Much like her father, Ivanka Trump polarises the audience. It was hoped by many that she would be a civilising influence on him; it was she who apparently helped him win the election, appealing to the female voters, she had her father’s ear. As a woman and a working mother, surely she could have some tangible, positive influence once working directly with an unlikely administration? But months after her move to Washington, she hasn’t been the champion feminists thought she would be. She has, instead, been evasive and silent; saying all the words but taking little to no action. She is a self-described champion of women’s rights yet, asides from writing a book that virtually no woman can relate to; she’s done nothing to prove this, bar defending her father at every turn.
This is a problem and this is why Debra Messing, having decided enough is enough, challenged the eldest Trump daughter to stop talking the talk.
The actress – who played Grace Adler for eight years on Will & Grace – was presented with the Excellence in Media award at the ceremony, given to those who advocate for LGBT visibility. And, when she stepped up to accept the award, Messing decided to take aim at the First Daughter in a powerful, and, at times, incredibly humorous, speech.
“It is not enough to simply say that women’s issues are important to you, it’s time to do something,” she said. “Ivanka, you can change the lives of millions of women and children just by telling your dad stories about real people who are suffering. Don’t let him separate immigrant mothers from their American-born children. Don’t let him take health care away from women who need it.”
“Ivanka, please, please stop blindly defending your father and start defending what you say,” she continued. “You can’t just write ‘hashtag women who work’ and think you’re advancing feminism. You need to be a woman who does good work – hashtag say what you mean and mean what you say.”
Watch the speech below:
Ivanka isn’t the main issue, but she is a woman, a public figure and complicit in what has gone on; staying silent is not the way forward.