The slickest PR machine could not stop this book’s coverage being contrasted with unfortunate snaps of Ivanka flashing her pearly fangs and taking selfies to celebrate her father’s success in stripping the right to basic health care from rape victims, assault survivors, and the parents of sick children.These things, however, are not at odds—they are two sides of the same agenda, two heads of the same over-bred designer attack dog snarling to be loosed on everything the women’s liberation movement has fought for for centuries. Hypocrisy is the entire agenda of the Trump regime, both theory and praxis, and Ivanka is its sybil. The saccharine-sweet, sterile model of aspirational femininity described in goes hand in hand with the brutal socio-economic assault on every woman not “passionate” or ‘“hard-working” enough to be born a billionaire’s daughter. This is a whole new anti-feminism, one that takes aim at women’s autonomy on every level whilst holding individuals wholly responsible for their own empowerment.
It’s feminism for people who’ve been conned into believing that existing in a state of permanent sleep deprivation is the same as being woke. Is there still the possibility, in this dying world, of pleasure? It is not for me to speculate if Ivanka employed a ghostwriter—the more dreadful possibility is surely that she wrote the thing herself—but feels ghostwritten in more than one sense. It feels as if its author were, on a profound level, already dead, or at least reanimated, its every coquettish sentence stalked by the wailing ghosts of centuries of women and allies who fought for freedom that meant more than a corner office while the world burns thirty stories below.
The ideology of Ivankaland, as much as there is one, is that people get what they deserve, just like Daddy says: My father has always said, if you love what you do, and work really, really hard, you will succeed. If you, individual lady unfortunate enough to be reading this disasterpiece haven’t yet made your first million and outsourced your childcare to an array of paid staff, it’s your own fault for being so feckless, for failing to follow your dreams. It’s true that anyone can be a dead-eyed Instagram husk of a human being frantically photoshopping themselves in the down-hours between soul-crushing corporate drudgery and unpaid emotional labour for some ungrateful lantern-jawed jock if they really want to, but it takes a special type of person to do all that whilst also being a decoy for a global backlash against women’s rights. Fascism is as much about aesthetics as it is about ideology, but in Ivankaland that logic is taken up a notch.
I believe this book is actively evil, and I’m going to tell you why.
Doing so is, of course, an exercise in the massacre of fish in a barrel.
Ivanka is not the only one to discreetly elide those inconvenient centuries of racist slaughter when discussing the conquest of the American West, but perhaps the most brazen in repurposing it as a moral lesson for the modern businesswoman.