"The ideology of Ivankaland, as much as there is one, is that people get what they deserve, just like Daddy says:
My father has always said, if you love what you do, and work really, really hard, you will succeed. This is a fundamental principle of creating and perpetuating a culture of success, and also a guiding light for me personally.There you have it. If you work hard enough and dream big enough, you too can be a terrifying corporate fembot who couldn’t crack a joke to stop a dossier leaking. The corollary, of course, is that those who haven’t yet attained this homogenous aspirational ideal for post-liberal womanhood simply haven’t tried hard enough. You hear me? You’re a lazy slob. That’s right. If you, individual lady unfortunate enough to be reading this disasterpiece haven’t yet made your first million and outsourced your childcare to an array of paid staff, it’s your own fault for being so feckless, for failing to follow your dreams. Anyone can be Ivanka, so why aren’t you?
It’s true that anyone can be a dead-eyed Instagram husk of a human being frantically photoshopping themselves in the down-hours between soul-crushing corporate drudgery and unpaid emotional labour for some ungrateful lantern-jawed jock if they really want to, but it takes a special type of person to do all that whilst also being a decoy for a global backlash against women’s rights. Ivanka Trump is that special type of person, the Stepfordian Night-Ghast of neo-capitalist auto-Taylorism. The sheer tedium of her prose is part of the horror here: At times, the book reads like the panicked screams of a machine attaining sentience:
Who am I? How do I have interests? Is there still the possibility, in this dying world, of pleasure? Can I love?EXPLORE YOUR INTERESTS: Ask yourself what you like to think about. What matters most to you? How do you enjoy spending your time? What can’t you stand doing?DEVELOP AND EXERCISE YOUR INTERESTS: Once you have a general direction, an inkling of what you enjoy, go out into the world and do something with it. Experiment, try, learn. Find ways to trigger your interest repeatedly.
It is not for me to speculate if Ivanka employed a ghostwriter—the more dreadful possibility is surely that she wrote the thing herself—but Women Who Work feels ghostwritten in more than one sense. It feels haunted. It feels as if its author were, on a profound level, already dead, or at least reanimated, its every coquettish sentence stalked by the wailing ghosts of centuries of women and allies who fought for freedom that meant more than a corner office while the world burns thirty stories below. "
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