Update: Ivanka Trump spoke vanishingly briefly about her father's and brother's comments about her response to sexual harassment. She said that she considered sexual harassment intolerable and that it needed to be reported immediately, praising the Trump Organization's HR team. She discusses the issue on video here.
But Ivanka gave a much more complete answer in her 2010 book The Trump Card. She said that catcalls when walking through her father's construction sites prompted an anxiety dream about an early job assignment working on a development team for another organization.
"I couldn’t shake thinking that I needed to come up with a disarming line to defuse the situation and keep the embarrassment level to a minimum," the book reads. "After all, I kept reminding myself, my new boss would be observing my reaction, which meant that if anything like that happened it would put me into an uncomfortable, no-win situation. If I ignored the inappropriate remarks, I might come across as weak. If I responded too harshly, I’d be a tightly wound witch.”
The section concludes with an encouragement to keep in mind the relative levels of harassment one might experience.
“Sexual harassment is never acceptable, and we must stand against it," the book reads. "At the same time, we must recognize that our coworkers come in all shapes, stripes and sizes. What might be offensive to one person might appear harmless to another. Learn to figure out when a hoot or holler is indeed a form of harassment and when it’s merely a good-natured tease that you can give back in kind.”
Update: August 2, 1:30 p.m. : Eric Trump has weighed in on his father's insistence that Ivanka Trump "would find another career or find another company" if she experienced sexual harassment, calling his sister a "strong, powerful" woman who wouldn't "allow" herself to be harassed on the job.
"I think what he's saying is, Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman — she wouldn't allow herself to be objected to it. And, by the way, you should take it up with Human Resources, and I think she would as a strong person. At the same time, I don't think she would allow herself to be subjected to that. I think that's a point he was making, and I think he did so well," the Trump son said in an interview on CBS This Morning.
But, as many experts will attest, the burden of avoiding harassment should never fall on the person experiencing it — it should never happen in any workplace in the first place. And the best way to end harassment isn't telling survivors to leave a job; it is addressing the issue and holding the perpetrators accountable.
This article was originally published on August 1, 2016.
Donald Trump has spoken out about the scandal enveloping Roger Ailes and the increasingly disturbing reports of sexual harassment. The Republican nominee for president spoke to Fox News contributor and USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers in a column posted Monday.
Trump expressed disappointment that women from Fox News have come forward to disparage their former CEO.
“There was quite a bit of fabulous things said,” he tells Powers of Gretchen Carlson’s accusations against Ailes. “It would be easier for me and more politically correct for me to say you are right. But you would think she wouldn’t say those things.”
There have now been more than a dozen individual accusations against Ailes, though Trump claimed to only be aware of one. The candidate appeared to refer to multiple women in an interview with Chuck Todd of Meet the Press.
Trump offered his own daughter some advice should she face a similar situation.
"I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case," Trump tells Powers.
The columnist found the response shocking.
"[M]ost women don't have the financial resources of Ivanka," Powers wrote. "They can't afford to quit their job without another in hand, something that is impossible to do when you are under contract and forbidden to speak to competitors. Most importantly, why should a woman be expected to upend her career just because she ended up in the crosshairs of some harasser?"
Also on Monday, Trump accused multiple fire marshals of conspiring against him and expressed anxiety that the general election might be rigged.
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