Ivanka Trump, no doubt with extensive help from one or more ghostwriters, released a new book titled “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success” – and the response has been either stellar or vicious depending on whether the reader is a Trump sycophant or an actual working woman who finds the idea of a coddled Ivanka lecturing about something with which she has no experience repugnant.
Below is a graph of the book’s reviews garnered on Amazon as of May 6, and its bifurcated distribution of 1 and 5 star endpoints with virtually nothing in-between speaks volumes about how Ivanka is perceived. It’s rare to find such widely disparate sentiment for a book.
Major Terata Publications has often railed against the celebrity vanity book project for they gobble up publishers’ attention and crowd out talented and struggling authors who are writing more interesting and creative material. It’s understandable that a publisher would feel more confident in making revenue quotas with a book associated with a celebrity with a large, loyal, established following – but there’s something sad about an industry relegating its presumed core mission to second-class status.
Like all Trumps, Ivanka’s ulterior motive is brand enhancement – and “Women Who Work” is really nothing more than a vehicle to inspire (coerce?) women to buy her shit in the hopes that doing so will make them more like the wildly successful author. Forget that Ivanka was born into fabulous wealth and handed a business on a silver platter – maybe buying a pair of her foreign made sweat-shop shoes could actually rewrite the rules for success.
The book proffers cracker barrel philosophy and corn-pone bromides such as
- “If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.”
- “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”
- “All women benefit immeasurably by architecting their lives.”
- “Honor yourself by exploring the kind of life you deserve.”
If any of these sound familiar, it’s because Ivanka has quoted other women – which means “Women Who Work” is actually a meta-book, a directory for received wisdom.
One of my favorite passages involves Ivanka recalling how tough it was to hump her ass around the country campaigning for daddy – so tough in fact that she rarely found time for “treating myself to a massage or making much time for self-care.” I’m surprised she didn’t mention the time her Kia broke down in Iowa and she had to replace the fuel pump … by herself…in the dark…with an emery board.
As for the Amazon reviews, the negatives cluster around the notion that it is insulting and unseemly for a pampered heiress to tell real working women what they’ve been doing wrong. And the positives seem to be written by Trump supporters who want to counteract the low scores. Examples from both sides below:
- Ivanka shows again how the entire Trump family, even the women, know nothing about the reality of working women. Tone deaf and annoying this book isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
- Written by a woman who has nannies, drivers, maids, possibly a personal chef.
- Ivanka should donate the proceeds from the book to those children and families her family is harming by taking healthcare away from. She has no clue what it is like to have no barriers in life and succeed despite your barriers.
- She has no idea what it means to be a working woman, coming from a privileged upbringing and having all doors open to her without any qualifications (e.g., Anna Wintour’s job offer) or working her way up. And, btw, ALL women work.
- A book written for working women by a woman who does not work.
- This reeks of being a useless publicity stunt to enhance the trump brand. Please close your wallet and save the money for an author who has real work experience. It really pushes the boundary of what you define as work. It’s very interesting to consider the channels the author used to achieve success. The women in my family told me that they found it insulting. Consider work from the perspective of someone who didn’t take time to write their own book.
- Purchased just because Liberal/Democrats are complaining about it. My next trip to the bookstore I’ll purchase several copies for gifts. Keep whining…this book may be the best selling book of all time!
- Great Book! #MAGA
- Growing up as the daughter of a billionaire would certainly have its challenges! Ivanka Trump has captured the emotional depths of working women everywhere. She has an uncanny ability to identify with all walks of life. Highly recommended!
I never thought of it that way – maybe being the daughter of a billionaire is really a pre-existing condition.
(Sidebar: wouldn’t it be better for the cover to exhibit a woman actually working – something like this?)
Sure, the LaFerrari Aperta has a top speed of 217 MPH, can go from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds and costs just a bit above $3 million – but how many cup holders does it have?