Ivanka benefits from what sociologists call “benevolent sexism,” defined as “a form of paternalistic prejudice” that holds that “women are purer and nicer than men, but also mentally weaker and less capable.” Benevolent sexism is about being generous and rewarding to women who adhere to traditional gender roles and who present as being non-threatening, unintelligent and submissive.
Benevolent sexism often turns into hostile sexism, or misogyny, when women reject traditional gender roles. That’s why, for instance, conservatives hate Hillary Clinton while adoring Ivanka Trump. The latter plays up to their ideas of what a “good” woman should be — a dutiful daughter, in this case — but the former, by running for office and embracing overtly feminist politics, is despised.
Even the “liberal media’s” tendency to portray Ivanka as a little dim — as a pampered princess who doesn’t know how dumb she sounds at times — ultimately helps her. It allows her to skirt responsibility for any role she played in the Trump Organization’s shadier dealings and to smile prettily at the cameras while her brother is called to testify — and therefore risk committing perjury — before Congress.
Cohen’s testimony on Wednesday corroborated a disputed BuzzFeed story indicating that Ivanka had been deeply involved in the Trump Tower Moscow dealings. This also follows reporting suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller is taking a close look at Ivanka’s role in all this. To paraphrase the despicable Roger Stone, it seems as if the first daughter’s time in the barrel may be coming soon.