Trump Reveals What He'd Expect Ivanka to Do If She Was Sexually Harassed

August 1st 2016

Laura Donovan

Donald Trump has revealed how he would respond if his daughter faced sexual harassment at work, and one female writer is calling out a troubling implication of his answer.

In a piece for USA Today, Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers asked Trump for further comment on the Fox News scandal involving former CEO Roger Ailes, who recently stepped down in the wake of sexual harassment allegations from former anchor Gretchen Carlson and other women on staff. Powers wrote that Trump, who initially appeared sympathetic towards Ailes, changed his tune when asked what he thought Ivanka should do if she endured sexual harassment at work.

“I didn’t know it was more than just [Carlson],” Trump told Powers, who noted that Trump had previously referred to the women complaining about Ailes in plural. "I would like to think [Ivanka] would find another career or find another company if that was the case."


Trump's answer overlooks one of the many unpleasant aspects of sexual harassment for a lot of women.

Powers noted that Ivanka, whose net worth is estimated at around $150 million, has a privilege that many women who are sexually harassed will never know:

"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?"

A 2011 poll conducted by ABC News/Washington Post found that four in 10 participants who experienced sexual harassment did not report what happened to them because they were either afraid of retribution or worried that their efforts would be fruitless.

“People worry that if you complain to your employer about the harassment you’re experiencing you’ll face retaliation, that it will cause you to be ostracized at work, that it will cause you to lose professional opportunities that you might otherwise have had,” Emily Martin, the vice president and general counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, told ABC News in 2016.

Martin added that even though Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids firing on the basis of gender discrimination, among other things, “it absolutely does happen. And people aren’t crazy to weigh the risks when they’re thinking about how to proceed.”

Read Powers' full piece here.