News of Ivanka Trump, abruptly, ending her interview with Cosmopolitan magazine became a topic of discussion. Many people felt that it was wrong for her to end the interview like that while others felt that she had the right to end her interview. Personally, I will go with the latter; Ivanka Trump has the right to end her interview with the magazine. However, the topic of child care policies and maternal leave was discussed in the interview with Ivanka Trump. Her discomfort with the question about her father’s sexist remarks about working mothers made her uncomfortable to the point that she ended the interview. Though she ended the interview based on her discomfort, the issue of improving child care and maternal rights for working mothers and their families is much broader than the interview, itself.
Who is Ivanka Trump?
Ivanka Trump is the daughter of real estate broker and Republican, presidential nominee, Donald Trump and his former wife, Ivana Trump. Her parents divorced when she was nine years old when her father left her mother for model, Marla Maples. As a teenager, she modeled for magazines such as Seventeen and walked runways for Versace, Marc Bouwer and Thierry Mugler. Ivanka Trump, then, attended Georgetown University for two years until she transferred to Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania cum laude with a B.S degree in Economics in 2004. She worked for Forest City Enterprises. Then she joined forces with Dynamic Diamond Corporation to create a line of jewelry at the brand’s first retail ship store called Ivanka Trump. Currently, she is the Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisition at the Trump Organization and serves on the board of 100 women in Hedge Funds, an organization that serves to support female professionals in finance.
Her father, Donald Trump announced his run for the presidency last summer and became the Republican nominee earlier this year. Ivanka Trump has been a visible force in campaigning for her father’s bid in the presidential race. Ivanka Trump’s interview with Cosmopolitan magazine to discuss her father’s new child care policy that would help benefit working mothers. Her interview was necessary to promote her father’s new program yet became cringe-worthy once she felt that the questions she was asked was ”negative” and too harsh.
Here is the whole interview in a nutshell:
”Hillary Clinton released [aspects of] her plan over a year ago. Why did the Trump campaign wait so long to release this policy?
I am all for multiple plans on both sides of the aisle being presented to the American people on this issue. It is a terrible thing that we are the only industrialized nation in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave and I am excited to be part of a dialogue about this and, hopefully under a Trump administration, have that changed. For decades, people have been trying to achieve this in the U.S and it has yet to be realized and I think our plan is a great one. It’s comprehensive, not only relating to family and maternity leave, but also relating to child care. And a big component of this plan is the child care component, because it is a major problem in the United States. The lack of affordable, safe, quality child care is an enormous issue and it’s growing ever larger. So our plan is the first to address this in a comprehensive way.
Child care expenses are one of the largest expenses in many American households. And in fact this even exceeds the cost of housing in almost half of America. So this is an enormous issue for tens of millions of American parents, and our proposal is multipronged, so first and foremost, under the Trump plan, we’ll be rewriting the tax code to allow working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children, and that includes also elderly dependents, of which women are most often responsible for and [which is] one of the elements that leads to wage discrepancy. Also, for the people who are unable to pay income taxes, because they’d be the lowest-income families in America and ultimately the people who need this benefit the most, we’re going to be expanding the existing earned income tax credit to ensure that child care spending rebates for lower-income taxpayers come through the expansion of that program. So it’s a very comprehensive rewrite of a tax code that is 65 years old and was put in place before a significant portion of the U.S. labor force was female.
In your op-ed, you mention the pay gap for women exacerbates after they bear children, and one of the reasons for that is that mothers are usually charged with child care over men. I’m wondering — and this speaks to the maternity leave aspect of the plan — paternity leave is said to be a great factor in creating gender equality. So I’m wondering, why does this policy not include any paternity leave?
This is a giant leap from where we are today, which is sadly, nothing. Both sides of the aisle have been unable to agree on this issue, so I think this takes huge advancement and obviously, for same-sex couples as well, there’s tremendous benefit here to enabling the mother to recover after childbirth. It’s critical for the health of the mother. It’s critical for bonding with the child, and that was a top focus of this plan.
OK, so when it comes to same-sex—
So it’s meant to benefit, whether it’s in same-sex marriages as well, to benefit the mother who has given birth to the child if they have legal married status under the tax code.
Well, what about gay couples, where both partners are men?
The policy is fleshed out online, so you can go see all the elements of it. But the original intention of the plan is to help mothers in recovery in the immediate aftermath of childbirth.
So I just want to be clear that, for same-sex adoption, where the two parents are both men, they would not be receiving special leave for that because they don’t need to recover or anything?
Well, those are your words, not mine. [Laughs.] Those are your words. The plan, right now, is focusing on mothers, whether they be in same-sex marriages or not.
OK, I just wanted to make sure I understood. In 2004, Donald Trump said that pregnancy is an inconvenient thing for a business. It’s surprising to see this policy from him today. Can you talk a little bit about those comments, and perhaps what has changed?
So I think that you have a lot of negativity in these questions, and I think my father has put forth a very comprehensive and really revolutionary plan to deal with a lot of issues. So I don’t know how useful it is to spend too much time with you on this if you’re going to make a comment like that. My father obviously has a track record of decades of employing women at every level of his company, and supporting women, and supporting them in their professional capacity, and enabling them to thrive outside of the office and within. To imply otherwise is an unfair characterization of his track record and his support of professional women. So the policies at our company reflect that, and the diversity of our workforce, from a gender perspective, and in all perspectives, reflects that. So my father has been a great advocate for the women in the workforce, and that’s part of why he recognized that reform is so necessary.
I would like to say that I’m sorry the questions — you’re finding them negative, but it is relevant that a presidential candidate made those comments, so I’m just following up.
Well, you said he made those comments. I don’t know that he said those comments.
This is quoted from an NBC [interview] from 2004. I definitely did not make that up. I do want to talk to you a little bit beyond the plan, as well—
I think what I was — there’s plenty of time for you to editorialize around this, but I think he put forth a really incredible plan that has pushed the boundaries of what anyone else is talking about. On child care specifically, there are no proposals on the table. He really took ownership of this issue, and I really applaud him for doing that. I hope that, regardless of what your political viewpoint is, this should be celebrated.
I want to talk about how this will be paid for. I know that Donald Trump wants to have an increase in defense spending, also is promising tax cuts, [wants to raise] infrastructure spending, and wants to build a wall [at the Mexican border]. How will this plan be paid for?
Well, he’s going to unveil his total tax-reform plan on Thursday, and this is a component of that, so it will be included in his overall budget and economic vision. So it is accounted for, it is paid for under this plan, and it is budget-neutral. In terms of the paid leave component, that’s self-financing through reforms in existing unemployment insurance. So the child care component of the plan, and the dependent care component of the plan, will be presented as part of the larger tax reform that he’s going to be presenting on Thursday in a speech here in New York. And the paid leave component is self-financing through the reforms I just mentioned.
I’m going to jump off, I have to run. I apologize.
OK, well, thank you for your time.
Sounds good, thanks.”
Ivanka Trump seemed to hold her own and give well rounded answers towards the interviewer in the first few questions. Somehow she is thrown off and not expecting the interviewer to discuss one of her father’s sexist remarks. Her own father was quoted saying that pregnant women and working mothers were an ”inconvenience” to the work place. It is ironic how her father’s sexism seemed to rear it’s ugly head in an interview with his daughter considering the fact that she said that she didn’t know that he had said such a thing. Though I do believe that she has a right to end her interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, the rising cost of child care continues to be a big issue for families everywhere.
Child care costs has increased as the years went by. It was estimated for a child born in 2013, it would take about $245,340 to help raise that child. Income plays a role in this as well. For high income families, it would take $407,820 to raise a child. For low income families, it would take $176,550 to raise a child. These numbers are whole also factor the money it takes to buy food, transportation, housing, clothing, education and healthcare and childcare. Many families feel that they don’t make enough to take care of themselves or their children. In fact, an April Gall up poll showed that 37% of parents, between the ages of 30 and 49, don’t feel financially ”secure” enough to live as comfortably as they want to. That is why it is feasible for politicians to think of ways to lower the cost of child care for families so that they can be more secure about their financial status and live comfortably.
The topic of maternal leave is another topic that sparks controversy. America is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t have paid maternal leave for working mothers. Unfortunately once women return to the workplace after giving birth, the wage gap between men and women increases. Many women risk taking time off of their jobs during pregnancy to rest because these jobs don’t offer security in the realm of maternity. Many pregnant women find themselves between a rock and a hard place: Go to work and earn a paycheck despite the fact that she isn’t able to perform certain duties or stay home for several months and not earn any money despite being apart of the workforce. It is a pity that more pregnant, working women in America aren’t given more options and opportunities to manage their pregnancies and work.
The issue of child care costs and maternity health is the core of the whole interview not Ivanka Trump’s discomfort at the questions she was being asked. Though she was trying to promote her father’s new child care and maternity leave program to the public, more American families continue to struggle to make ends meet. Most of all, how will Trump’s child care and maternity leave policy help working families ease the expenses on child care?
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