The Turnout For Ivanka Trump's Female Empowerment Speech In Japan Was Pretty Dismal
Remember when Donald Trump claimed that his inauguration crowds were yuuuuuge, but upon closer inspection, it turns out that they really weren't that big at all? Well, the first daughter has just been dealt a similar blow. Turnout for Ivanka Trump's female empowerment speech in Japan was pretty, pretty low, and you don't have to dig super deep to figure out why.
On Nov. 3, Trump addressed the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, with some remarks about the female empowerment work she's doing in the United States. Josh Raffel, a White House spokesman, told The New York Times that Trump's speech “was the most registered event” of the three-day assembly, but "security delayed everyone from being able to get into the room on time.”
Kyoko Hokugo, one of the directors of Japan’s Foreign Ministry, added,
It was unfortunate that there were several people who could not enter the room during the speeches of Prime Minister Abe and Ms. Ivanka Trump. We needed to shut the door during their speeches for our security reasons.
Oddly, though, a reporter from The Guardian noted that he did not see any lines when he showed up to the speech ten minutes early. The New York Times also reported that ushers had to move the smattering of audience members closer to the stage before Trump took to the podium.
Security provisions aside, this looks like a very, very low turnout for the assembly's "most registered event."
I have a couple of personal, admittedly unoriginal, theories as to why Trump's speech didn't get a big audience. To start, the first daughter was on hand to discuss topics such as sexual harassment, the challenges women face in the workplace, and affordable childcare.
“All too often, our workplace culture fails to treat women with appropriate respect,” she said. “This takes many forms including harassment which can never be tolerated.”
Given the fact that Trump's father was caught on tape saying that he grabs women's genitals, and is currently facing sexual harassment allegations from more than a dozen women (allegations which he has denied) — it's hard to believe that the first daughter is so committed to condemning that kind of misconduct.
Twitter was equally dubious.
Let's also take a look at Trump's position on women in the workplace. The first daughter called for innovative solutions to address balancing motherhood and work life in her speech. Of course, it's difficult to take suggestions from someone who has the immense privilege of both hiring full-time help and bringing her kids to work whenever she'd like. Per Trump's book Women Who Work,
One of the ways I’m setting an example for a different kind of corporate culture in my company is by involving my kids — and spending quality time with them at the office. I had a standing lunch date with Arabella every Wednesday before she started kindergarten. We called it our 'working lunch' She came into the office — she prefers my 'pink' Ivanka Trump office to my real estate one, in part because it has a kids’ desk that folds out of the wall, complete with treats, toys, colored pencils, and markers.
The second bit of irony about Trump spouting platitudes about paid family leave and female empowerment is the fact that awful allegations continue to come out about the Chinese clothing factories making Ivanka Trump apparel. According to a report by China Labor Watch, factory workers work 15 hour days, with only two days off each month. They allegedly make almost $352 a month, for 350 work hours.
"As the first daughter goes around touting herself as a champion of women," Sarah Newell, a representative for the labor rights group, told Newsday, "women are literally facing abusive conditions as they stitch her [name] into her products, and they aren’t being provided a structure where they can advocate for themselves."
“Products have not been produced at the factory in question since March,” Abigail Klem, the company's president, said in a statement to the Huffington Post in June. “Our licensee works with many footwear production factories and all factories are required to operate within strict social compliance regulations.”
So, yes, there's a lot of reasons why people might not have felt like sitting through a female empowerment speech from Ivanka Trump. Either way, though, you know her father's going to say it was a huge, huge turnout. Also, the empty seats were definitely #fakenews.