Ivanka’s new release, Women Who Work, has already received a lot of criticism from, well, women who work. Real women. Not women whose biggest struggle is having to choose between two six-figure jobs, or having to give up luxury adventure vacations in order to do “family activities” with their kids.
But one of the most truly appalling parts of the book is Ivanka’s appropriation of quotes from famous authors. At the beginning of a chapter on how she and other modern women tend to spend too much time on their phones, Ivanka uses a quote from Toni Morrison’s Beloved:
Of course, Beloved has nothing to do with phones at all. No, it tells the story of a mother and escaped slave named Sethe, who is forced to go to ghastly lengths to save her children when her former master discovers them all. Sethe attempts to kill her children to save them from the cruelty and inhumanity of plantation life, but only succeeds in killing her two-year old daughter. Sethe’s daughter’s ghost returns years later to haunt her mother, providing the impetus for the story.
Ivanka, however, showed no respect for the context or weight of this quote. “Are you a slave to your time or the master of it?” she asks, literally using the words slave and master to discuss time management. “Despite your best intentions, it’s easy to be reactive and get caught up in returning calls, attending meetings, answering e-mails…”
Morrison was not the only author whose words were manipulated. In a different chapter, Ivanka quotes Maya Angelou while talking about how to ask for a raise: “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.”
I seriously doubt that poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was thinking about pay raises when she wrote that.
Already, Jane Goodall and Reshmi Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, have protested Ivanka’s use of their personal quotes and stories.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make” (Jane Goodall).
Goodall told CNN that she “sincerely” hopes that Ivanka “will take the full import of my words to heart. She is in a position to do much good or terrible harm.”
You said it, Jane.
YouTube Channel: ABC News
Featured image via USSA News
h/t Huffington Post