Ivanka Trump has spoken…and eyes are rolling.
In a speech Friday at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, Japan Trump condemned sexual harassment as something that should “never be tolerated.”
“All too often, our workplace culture fails to treat women with appropriate respect,” the senior adviser and daughter to President Trump said. “This takes many forms including harassment which can never be tolerated.”
People online were quick to point to the irony of Ivanka Trump’s speech given that her father — the leader of the free world — has a well-documented history of harassing women.
“Locker room talk” of course is what Donald Trump called his behaviour in the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he referred to grabbing a woman "by the pussy.”
When that tape first came out in 2016, Ivanka Trump chose not to call attention to the pervasiveness of the issue. Instead she gave her father a pat on the back for saying he was sorry. “My father’s comments were clearly inappropriate and offensive and I’m glad that he acknowledged this fact with an immediate apology to my family and the American people,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement at the time.
The allegations went beyond inappropriate language. During the course of the 2016 campaign, 11 women came forward accusing the then-Republican presidential candidate of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump called the charges “pure fiction” and referred to the women as “horrible, horrible liars.”
With the surge in women coming forward to share their experiences of sexual harassment from Washington to Hollywood, it’s an opportune time for Ivanka Trump to speak up, condemning the behavior and encouraging women to come forward.
Here are just a few things she can do:
— Take steps to advance paid family-leave legislation she claims to support
— Acknowledge the role that sexism and gender roles play in creating a barrier
— And perhaps most importantly, recognise her father’s complicity in promoting this culture of sexual harassment in business, entertainment, and politics.
Using an international stage to speak about the issue is a good first step, but if Ivanka has the power to make a difference, we can’t simply stand by and applaud half-baked responses to real problems.
Actions speak louder than words, Ms. Trump. It’s time for you to act. We're waiting.