It’s been a hell of a week for Ivanka Trump.
To kick it off, her clothing line was dropped by luxury department store Nordstrom following consumer pressure and poor sales.
Since her father’s election last year on the 8 November, thousands of Americans have boycotted businesses that support the Trump family. The protest – designed to hit Trump where it hurts - has gathered genuine momentum and Nordstrom’s decision is viewed as a major victory.
A number of other major department stores - including Sears and Neiman Marcus - have followed suit, announcing they will no longer stock Ivanka’s merchandise.
And to make matters worse, both Donald Trump and one of his top advisesr, Kellyanne Conway, made disparaging public remarks about Nordstrom’s decision. This did not go down well, given the existing controversy over the ethics of Trump’s business interests and his presidency.
In the middle of it all, the 35-year-old proxy First Lady was publicly shamed for attending a workout class under a fake name. The gym’s owner took to Facebook to express her displeasure that the President’s daughter had been to a class and said as much in a post that quickly became global news.
The world is turning on Ivanka Trump, a woman who could well be described as easy to dislike even without a father like Donald Trump.
Born into unfathomable wealth, she is a former model, an Ivy-League educated graduate, a successful businesswoman, a television celebrity, an author and a mother of three. There’s little doubt that Ivanka Trump boasts many of life’s blessings.
Which is perhaps why she is an easy lightning rod for the contempt members of the public harbour towards Donald Trump and his politics.
In publicly supporting her father, Ivanka has lent both explicit and implicit support to his divisive policies, behaviour and rhetoric. The day after Trump signed the executive order for his immigration ban, amid chaos and protests at airports around America and beyond, Ivanka posted a photo of herself and her husband dressed in black-tie on Instagram. It triggered a deluge of memes and criticism: the contrast between the calamity his administration was causing other individuals and families, and the insulated glamour his own family was enjoying was disturbing.
Ivanka is no innocent bystander. But nor is she wholly responsible for everything her father says and does.
There is no denying that her own life contrasts – quite starkly - with the sexist views her father appears to prefer.
She could well have shunned work her entire life, but instead she opted to study hard and work harder. She wrote a book called Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success and is a working mother herself. She has expressed support for paid parental leave and better childcare policies (although she has faced criticism for not always offering paid parental leave to staff).
The fact Ivanka remains friends with Chelsea Clinton (the pair have expressed admiration for one another publicly on many occasions) reflects a personal character quite different to that of her father.
Crucially, though, Ivanka Trump remains the most liberal adviser in her father’s camp, and she’s arguably the most trusted.
According to The New York Times, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner are the reason Trump backtracked on rolling back the rights of the LGBT community at work. She is understood to be working on a campaign to confront climate change, despite her father’s scepticism.
As Ryan Barrell writes for the Independent:
“Looking at the circle of conservative white men Trump surrounds himself with, vicious and abhorrent cuts to LGBT rights would have undoubtedly swept through if Ivanka hadn’t been there to sway him. Other reports say she and her husband, Jared Kushner, have been vocal critics from within the Trump administration – something absolutely invaluable when Trump lives in his bubble of right wing “yes men”.”
There is no denying that Donald Trump’s presidency is shocking. But the responsibility for that shock does not rest on Ivanka’s shoulders. If she is capable of using whatever influence she has over her father, to be a champion of reason, then she is perhaps best not written off.
If he’s this bad with her, imagine him without her?