Ivanka Trump has made a name for herself selling jewelry, shoes, and parodies of feminism and altruism.
In her newest book, "Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules of Success," she uses notable quotes as if she cherry-picked them from a motivational Pinterest board, removing them from their context and glossing them with the superficial Trump brand. One such quote was taken from famed anthropologist, primatologist, wildlife conservationist, and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall, a woman as rich in principle as Trump pretends to be.
"What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make," Goodall said and Trump quoted.
They are wise words but become vapid and hypocritical when used by the first daughter of an administration that appears to work against any sort of positive difference.
Goodall read Trump's hypocrisy loud and clear, taking advantage of the situation to impart some urgent advice.
"I sincerely hope she will take the full import of my words to heart. She is in a position to do much good or terrible harm,” Goodall said to CNN. “Legislation that was passed by previous governments to protect wildlife such as the Endangered Species Act, create national monuments and other clean air and water legislation have all been jeopardized by this administration. I hope that Ms. Trump will stand with us to value and cherish our natural world and protect this planet for future generations.”
Goodall is not the only one who has taken Trump to task for using powerful quotes that have very little to do with the first daughter's actual actions. Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, discovered that one of her personal stories had made it into the book as an example of a woman who not only successfully changed careers, but had also done much in the way of empowering women in technology.
Saujani was not remotely pleased.
The backlash to Trump's book has been immediate, and the criticisms fall in line with those already aired about her role in her father's administration. It reads as capitalism, pure and simple, like a corporate pitch rather than a genuine hand extended to women managing a career in a male-dominated world. Trump's book sounds a lot like Trump herself: Created to sell rather than share anything of real substance.
"At 217 pages, it fits comfortably into the 'empowered female boss' subgenre of business books, and contains a standard mix of stock phrases about 'multidimensional' women, a press release for both Ivanka’s and the Trump brand, and a soft-focus biography (don’t expect anything about the White House here)," wrote Stassa Edwards for Jezebel.
Others are calling it "out of touch" and not at all representative of most working women, the kind doing jobs often underpaid and undervalued.
As Goodall said, Trump is in a powerful and unique position within the current administration, and she could potentially temper sexist and misogynistic policies by counseling her father. In order to do that though, she has to start taking Goodall's advice, and her own, seriously.