Ivanka Trump just can't seem to find any sympathy, no matter how serious or personal she gets. She spoke with Mehmet Oz (aka Dr. Oz) about having "some level" of postpartum depression following the births of each of her three children. She opened up about the "very challenging and emotional time" she went through in those days. Rather than show some sympathy, overwhelmingly, the tweets about Trump's postpartum depression were just downright mean.
Trump spoke to Dr. Oz on Monday, Sept. 18, for an episode set to air Thursday afternoon. The clips about Trump's postpartum depression were reported by CBS News on Wednesday.
"I felt like I was not living up to my potential as a parent or as an entrepreneur and an executive. And I had had such easy pregnancies, that in some way the juxtaposition hit me even harder," Trump told Dr. Oz. She explained that she chose to share this personal part of her life because it's an "incredibly important" issue.
Postpartum depression happens to many women after the birth of a baby. One in 9 women experiences it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can include frequent crying, anger, withdrawal from loved ones, feeling disconnected from the baby, and fear that you may hurt the baby, per the CDC. Symptoms also include a feeling of guilt at your ability to take care of the child.
"Look, I consider myself a very hard-charging person -- I am ambitious, I'm passionate, I'm driven -- but this is something that affects parents all over the country," Trump said. You can see the clip here:
Part of Trump's brand, so to speak, is being a good and caring mother, so this admission deepens that image and can arguably help a lot of women around the country going through the same challenges. They can look at her and see that there is a way through postpartum depression and that you still can be a good mother, even if it doesn't feel like that at the moment.
But a lot of the reactions on the internet were less, well, positively inspired. Instead, tweets about Trump's postpartum depression were callous. Many people accused her of trying to win sympathy points and draw attention away from her father's agenda in the White House. Some people even accused her of making up the story for empathy. Others, meanwhile, spoke to her privilege as a Trump and brought up the ongoing debate on health care.
With these responses, we see the continuing cracked divide in the United States, wedged by the Trump family and what it represents. It's arguably difficult to find sympathy for a woman who does have a lot of resources at her disposal and doesn't face so much of a threat when it comes to the health care policy her father is promoting.
Trump has been the target of criticism since her father started running for president all those days back. This is, in part, her own doing. She presented herself as a moderating force in the White House, where she has an official role as a presidential adviser. Yet, somehow, the White House continues to promote more conservative policies that hurt a lot of people, including health care, immigration, climate change and military personnel. Trump actually spoke more about this in the Dr. Oz interview.
"I have my views and I share them candidly," she said in the interview, according to CBS News. "And as a daughter I have the latitude to do that. But I also respect the process that my father is now president. And the American people elected him based on his agenda. And my job isn't to undermine that agenda."
Many Americans, however, would like to see her undermine that agenda, especially as reports continue to come out that she and husband Jared Kushner are doing their best but, whoops, Dad did something bad again.
Still, Trump's acknowledgment of her postpartum depression doesn't really have anything to do with all that (aside from the health care link). Just as we don't criticize someone for having depression, we shouldn't shout down a woman for opening up about it and raising awareness. Trump's words on postpartum depression could help other women, and we should promote that kind of talk, not crush it, no matter who it comes from.