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Ivanka Trump has learned well from her father's cons

Catherine Rampell on

WASHINGTON -- Ivanka Trump is for working women the way her father is for the working class: In both cases, the Trumps really just want their money.

President Trump's daughter built her brand around women's "empowerment," by which I mean monetizing the anxieties and insecurities of stressed-out moms.

From the beginning, her stated goal was to help professional women dig deep down inside their souls and tap their inner purchasing power. She launched her jewelry line because the "concept of a self-purchasing female was lost among the traditional jewelers," her website explains without apparent irony.

The company eventually expanded "into a solution-oriented lifestyle brand, dedicated to the mission of inspiring and empowering women to create the lives they want to lead."

Pseudo-feminism became crucial to selling Ivanka Trump-branded books, handbags and heels. Hey, $135 leopard-print pumps can't be frivolous if they help the sisterhood.

So what are Trump's feminist bona fides, other than her throwaway #WomenWhoWork hashtaggery?

 

She publicly advocates paid family leave, even though she contracted out the designs of her clothing line to a firm that offered zero weeks of paid maternity leave.

She claims to champion equal pay for equal work. At last year's Republican convention, for example, she spoke of the need to close the gender pay gap -- perhaps in part so her fans would have the cash necessary to shop her convention look (which she immediately urged them to do, via Twitter).

And on Equal Pay Day this year, she posted on Instagram that "it is the responsibility of all Americans to come together in pursuit of equal pay."

Last week, however, she publicly endorsed a White House decision to trample a modest equal-pay enforcement initiative.

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