Ivanka Trump’s role as the placeholder for those who take issue with her father’s policy stances and public sentiments continues. First there was the letter from the jewelry designers who told the mother and businesswoman that the proceeds from her purchase with them were being donated to support organizations that do work that is threatened by her father’s stances. Next came the #DearIvanka vigil (and sardonic Instagram posts).
The latest form of peaceful protest? Amazon reviews.
And around Ivanka Trump brand boots, especially.
Reads one review, titled, “You get what you ask for. Boots edition.”:
These boots are perfectly designed to trample on fellow Americans’ Civil Rights Day or Night. Your legs will be enclosed in a tight, made-somewhere-that-is-not-America material that will squeeze all the blood from your brain, resulting in blind admiration of demagoguery. All the while, your feet will continue to atrophy as they are are squeezed into a fetishized version of the female body which likely will not include making decisions on its behalf. That said, you get what you ask for.
Says another review, titled “Too restrictive, tight, Not enough room for growth, will only fit the 1%”:
These are really really restrictive and tight – no wiggle room for any kind of freedom of thought. Can you get sued for writing a bad review of a product? Anyway, these boots might fit a person that is male, straight, white and Christian but if you don’t fit all these criteria, they are NOT the boots for you! They are made in a sweatshop by child labor in a foreign country because that’s called being smart. I heard they are going to move manufacturing to Taiwan, which may make them better but who knows. Everyone keeps telling me to wait and see. They are certainly not comfortable enough to stand in for four years.
A review titled “These ill-fitting boots are a perfect reminder that I should be seen” reads:
I was feeling way over confident and I needed to be put in my place. These ill-fitting boots are a perfect reminder that I should be seen, admired for my womanly “virtues”, rated in a scale from 1-10, and occasionally grabbed by my kitty cat. With these boots I feel like I am closer to the beautiful glass ceilings that allow natural light in to our offices – but certainly not close enough to break them.
“A friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to the review she had just written on [a pair of Ivanka Trump label] boots. I thought it was a hilarious way to poke fun at Ivanka’s hypocrisy. I had to join in,” Laurel Wells Thompson of Atlanta tells Yahoo Style. Thompson is but one of many individuals embracing the well-loved tradition of the ironic Amazon review, and she’s taking it to a whole other postelection level.
Amy Finkel of New York has also posted her own “reviews” on Ivanka-designed goods on Amazon.
“I know what kind of criticism it might receive, but I’m angry at Ivanka, not simply Trump or his henchmen, and this is my way of protesting her behavior,” Finkel tells Yahoo Style. “I believe she’s painfully culpable in all of this madness. FIrst, Ivanka hasn’t made any public statements repudiating the hate speech and hate crimes that we’ve seen as of late… She has normalized her father’s predatory sexual behavior… She’s no friend to women who do not fit into the all-too-obvious role she thinks they deserve. She pretends to be a champion of women, but then she undermines them. She’s a hypocrite.”
Finkel says she in particular takes issue with President-elect Trump’s parental leave policy, which he says was influenced by Ivanka, “that only offers benefits to those who birth babies out of their actual vaginas.” She adds that as a woman with endometriosis, she is unable to conceive on her own — and though she plans to one day adopt, she recognizes that she will not be seen as a parent in the same way as someone who has physically given birth in the eyes of the Trump administration.
And as to why so many are focusing their efforts on reviewing Ivanka Trump-brand boots in particular?
“I feel particularly betrayed by Ivanka as a Trump surrogate,” says Thompson. “I expect more from a fellow woman and working mother. When I first saw the boots review, Nancy Sinatra’s tune “These Boots Are Made for Walking” immediately popped into my head. Boots for stomping on the patriarchy! I am pretty sure Ivanka is beyond hope, but it would be nice if potential boot-buyers were made aware of their problematic purchase.”
Thompson adds that for her, Ivanka’s stances on “women who work” are not just troublesome, but representative of much of what she is strongly opposed to when it comes to the values of the incoming Trump administration. She says, “I wish that Ivanka understood that women will never truly be liberated until we have full agency over our bodies, our careers, and futures. I wish that she acknowledged that childcare is most important for the working poor, not just a taxpayers. I wish she wouldn’t stand behind a guy who refers to his own daughter as a ‘piece of ass.’”
Finkel also makes sure to emphasize that her Amazon reviews are not an isolated political action.
“I’m not just procrastinating from work to write reviews on Ivanka Trump’s clothing line rather than rising to other more important calls to action. I logged in many hours phone banking for [Hillary Clinton] before the election. I’ve protested. I’ve written and called my U.S. and state senators, Congress people, police commissioner, mayor, governor, and assemblywoman. … My partner and I started a petition on change.org about Trump not repudiating the hate crimes/hate speech we’ve witnessed as of late. … So I guess it makes me feel better and it acts as a creative outlet for my anger and pain.”
Furthermore, Finkel notes, she feels that Ivanka is a public figure due to the highly visible role she played during her father’s campaign and continues to play with his transition team. She believes that the future first daughter invited such forms of criticism and protest, especially after she “tried to promote what she was wearing on the 60 Minutes ‘first family’ interview immediately after it aired.”
And the reviews aren’t all for jest. Says Finkel, “Nothing like reminding the true materialists among us of their conscience. Our dollar is still a very powerful vote.” To that end, others have staged mass boycotts of all Trump products.