Inappropriate Questions

Ivanka Trump is protecting her father while she should protect women instead.

Asked whether or not she believes the women who accuse her father of sexual harassment, Ivanka found herself trapped.

Ivanka Trump considers herself a feminist, often speaks about women, promotes strengthening the position of females and wants to be portrayed as someone who supports women’s aspirations. She recently supported the #TimesUp movement, which was created to put an end to harassment and abuse of women both in their workplace and in public life.

Nevertheless, when asked by an NBC journalist few days ago whether she believes the stories of women who accuse her father of sexual harassment, Ivanka got indignant and said that this question was “inappropriate.” She also said that it is improper to ask a daughter if she believes her father’s accusers when he claims that the charges are absolutely made up. She finally added that she knows her father, she trusts him and as a daughter, she has the right to do so.

#MeToo and Donald Trump

Before the election in 2016, several women brought charges against Donald Trump, who back then was not yet president. Since the beginning of the #MeToo campaign, the number of women who have accused President Trump of harassment has risen to at least a dozen. The majority of them did not hide their names.

However, the White House and Trump himself have strongly denied everything. Allegedly, the media were revealing unsubstantiated facts, and at the end of last year, the White House spokeswoman still argued that these women were simply lying. Trump asserted that some of the women who accused him were not even attractive, and therefore it was rather impossible for him to have maintained an intimate relationship with any of them.

President’s Daughter or President’s Adviser?

Is Ivanka entitled to believe her father? Of course she is. In her relationship with him she even has the right to deny certain facts and defend her father. However, during the interview, she did not speak as a private individual or merely the president’s daughter, someone who could refuse to answer such questions altogether or express being offended by attacks on her privacy, etc. Ivanka spoke as a White House adviser, a public person who should have answered questions and not hide behind family ties.

Meanwhile, in addition to her indignation and the story about “inappropriate questions,” Ivanka also criticized the interviewer and claimed that the question was not one many daughters can be asked. Of course it is not, but at the same time, not many daughters have fathers who were caught on videotape bragging about their sexual life, and not many fathers have been accused of sexual misconduct by at least a dozen women. In the case of such fathers, it is reasonable to ask their daughters this kind of question.

It would also be nice if Ivanka would make up her mind about whether she wants to only play a daughter, guard her privacy, refuse to answer the questions of curious journalists and hide behind a sense of loyalty to her father, or whether she wants to play the role of a presidential adviser who can, or perhaps even must be asked her opinion in such situations. The question was not “inappropriate.” Ivanka could refuse to answer, but the question should be asked.

For many feminists as well as the women who are charging Trump with sexual harassment, electing him president meant silently approving the mistreatment of women, and was proof that a man can go unpunished, even someone who is accused by a dozen women, thus enabling him to spread obscene commentary about women, and to make things worse, live in the White House. Ivanka, who supports his administration and plays an active role as an adviser, is a part of Trump’s problem. It is not surprising, therefore, that for many, her feminism is fake and she herself is more of a hypocrite than a true defender of women’s rights.

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