April 28, 2017
Ivanka Trump refuses to promote her upcoming self-help book to avoid conflict of interest
by Simon Reichley
Ivanka Trump is publishing a book this year called Women Who Work, a self-help volume dedicated to helping women navigate the overlapping terrains of family obligation and professional ambition. And who better to dispense such sage advise than a supermodel, heiress, and confidant of a president whose greatest ambitions are the destruction of the social safety net and the further enrichment of the American oligarchy?
The book assumes that Trump possesses some secret knowledge or method. That she knows something the rest of us don’t. This is, of course, untrue. Ivanka Trump simply has something that the rest of us don’t: massive inherited wealth and the benefits of an aristocratic upbringing. Also, her dad is the President of the United States of America.
But Ivanka won’t be leveraging that familial clout to promote her own book. In a Facebook post, she has proudly declared that “out of an abundance of caution and to avoid the appearance of using my official role to promote the book, I will not publicize the book through a promotional tour or media appearances.” Instead, she will travel to Germany, tell absurd lies about the President’s commitment to families, and get hissed at. Instead, she will make an elaborate show of supporting paid family leave, while doing very little to actually move helpful legislation forward.
Instead, she will use her influence to secure her trademarks in China and develop her international business portfolio.
In that same post, Ivanka also promises to donate $100,000 each to The National Urban League and The Boys and Girls Clubs of America. She will also be donating the “unpaid portion of her advance” and any future royalties earned. This is clearly a nice thing to do and we would never trash someone for giving money to such deserving charities. Good on her.
That said, Women Who Work isn’t written for working-class women. It’s written for capitalist apex predators who want to be great moms and build businesses, ideally on the back of exploited laborers in foreign countries. Still, at least she’s giving $100k to an organization that opposed the repeal of the ACA and the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, and at least we won’t have to hear her talk about it in public.
Simon Reichley is the rights and operations manager at Melville House.