One of the nastiest side effects of the Trump presidency might be the national platform Donald Trump Jr. suddenly has. This Tuesday, he complained about a modern art installation in Washington, D.C., that features a likeness of his sister and their father’s adviser, Ivanka.
‘Sad, but not surprising to watch self professed “feminists” launching sexist attacks against Ivanka Trump. In their crazed world, sexism is OK if hurts their political enemies. That’s ok, they can go put on their stupid hats & she’ll get back to actually fighting for women.’
Sad, but not surprising to watch self professed “feminists” launching sexist attacks against @IvankaTrump. In their crazed world, sexism is OK if hurts their political enemies.
That’s ok, they can go put on their stupid hats & she’ll get back to actually fighting for women. https://t.co/yxXIDz2R8e
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 5, 2019
There are numerous issues with his sentiment.
For one, the piece in question doesn’t constitute a sexist attack on Ivanka Trump, although that’s one available interpretation. The installation features a model of Ivanka Trump that will vacuum up crumbs thrown at it without breaking stride. CulturalDC and Jennifer Rubell are responsible for the Flashpoint Gallery piece, which represents “simultaneously a visual celebration of a contemporary feminine icon; a portrait of our own relationship to that figure; and a questioning of our complicity in her role-playing,” according to those responsible.
In other words, it’s designed to put the viewer in a position of determining their own relationship to Ivanka Trump and those in similar positions.
As easily as Trump Jr. — and Ivanka — decided the piece was an attack, it could be taken as a denuniciation of those who put Ivanka in such a position in the first place.
The organizers explained the effort as “intentionally open to multiple, often contradictory interpretations that are as critical of the interpreter as they are of the subject.”
Apparently Trump Jr. and Ivanka think of the latter’s White House role as little beyond vacuuming up crumbs.
Ivanka had previously decried the installation by melodramatically declaring:
‘Women can choose to knock each other down or build each other up. I choose the latter.’
Women can choose to knock each other down or build each other up. I choose the latter. https://t.co/MFri4xKhNI
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) February 5, 2019
It’s not as though she has done much else while in her advisory position in her father’s White House. She has pushed a proposal for paid family leave for mothers with new children but that hasn’t gotten anywhere — and it wasn’t very remarkable in the first place.
For one, she crashed onto the scene touting the proposal as a symbol of her and her father’s efforts to provide for American families when it’s in reality a cherrypicked part of Democratic policy.
More substantively, a proposal that eventually emerged with the support of Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) didn’t even provide actual paid family leave for new mothers. Instead, the plan allowed those parents to draw from their Social Security funds early — which pushed their chances at Social Security-supported retirement further and further into the future.
Ivanka has occupied herself with other tasks, like pushing the formation of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative at the World Bank — but that was hardly her doing alone, and she could have even accomplished the exact same as a private citizen, making her time in the White House that much more unremarkable.
In reality, no matter what petty squabbles the Trumps want to engage in, none of them had any idea what they were doing when they started this mess called the Trump administration.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot