On Thursday, during a speech on tax reform in Pittsburgh, Penn., the president invited Ivanka on stage to discuss the child tax credit. “The president — my father —” Ivanka said with a sly wink to the crowd, “was very specific about what he wanted to accomplish. It was so core to him to support hard-working, middle-income families and the child tax credit is key to doing that.”
As Ivanka left the stage, Trump said, “Thank you, baby.”
Many people on Twitter expressed disbelief over the president’s “Baby” remark.
"Thank you, babe." President Trump to senior adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump.
— Phil Elliott (@Philip_Elliott) January 18, 2018
Ugh that makes my skin crawl
— Joshua Ian (@JoshuaIan610) January 18, 2018
Trump to Ivanka w/a sloppy kiss: "Thank you, Baby!"
— Cande Carroll (@Celebrity1) January 19, 2018
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) January 18, 2018
There are not enough vomiting gifs for Trump saying "Thank you baby." to Ivanka.
— laura (@wanderlustlaura) January 18, 2018
The president has traditionally spoken this way to his daughter. In September, while speaking in North Dakota, he invited the mother-of-three on stage by saying, “Sometimes they’ll say he can’t be that bad of a guy — look at Ivanka. Come on up, honey. She’s so good. She wanted to make the trip. She said, ‘Daddy, can I go with you?’ I like that.”
After Ivanka spoke, Trump then said: “Thank you, honey. Thanks, baby.”
In January of last year, during a campaign donor dinner in D.C., the president praised White House counselor Kellyanne Conway‘s hard work leading up to the election. “Thank you, baby,” he said to the 50-year-old mother-of-two, as she exited the stage.
“Baby is a loaded word — it’s both paternal and sexual,” Melanie Katzman, PhD., president of Katzman Consulting, a consortium of psychologists specializing in workplace dynamics, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s a term of endearment for a child and for a lover, and neither variant belongs in the workplace.”
Language like “Baby” and “Sweetie” undercuts a woman’s authority, professionalism, and competence, especially when the workplace is the White House and #MeToo culture is demanding equal treatment of women. In her position as advisor to the president and an advocate for women at work, Ivanka is in a unique position to influence her father and boss, the most powerful man in the country. Accepting the nickname “baby,” says Katzman, is a missed opportunity.
“Ivanka is decreasing her value as an model for women when she plays along with or doesn’t correct her father,” says Katzman. “If she’s an emblem for women in power, she needs to demonstrate that. Otherwise, yes, she’s being complicit.”
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