Special assistant to the president Ivanka Trump shared her thoughts on Tuesday about a Washington, D.C., art exhibit that invites onlookers to throw crumbs at a look-alike of the president’s daughter for her to vacuum up — and her response was all class.
“Women can choose to knock each other down or build each other up,” she tweeted, sharing a link to information on the exhibit. “I choose the latter.”
Women can choose to knock each other down or build each other up. I choose the latter. https://t.co/MFri4xKhNI
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) February 5, 2019
While Trump handled the matter with grace, other Twitter users weren’t so shy about calling out the exhibit’s irony and sexist undertones, as IJR Red previously reported. Kelsey Harkness of The Federalist also put the piece on blast:
The irony, of course, is that the exhibit reflects every stereotype feminists claim to stand against, oversexualizing Ivanka’s body and ignoring her hard work. (One can only imagine the feminist rage if it were, say, Michelle Obama on display.)
The exhibit’s creator, Jennifer Rubell, even acknowledged that both it and the response it elicits are “complicated”:
“Here is what’s complicated: we enjoy throwing the crumbs for Ivanka to vacuum. That is the icky truth at the center of the work. It’s funny, it’s pleasurable, it makes us feel powerful, and we want to do it more. We like having the power to elicit a specific and certain response. Also, we know she’ll keep vacuuming whether we do it or not, so it’s not really our fault, right?”
On the other hand, CulturalDC, which featured the display, insisted it’s a “boundary-pushing” installation for “a figure whose public persona incorporates an almost comically wide range of feminine identities.”
— DCist (@DCist) February 4, 2019
“The public is invited to throw crumbs onto the carpet, watching as Ivanka elegantly vacuums up the mess, her smile never wavering,” a press release read.