An open letter to Eric Trump

Mr. Eric Trump,

Your recent statement regarding your sister Ivanka hit me. While on CBS This Morning, you were asked about Ivanka and sexual harassment in the workplace, and you said, “Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn’t allow herself to be subjected to it.” I do not disagree with you that your sister is a strong and powerful woman. She is the founder of her own brand and is leading several large projects that all focus on the edification of women.

While Ivanka may work with wonderful, driven people, sexual harassment in the workplace is everywhere.

Objectification does not see status, wealth or family.

This does not mean your sister is immune to the unwelcome looks or advances in the workplace. Objectification does not see status, wealth or family. I found your comment ignorant and offensive.

Do not try to say because Ivanka is a strong and powerful woman, that she could not allow herself to be subjected to such treatment. Multiple “strong, powerful” women from Fox News recently came out with allegations against former producer, Roger Ailes. Due to the allegations, Ailes stepped down from his position at Fox, offering further evidence that no one is immune from its effects.

In fact, someone asked your father, Donald Trump, what he would do if Ivanka was the subject of Ailes alleged harassment. Your father replied, “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.” That statement offends me more than your statement. So, if I am understanding this correctly, because a woman is disrespected in a workplace, his advice is that it is her responsibility to quit her job. Even if this is something she has worked toward her whole life, she must be the one to quit and somehow find another job. Finding another job is much easier when it is a family business. However, in today’s economy, most people do not have the luxury of simply finding another career. Also, though you may not be aware of this, education is expensive. We don’t all have access to “small loans of a million dollars” to help fund our education. I also found it interesting how your father states nothing about wanting Ivanka to come forward with the allegations. He simply states that it is her job to move on and brush it under the carpet. He makes it sound as if it needs to be covered up by quietly moving on and starting fresh somewhere else.

Sexual harassment in the workplace needs to be addressed head on, and not brushed under the carpet. Your ignorance on the issue also needs to be addressed. We wish to be viewed subjectively, not objectively. As poet Dylan Thomas states, “Don’t go gentle into that good night.” As women, we will not go gentle into that good night.

Sincerely,

Sophie Barnes

 Sophie Barnes, who will be an eleventh grade student at Dover Area High School in the fall, is a member of the YDR’s Teen Takeover program.

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