I will not be bashing Ivanka. Sorry if I’ve disappointed any of you. But I have a personal policy of not tearing down women. My candle does not burn brighter by snuffing others out. And let’s face it she probably is the sanest person in the White House. And I do have some moments of feeling for her. Who of us doesn’t have cringe-worthy moments with our parents? Of course her moments play out on a national stage and influence world politics, so bravo, Ivanka, for not crumbling like a house of cards under that kind of crazy pressure. And let’s face it, there is no way her father would have been pushing for paid maternity leave (I’m not certain he even knew that was a thing) if Ivanka hadn’t been like, “Dad, you have to do this.” And let’s not forget that she is friends with Chelsea Clinton and I’m just saying Chelsea ain’t suffering any fools.
My friend once told me that women are like dogs. When you look up dog breeds there are toy breeds who are adorable and like to just hang out and get love from their family. Then there are working dog breeds. If left alone for too long without an interesting job working dogs will tear your fucking house down. I am a working dog. I’m pretty sure Ivanka is too. Because let’s face it that gal doesn’t have to work but she does. But here is where the differences between Ivanka and 99.9% of the women reading this article begin. Ivanka can chose to work and in fact is working in an unpaid position in the current administration. So the rest of us are working one, two three jobs to make ends meet. As my sister-in-law put it best, “Oh and avocados–can’t really afford those working two jobs as a single mother. Just trying to keep my head above water.” This in response to a passage of the book where Ivanka complains about getting pureed avocado on her bathrobe. My friend Rebecca also was curious as to which staff member pureed it for her.
Let me be clear, if you are worth 240 million dollars you aren’t anything like most working moms. If your dad’s employee promotes your clothing line on national TV—if your dad has an employee who speaks on national TV—you are nothing like us. If you have staff (at least two nannies were mentioned in her book) you are nothing like us.
It’s hard for me to muster up sympathy that you couldn’t find twenty minutes in the mornings to mediate during your dads’ presidential election (again, do I need to point out how painfully obvious the differences are between you and the rest of us?). Let me share with you what happened the last time I tried to meditate. True story. Last year my friend (who has no children I feel compelled to note) convinced me to give it a try. She thought it would help with my stress. So I laid down on the floor of her den while she played a “body-scan mediation” podcast. After thirty seconds I was snoring so loudly my friend had to stop her meditation. She covered me with a blanket and put a pillow next to my head in case I woke up and needed one. I slept on her floor for two hours. No pillow necessary. Two fucking hours. Because most working moms, myself included, do not have staff or a mulit-million dollar net worth. We don’t wish for things like “time to meditate.” We yearn for things like a night where we don’t have insomnia because we are stressed about paying bills, we don’t have to make a choice between paying for our kid’s field trip or buying new work shoes, or being able to provide a roof over our family’s head, in a safe neighborhood where they won’t get shot.
As my sharp as a tack friend Julie noted your book reminded her of the time she was in her words, “relating a story of being homeless , for the second time, and the woman I was speaking to said ‘OMG I can relate. I had a rough patch a few years back where I had to sell my Range Rover and live in one of my rental properties.’” Ivanka, your book is as tone-deaf as that woman’s sad attempt at empathy. You can do better than this. I know you can. You do have a platform. You can shine a light on real issues facing real women because publishing houses and let’s face it every media outlet would love to have an interview with you. Use that time to spotlight us normal working mom who have real life struggles. Help us have better lives by continuing to advocate for policies that will help us. Use your power for good. Can we count on you?