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Ivanka Trump Is Officially a White House Employee, But It’s Not Like She’s Less Qualified Than Anyone Else Working There

ivanka trump

Donald Trump has long been promising to create jobs for Americans. From what we can see, it mostly looks like he’s been costing Americans a ton of jobs, as well as taking credit for jobs created under the Obama administration, now we have to give credit where credit is due. He has created at least one job: for his daughter. Way to go, Don!

Yup, just like her husband Jared Kushner–who was given the brand new Bureau of Obvious Nepotism Office of American Innovation to run, along with some other weirdly important roles like brokering peace in the Middle East–Ivanka Trump has been given an official job in the federal government, serving as an adviser to her father. She may not have any experience working in government, but hey, neither does her husband. Or her father. Or her father’s chief strategist. And she already had that job in all but name, including an office in the White House, but there was some question as to whether keeping the position unofficial was a way to get around government ethics and conflicts of interest. (Spoiler: yes, of course it was.)

The younger Trump said in a statement (via the New York Times):

I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules, and I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House Office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees.

Throughout this process I have been working closely and in good faith with the White House counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role.

First of all, given Trump’s approval rating and the endless barrage of lies and hypocrisy coming out of this administration, that “in good faith” bit deserves a chortle. We don’t have a drop of good faith left. Also, are we supposed to praise her that she was “voluntarily” obeying the ethics guidelines that come with her position, just because it’s been unofficial until now? Does that get a trophy now? Also, again, no one believes she was actually doing that.

There’s also the question of what Ivanka will gain from this? Sure, she’s wealthy enough to work for free, but would she? Even Donald Trump isn’t declining his salary, despite his many campaign promises to do so. (He’s now saying he’s collecting his checks, but plans to donate the money to charity at the end of the year. Which means what he’s really doing has to be a toss up between testing our attention span, and donating to a charity that goes right back into his own pocket once he’s out of office, right? Let’s all set a calendar reminder for New Year’s to check back in on this, shall we?)

The First Lady is a position that has long been under feminist scrutiny, and for good reason. A lot of reasons, actually. It’s an unpaid position, with many elements of the job being relegated to the home, and little to no coverage that’s not tied to her husband. Even recent First Ladies who have done incredible work for causes of their choosing, are still seen as extensions of their husbands. The role is inextricably tied to a patriarchal system, and so are the benefits. First Lady is an unpaid position, presumably because allowance, room, and board are all provided to the husband. That’s a completely outdated system, but it is still a system we’re used to.

Ivanka Trump, though, is a grown woman with a husband–whose position is also unpaid–and children of her own. We need to think about what she and her husband have to gain financially from this arrangement, either now, or when they leave office.

Oh, and for everyone who complained about a Clinton “dynasty,” and cited that as a (fallacious) reason why you couldn’t vote for Hillary, psst, your hypocrisy’s showing. We all know you didn’t actually care about nepotism or experience or ethics. That was just straight-up misogyny. We see you.

(featured image via Shutterstock)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.