.