Ivanka Trump can do no good.
When she speaks out on women’s rights issues, she is criticized. When she’s not visibly at the forefront of women’s rights issues, she is criticized.
If she is not being accused of running away from women’s issues, she is being accused of hypocrisy and ignorance.
There is no in-between for her. She’s damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t.
In November of 2017, for example, Ivanka Trump spoke out against sexual harassment in the workplace during an address at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo.
"All too often, our workplace culture fails to treat women with appropriate respect," she said. "This takes many forms, including harassment, which can never be tolerated.”
Critics attacked her over the speech, saying it was ironic that the daughter of a man who stands accused of several acts of sexual misconduct should speak out on such a subject.
Later, on Nov. 27, 2017, CNN published an op-ed arguing outright that Ivanka Trump’s lineage bars her from speaking publicly about the issues highlighted by the #MeToo movement, which seeks to shine a light on systemic sexism and sexual misconduct.
“[W]hile she may have effectively glossed over her father's misogynistic administration in the past, we are now in the #MeToo era,” wrote author Anushay Hossain. “And the days of Ivanka being deployed as her father's most effective PR tool are over.”
As the weeks went on, and #MeToo grew in size and strength, Ivanka Trump didn't emerge as an authority or leader on the issue. Was she criticized for this? Of course she was.
Actress and fervent Trump critic Meryl Streep chastised Ivanka Trump last week for failing to take the lead on the #MeToo issue.
“I don’t want to hear about the silence of me. I want to hear about the silence of Melania Trump. I want to hear from her. She has so much that’s valuable to say. And so does Ivanka,” Streep said as she sought to downplay her own silence on the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal.
“I want her to speak now," she told the New York Times.
Streep got her wish this week after Oprah Winfrey delivered a barnburner of a speech at the 75th Golden Globe Awards praising the rise of #MeToo. The speech, which spawned immediate talk of a potential 2020 presidential bid for Oprah, prompted an immediate kudos from the president’s daughter.
“Just saw [Oprah's] empowering & inspiring speech at last night’s [Golden Globes]. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP!” she tweeted.
Just saw @Oprah's empowering & inspiring speech at last night’s #GoldenGlobes. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #United https://t.co/vpxUBJnCl7— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 9, 2018
Trump critics went wild. Again.
“She did not say ‘Time’s Up’ when over 20 women came forward with their accusations that her father had sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them,” said MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. “Ivanka Trump has been an active co-conspirator in the enabling and the covering up of her father’s self-confessed lifetime of sexual assault and abuse.”
He characterized her tweet as “depraved audacity,” and accused her of throwing “a brick at the #TimesUp movement.”
There really is no winning for the first daughter. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, “Whatever Ivanka Trump is for, they’re against it.”