Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump's Book About Working Women, Edited By A Woman Who Works

By
Share
Ad failed to load

On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump released Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules For Success, her much-anticipated new book. The book is intended to serve as a user's manual for women juggling their personal lives with their careers, a Lean In for the millennial pink generation. As a millennial woman in the workplace, I am ostensibly a member of the target audience for Trump's book. I am also the mother of a 4-month-old infant, which, given Trump's platform as an advocate for working moms, places me squarely within her demographic.

Yet upon reading an excerpt of her new book, which was recently published in Fortune, I realized that even though Ivanka's book was intended to speak to the concerns of working women, it didn't so much address the concerns of working women like myself so much as it seemed to address the concerns of one working woman in particular: Ivanka Trump.

"Why would someone publish this?" I wondered. "Didn't Ivanka Trump have an editor?" It occurred to me that she did, in fact, have an editor — me. So I decided to take to my keyboard and edit an excerpt of Ivanka Trump's new book to make it more relatable to her intended audience. Ivanks (may I call you Ivanks?), here are some editorial suggestions — from one working mom to another. (My notes are in all caps.)

Ad failed to load
Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Becoming comfortable authentically expressing myself as a female executive with kids was a bit of a journey REPHRASE — CONTRARY TO WHAT OB-GYN OFFICE BROCHURES WOULD SUGGEST, "JOURNEY" ISN'T A WORD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE A LIFE STAGE. IT IS A BAND, AND THEY ARE AWESOME. for me. So many of the women in my life—like my three sisters-in-law, whom I adore (two are stay-at-home moms, the other works outside the home) IS THE "WORKING" SISTER-IN-LAW YOU'RE REFERRING TO NICOLE KUSHNER, WHO ACCORDING TO HER LINKEDIN PROFILE SERVES AS A PRINCIPAL AT THE KUSHNER REAL ESTATE VENTURE, WHICH IS WORTH AN ESTIMATED $1.8 BILLION? IF SO, REPHRASE "WORKS OUTSIDE THE HOME" TO "WORKS FOR HER DAD" (IF YOU WANT TO ADD AN "LIKE I DO, TWINSIES!!! LOL" FOR FULL TRANSPARENCY, YOU CAN, BUT THAT'S UP TO YOU) —had been so unabashed and transparent in embracing their new roles after having children, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "NEW ROLES"? DOES BECOMING A MOTHER NECESSARILY MEAN YOU HAVE TO BECOME AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PERSON? and yet I was rather guarded.

Part of it was a preference for privacy, CUT - PRIVACY IS NOT A CONCERN THAT MOST WORKING MOMS HAVE. MOST NEW WORKING MOMS ARE TOO CONCERNED WITH NOT ACCIDENTALLY KILLING THEIR CHILDREN OR FALLING ASLEEP ON THEIR DESKS AND DROWNING IN A SHALLOW PUDDLE OF THEIR OWN DROOL TO WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE. but another part was grappling with whether being a young female executive with a baby would undermine my authority WAS THIS AN ACTUAL WORRY? YOU'RE THE BOSS'S DAUGHTER. SO IF ANYTHING THAT WOULD UNDERMINE YOUR AUTHORITY, NOT THE FACT THAT YOU HAD A KID in the eyes of my colleagues COLLEAGUES IMPLIES EQUAL STATUS — YOU'RE THE CEO and peers PEERS IMPLIES EQUAL STATUS — YOU'RE THE CEO in a very male-dominated industry. MOST WORKING WOMEN WORK IN MALE-DOMINATED INDUSTRIES; NOT SPECIFIC TO REAL ESTATE. I WOULD REPHRASE FOR ACCURACY: "IN AN OPPRESSIVE PATRIARCHAL SYSTEM THAT IS BEING PERPETUATED BY MY FATHER'S ADMINISTRATION"

Ad failed to load

I didn’t share a single picture of Arabella publicly until after her first birthday, SO YOU MEAN YOU DIDN'T PUT ANY PHOTOS OF HER ON FACEBOOK OR INSTAGRAM? LOTS OF PARENTS DON'T POST PHOTOS OF THEIR KIDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA at which point the paparazzi snapped a photo of us at an airport. OH. OK, THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU MEANT AT ALL. I didn’t want the first photo of my daughter to be sold to the press, CUT, THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT AFFECTS ONLY YOU AND BLAKE LIVELY AND MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY so I posted an image myself on one of my social media accounts; after that, I began posting photos of our family more frequently. CAN YOU ADD WHAT APP YOU USE TO MAKE YOUR HAIR LOOK SO SHINY ON INSTAGRAM? THIS ISN'T AN EDITORIAL NOTE; I JUST WANNA KNOW.

I wasn’t expecting the overwhelming number of comments I received in response to these candid family snaps. CUT "CANDID" — THIS INSTAGRAM OF YOU WITH YOUR TODDLER SON LOOKS LIKE IT WAS STYLED BY AN OVERZEALOUS DILLARD'S CATALOG PHOTO EDITOR. So many people expressed surprise and relief ACTUALLY MOST OF THE COMMENTS ARE EITHER EMOJIS OR SPAM FROM ELVIS PRESLEY DEATH CONSPIRACY THEORISTS. ALSO SOMEONE JUST WROTE "IKEA!," FOR SOME REASON. that I was comfortable revealing a more private side of myself. NOT SURE IF "PRIVATE" IS THE RIGHT WORD HERE — MOST OF THESE ARE SUPER STYLIZED FAMILY PHOTOS. IF YOU POSTED A PHOTO OF YOU TAKING A DUMP WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY USING YOUR FOOT TO ROCK YOUR SCREAMING BABY IN HIS BOUNCY CHAIR AND SCREAMING AT YOUR PARTNER TO PICK UP HIS BOXERS OFF THE FLOOR, DO I HAVE TO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE, I WISH I HAD A TIME MACHINE SO I COULD GO BACK TO THAT FRAT PARTY WHERE WE MET AND SPIKE YOUR NATTY LIGHT WITH CLEANING FLUID SO NO OTHER WOMAN WOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH YOUR STUPIDITY, NOW THAT WOULD BE PRIVATE.

Ad failed to load

Especially in the first couple of years, I often heard things like, “It’s so inspiring that you’re such a hands-on mom NOT SURE "HANDS-ON" IS THE BEST WORD HERE, CONSIDERING YOU HAVE A NANNY WHO IS TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN TO SPEAK MANDARIN? and not intimidated to show that part of you,” and “So amazing! You’re not wearing makeup. UHHHHH YOU'RE DEFINITELY WEARING AT LEAST FOUNDATION IN THIS PIC I’m used to seeing you on The Apprentice in a powerful boardroom setting.” CUT "POWERFUL BOARDROOM SETTING," REPLACE WITH "DAD'S FAILING REALITY TV FRANCHISE" The contrast was jarring, in a positive way. As professional women, we’ve traditionally been careful about sharing our personal lives, for very valid reasons. These comments emboldened me to share all aspects of my life—not just my more polished persona—more frequently. TONE OF THAT SENTENCE IS A LITTLE TOO STILTED — SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE AN ALIEN POSING AS A HUMAN BEING TO GATHER INTELLIGENCE ON MANKIND, A LA 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN, OR LIKE YOU'RE RUNNING FOR OFFICE. (AN ASIDE: PLEASE DON'T RUN FOR OFFICE. SERIOUSLY, PLEASE DON'T.)

I began to wonder whether I had been doing women who work a disservice by not owning the reality that, because I’ve got an infant, I’m in my bathrobe at 7 a.m. and there’s pureed avocado all over me. WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF TONY SOPRANO, NO ONE HAS WORN A BATHROBE SINCE 1953. REPLACE WITH "BOXER SHORTS AND STAINED NURSING TANK" AND "PUREED AVOCADO" WITH "SPIT-UP, MUCUS, AND SOMETHING THAT'S EITHER SAAG PANEER FROM LAST NIGHT'S TAKEOUT INDIAN DINNER OR POOP AND YOU HAVE TO SURREPTITIOUSLY SNIFF IT TO FIGURE OUT WHICH ONE IT IS, AND IF YOU STILL CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT YOU TASTE IT AND THEN FEEL HORRIBLE ABOUT YOURSELF FOR THE REST OF THE DAY."

Ad failed to load

I realized that it might be helpful in changing the narrative—even in a small way—to, for example, debunk the superwoman myth LITERALLY NO ONE THINKS THAT ABOUT YOU by posting a photo that my husband candidly CUT "CANDIDLY" — SEE ABOVE NOTE snapped of me digging in the garden with the kids in our backyard, my hair in a messy ponytail, dirt on my cheek. SWAP OUT WITH ANOTHER EXAMPLE — GARDENING IS NOT A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A "WORKING MOMS" ACTIVITY. MOST WORKING MOMS I KNOW BARELY HAVE TIME TO WIPE THEIR ASS, LET ALONE TEND TO THE MUGWORT PLANT THEIR HOUSEKEEPER CONCEPCION PLANTED IN THEIR GIANT BACKYARDS. I’ve been careful not to pretend it’s easy because it is not. NO SH*T, SHERLOCK.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It took me a while to have the confidence to know that my authenticity CUT — YOU KEEP USING THAT WORD, BUT I DON'T THINK IT MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS as a mother with young children doesn’t undermine my professional capabilities or my toughness at the negotiating table; being true to who we are and what our lives look like proves that women who work are real. DOES ANYONE DISPUTE THIS? Knowing my family is in the spotlight, SURE, THAT'S ONE WAY OF PUTTING IT I decided I was going to embrace it. If I can help celebrate the fact that I’m a super-engaged mom ADD "AND SUPER-ENGAGED EMPLOYER OF LARGE, ROTATING STAFF OF NANNIES AND HOUSEKEEPERS, ALL OF WHOM ARE MYSTERIOUSLY ABSENT FROM MY DISCUSSIONS OF FAMILY LEAVE POLICY AND SNAPSHOTS OF DOMESTIC BLISS ON INSTAGRAM and unabashedly ambitious entrepreneur CUT, SWAP OUT WITH "NEPOTISM POSTER CHILD", that yes, I’m on a construction site in the morning [CUT, SWAP OUT WITH "IN MY OFFICE WHILE MY UNPAID INTERNS UPLOAD INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES TO MY INSTAGRAM" and at the dinner table with my kids CUT, SWAP OUT WITH "GETTING VAMPIRE FACIALS WITH GWYNETH PALTROW IN PALM SPRINGS AND SWAPPING TIPS ON HOW TO BE RELATABLE" in the evening, I’m going to do that.

Ad failed to load

Part of what I hope to accomplish with our Women Who Work initiative is for you to feel comfortable doing that, too. Together we will debunk the caricature of what it looks like to be a “working woman." LITERALLY NO IDEA WHAT THAT CARICATURE IS/WHAT IT ENTAILS/IF A CARICATURE OF A WORKING WOMAN EXISTS AT ALL. DO YOU THINK WE'RE ALL RUNNING AROUND WITH FRIZZY HAIR LIKE WE'RE IN A "CATHY" CARTOON, TRYING NOT TO LET OUR RAGING PERIODS GET IN THE WAY OF FILING THOSE EXPENSE REPORTS INTO OUR BOSSES BEFORE 3 PM? YES, IT IS DIFFICULT TO BALANCE HAVING A CAREER WITH HAVING A FAMILY; YES, WE ARE OFTEN FRAZZLED AND CRUNCHED FOR TIME; YES, THERE IS ROOM FOR A DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW TO IMPROVE WORKING WOMEN'S LIVES BY ADOPTING INSTITUTIONAL CHANGES LIKE PAID FAMILY LEAVE AND EQUAL PAY AND STATE-FUNDED CHILD CARE. BUT THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE ANY ACKNOWLEDGMENT ON YOUR PART THAT AS A MEMBER OF YOUR FATHER'S ADMINISTRATION, YOU ARE IN A UNIQUE POSITION TO BE ADVOCATING FOR THOSE CHANGES. AND WITH THIS BOOK, IT SEEMS LIKE YOU'RE PRIMARILY ADVOCATING FOR YOUR OWN BRAND, OR AT LEAST ADVOCATING FOR YOUR OWN SLOT AS A TEDTALK SPEAKER.

PLS REVISE :)!

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}