I am dying to know what’s really going on with all the President’s women. I vividly remember Ivanka Trump, in her blush-colored dress, introducing her father at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. So compelling, so savvy — her dress cost $138 — and so independent.
She took to that stage and boldly declared, “As President, my father will change the labor laws that were put into place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce.”
Feminist women were skeptical, but intrigued, especially when Ivanka said, “He will fight for equal pay for equal work, and I will fight for this, too, right alongside of him.” w
It was a poignant moment. Ivanka — identifying as neither Democrat nor Republican — was fighting the good fight for all women right alongside her father.
But that was then, and this is now. Ivanka is not fighting alongside her father to change labor laws. Instead — at least recently — she’s been pushing a child care tax credit and making speeches in India about empowering female entrepreneurs.
Worthy efforts, for sure, but American women are in the midst of a historic moment — one that could change things dramatically for women in the workplace. It’s even possible that women’s wages will rise if sexual harassment by powerful bosses is something we can fight — and solve. Imagine how many talented women would stay on the job instead of being forced to leave a hostile environment and start anew?
And then there’s Roy Moore. Why isn’t Ivanka loudly urging her father to denounce embattled US Senate Republican candidate Moore? Yeah, I know she tweeted “there’s a special place in hell for child molesters,” but if she is a champion of women, it’s simply not enough.
Actually, it’s difficult to stomach why not only Ivanka, but President Donald Trump’s communications director Hope Hicks, his press secretary Sarah Sanders, his education secretary Betsy DeVos, and his Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley haven’t loudly denounced Moore as well.
Lara Trump — Eric’s wife — even recorded a robocall that is making its way around Alabama. The President’s daughter-in-law invites Alabamians to attend Trump’s campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida.
Lara does not mention her father-in-law’s endorsement of Moore, but, make no mistake, Trump’s rally has everything to do with the Alabama Senate race. Pensacola is 15 miles from the Alabama border and even Alabama’s GOP Chairman Terry Lanthan has urged Alabamians to attend the rally.
It’s rather deflating that Laraa, who headed “Women for Trump” during the 2016 campaign, recorded that robocall. She has long insisted her father-in-law respects women. “This is a man who has always championed women,” she told CNN. “I know that there is another narrative that people suggest out there,” she said, adding that his support for women is why she decided “to come out to speak on behalf of this man.”
But what about Moore? A man accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl in his 30s? A man who admitted he dated girls so young he had to ask their mothers’ permission?
Recording a robocall for a rally for Moore’s benefit is not championing women — it’s complicit. There’s a reason “complicit” is 2017’s word of the year, according to Dictionary.com. That SNL skit was spot-on when it joked Ivanka developed a perfume with the tagline, “The fragrance for the woman who could stop all this, but won’t.”
I can kind of understand why Trump’s women are not addressing the “Access Hollywood” tape or the President’s own accusers because, well, he’s family. And for those who aren’t family, he is their boss — and given Trump’s willingness to shake up White House appointments, they can never be too certain of their job security.
But Moore is not family. He is not their employer. He’s a man who can help Trump politically — and when I say “politically,” I don’t mean a newly elected Senator Moore will push for equal pay for equal work.
If Moore wins — without a peep from all the President’s women — they will be complicit in his victory. And I must ask them to please stop talking about championing women, because they have been absent on issues of sexual harassment.
Editor’s note: The story was updated to note that it was Dictionary.com that named “complicit” the word of the year.