activists create realistic covers for ivanka trump's new book
Halt Action Group isn't charmed by Ivanka's fairytale vision of women in the workforce.
In 2009, a 27-year-old Ivanka Trump wrote a self-help book for young women "playing to win in work and life." After her father was elected president in 2016, Jia Tolentino used The Trump Card to explain the family's code of ethics, or lack thereof. In one chapter, Ivanka recalls forcing her maids to bail out her failing lemonade stand venture. In another, she reveals the impetus behind her desire to earn her own money: her mum forcing her to fly economy to the south of France. One of the inspirational passages separating each chapter is a quote from Fox News founder Roger Ailes, who was recently fired after being hit with a slew of sexual harassment lawsuits.
That life of grit has evidently equipped Ivanka — now 35 and occupying a highly influential role in the Trump White House — with the knowledge to write a second book. This one is about women in the workplace "I believe that when it comes to women and work, there isn't one right answer. The only person who can create a life you'll love is you," Ivanka writes, oblivious to the structural barriers that often prevent women from achieving equity. Women Who Work has only been available for a few hours, but it has already spawned a library of uncompromising fan fiction covers thanks to the artists behind Halt Action Group (@dear_ivanka). Halt has invited prominent writers and thinkers to write responses to Women Who Work accompanied by alternative covers.
"These counter-arguments and visuals hope to dismantle Trump's usurpation of feminist politics, interrogate her 'brand' — especially its 'trickle down' variety of white 'successful' entrepreneurial feminism," says Halt, whose previous anti-Trump art protests have included a candlelight vigil outside the Puck Building and a series of sexual assault posters by Marilyn Minter. "Ivanka cannot easily promote women's empowerment while she supports her father's administration, one that everyone knows undermines actual working women and their families. The real agenda seem to us to be: 'Ivanka First, Women Second.'"
The alternative covers include everything from stills of The Handmaid's Tale to a Salvador Dalí Playboy shoot from 1973. On a Richard Sandler photo of three black women pushing white babies in strollers in 80s New York, the psychoanalyst Tracy D. Morgan asks, "Are the women in this photo able to reap those same benefits? Or are they being systematically sacrificed so other women can get ahead? Is it an unspoken rule that some women need to be sacrificed for the benefit of those women who make those rules?"
As far as we know, there are no inspirational words of wisdom from sex offenders in Women Who Work. Ivanka instead includes quotes from Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and multiple other women who are not very happy about being associated with the Trump brand.
Text Hannah Ongley
Images via Instagram