Boycotting Ivanka Trump's products will only turn the one moderate voice the President listens to against the public

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Ryan Barrell
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US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka: Getty
US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka: Getty

Since Nordstrom’s recent decision to drop Ivanka Trump’s fashion line from their stores, five more retailers have followed suit and dumped all products bearing the First Daughter’s name. In an eloquent-as-ever Tweetstorm, the President said she was being “treated unfairly” and White House press secretary Sean Spicer described it as “a direct attack on [Trump’s] policies.”

For once, I agree with the Donald Trump administration. But it’s not Nordstrom and the other retailers who launched a scathing capitalist onslaught against his family name – the general public have used their wallets to quietly protest against Trump’s racism, misogyny and authoritarianism which, in turn, forced companies to drop the products.

Long before The Donald even assumed office, GrabYourWallet.org began publishing extensive lists of companies that so much as uttered the Trump family name in anything other than a scathing light, so consumers could make a choice about where they shop based on their political views. This is all well and good for sending a message to brands who supported a candidate with divisive, despicable policies, or to hit Trump’s companies where it hurts, but to lump Ivanka in with this is downright ridiculous, and a little bit sexist.

In avoiding Ivanka Trump’s products simply because her father is a contemptible human being, boycotters are simply assuming that she is an extension of her patriarch and ignoring the fact that she is an individual. Sure, she was trotted out during his campaign to rally supporters, but this is what is expected of almost any candidate’s adult offspring. Rather than supporting her father’s politics, she was supporting her father.

In the past, Ivanka has been an outspoken advocate for working women and was even credited with stopping her father’s plans to roll back LGBT rights. Looking at the circle of conservative white men Trump surrounds himself with, vicious and abhorrent cuts to LGBT rights would have undoubtedly swept through if Ivanka hadn’t been there to sway him. Other reports say she and her husband, Jared Kushner, have been vocal critics from within the Trump administration – something absolutely invaluable when Trump lives in his bubble of right wing “yes men”.

Perhaps it would be easier to make the case for Ivanka if the President hadn’t used taxpayer funded means to criticise Nordstrom, or if she had stayed out of the campaign altogether. But the fact remains that Ivanka deserves her own opportunities much in the same way as any woman does, regardless of the men in her family. Some people seem to think she’s responsible for his actions, when in reality it appears she’s been reining him in (or at least trying to).

Of course, that doesn’t mean we should all be wearing Ivanka 2020 hats or anything, but it does mean she deserves a little credit. When propped up against her race-baiting father and her two gormless exotic game hunting brothers, she certainly seems like a much needed bastion of logic and the only person who could possibly hammer an ounce of dignity into their skulls. Progressive politicians hold the same hope that she will be able to bring at least a little bit of decency to Trump’s presidency, and some insider reports say she plans to fight her father’s ridiculous views on climate change from within.

Regardless of her father’s offensive personality and deplorable policies, Ivanka Trump is an individual in herself and does not deserve her own business to be ransacked simply because her father is a rampantly divisive and detestable figure. Nordstrom and the other retailers were absolutely right to drop her products if they weren’t selling – that’s just capitalism – but consumers should think twice about the reasoning behind their choice to boycott her in protest of her father.