Perhaps the most horrifying historical document to come out of this era of American politics is the infamous Access Hollywood bus tape, in which our president describes sexually assaulting women. Leaked a month before the election, it ensured Trump’s administration began its reign draped in a cloak of misogyny.
The New York Times reports that Ivanka Trump, the so-called moderating, feminist influence on the Trump White House, was devastated by the recording. Ivanka was with her father at Trump Tower right when the campaign learned that the tape was about to be released by The Washington Post. Trump lied to Ivanka and his staffers, saying the recording didn’t sound like something he’d say. Moments later, his repulsive nature was aired before the entire world.
Ivanka listened in disgust as her father talked about groping women against their will, bragging about how his celebrity status allowed him to behave as a sexual predator with impunity. Ivanka begged him to issue a sincere, strong apology. Trump remained unmoved, at which point Ivanka started to cry, flushed red, and fled the room. Clearly, she immediately realized the criminal gravity of the recording.
The campaign never issued a meaningful apology, and instead dismissed Trump’s words as “normal locker room talk.”
No daughter should have to hear such monstrous comments from her father. Prior to the leak, she had spent a great deal of effort selling her clothing brand with slogans geared towards female empowerment. The problem with Ivanka is how she behaved afterwards.
She refused to distance herself from her father or stand up for his victims. Instead, she became one of his closest advisors, joining his regime when he entered office. She now masquerades about the globe as a women’s rights activist, flagrantly disrespecting the women who actually deserve the title.
Ivanka knows what a misogynist, predatory pig her father is, and yet still supports him.
Perhaps it’s out of some misguided familial loyalty or, more likely, she likes the limelight and power that her position by his side affords her. In either case, she is complicit in Trump’s horrific behavior.
Ivanka will be remembered as just another of her father’s conspirators in the debasement of the American presidency. Abraham Lincoln spurred us to consider the better angels our nature, Donald Trump told us to grab women by the pussy.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.