After the presidential election and my time as exec at TNH, I needed a break from writing about politics. For an entire year, I wrote twice-weekly editorials which could have been on anything, but the world was too hard for me to ignore. I had too large of a platform not to bring issues of freedom of speech, women's rights and overall human rights to print. At first, I was so nervous. I never thought that I could form a political opinion in print. But once I started typing, seeing my words in print and interacting with community opinions (good, bad and ugly) I not only realized a passion but a future career. I have missed writing about politics and realized that I need to bring that back to my blog.
Politics is sexy. Being informed is empowering, and there is nothing more attractive than a gal who knows her sh*t. Think of it like pop-culture gossip except for real-life topics that matter and affect your future. I mean, taking in the buzz on Kim Kardashian West's photo shoot posing as Jackie Kennedy and possibly darkening her skin is one thing (...ok, another post for another day -- that could get political) but having knowledge and opinions about the world matters a lot.
So yesterday as I was going through my daily ritual of viewing Twitter Moments (great feature) and started reading an article from the Teen Vogue news and politics section...Aka my absolute favorite section of the web. The article was "Trump Administration Stayed Rule Targeting Ending the Wage Gap," and I thought, "Oh of fuc**ng course! The Trump administration making the world less transparent! I am shocked! Wow!" And I also thought, "Oh wow! this is targeting women, gender, and race equality! I am shocked!"
Really, I'm not shocked if you didn't pick up on the sarcasm. I am shook.
If you haven't heard yet, the White House recently announced it was going to stop Baerack Obama's wage discrimination protections that were supposed to take effect this spring. If you aren't mad about this, we can't be friends.
What I learned from the Teen Vogue article was that according to a study done at the Pew Research center, women earned 83 percent of what men did in 2015. Aka they would need to work an extra 44 days to make up for the gap. But for women of color, the gap is larger. Reading this and now typing it just makes my heart sink.
A great progression to this issue was addressed by Obama by making this transparency rule. Numbers don't lie, people and business can get called out. This decision by Donald Trump is a direct attack on women...again. Trump is telling companies that it is fine to discriminate based on race and gender.
But what really got me in a tizzy was Ivanka Trump's response published in Newsweek: "Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” the statement said. “We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, [the Office of Management and Budget], Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”
How would transparency not give results? Explain further, I beg it.
Also, what would you propose, Ivanka? This rule was created by Obama and the then chair women of the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Jenny Yang. So I would really like to understand how a rule that would have required businesses to record and report how much they pay employees of various genders, races, and ethnicities, "would not yield the intended results."
But, the EEOC thought it would so...
Not too far back in April, PBS reported this quote by Ivanka:
“I’m listening, I’m learning, I’m defining the ways in which I think that I’ll be able to have impact,” regarding empowering women in the U.S. economy.
Also, see her Tweet above if you missed it.
For a very, very long time, I have not understood Ivanka Trump. I have wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt so many times. I have a weakness giving people chances even after they blow it, especially when it comes to other powerful women. But I just don't get it anymore. Ivanka could be such a changing force for women but she instead has strings holding her limbs with an orange hand dancing her mouth and body across the stage...Or maybe she actually believes in what she is portraying to the entire world...Which contradicts her entire brand.
Ivanka's website has a great message and the brand has a great meaning. It is supposed to be empowering for working women, how they can run a business, family, how to add style into the workday and live a healthy but fun lifestyle all at the same time. There are definitely parts of her company that I find disheartening, like her lack of staff diversity (insert eye roll here) and OH YEAH, THE FACT THAT SHE DOESN'T LIVE UP TO HER LIFE MESSAGE.
About Ivanka Trump on her blog: "...dedicated to the mission of inspiring and empowering women to create the lives they want to lead."
Um, Ivanka please explain to me how women getting paid less than men in the same job is empowering. Explain how supporting non-transparency is inspiring.
Ok here goes nothing...
An open letter to Ivanka Trump. From one gal to another.
I can see the good message you have held in your heart once before. Your personal brand is pretty cool, a message to empower women in the workplace but also be the boss of the home -- all with great style. Not to mention, the clothes you have in your collection are really cute! The LNDE booty, love that. But I am really confused about what you're doing with your life. Look, if you weren't the president's daughter or a key member of the administration, I wouldn't care about what you do. But you have the power to change a lot for women in the United States.
Do you understand what you can be for us? You can be our advocate that has ties closer to the leader of this country than anyone in the world has. You can speak on behalf of women's rights, gender and race equality directly into your father's ear.
I can sympathize with the fact that family is family. Your devotion to Donald Trump makes complete sense but being family means being honest and I truly do not believe you think this is right.
Look at the millions of Americans who fight for equality every day. See the women's marches, the progression of women's pages, the increasing number of women becoming CEO's and breaking barriers. This is the living example of your personal brand. We want you to help us. I want you on our team.
But supporting the decision to dismiss rules on the prevention of pay discrimination is you simultaneously turning your back and throwing a grenade into the group of millions who are fighting for wage equality.
I am just really disappointed with everything you haven't done. I'm over defending the possibility that you can do something good for women in America. Please stop allowing yourself to be controlled by male power. Feminism isn't a brand, and I'm done with your fake feminism. Oh, and so is everyone else.