I read this article with amusement.
You may have seen the photos floating around the internet the past couple days of Ivanka Trump looking at Justin Trudeau during his recent visit to the White House. They’re plentiful, and many of them look like this:
There were some memes that floated around about it, joking that people want to find someone on Valentine’s Day that looks at them the way Ivanka looks at Justin. You can’t deny it – those are some serious bedroom eyes she’s sporting.
But the sourcelink article’s author, Cate Carrejo, takes issue with that line of thinking, because basically, it’s super sexist. She writes:
“Ivanka Trump’s listening face was mistaken for infatuation, which happens far too often for women in society and says a lot about how they’re valued. Once you look at it with a critical lens, the sexist undertones of the meme are pretty apparent. People almost instantly invented a false narrative about Ivanka falling in love with Trudeau on sight, rather than ascribing the look on her face to her focus on the meeting. That story perpetuates a really dangerous idea that women are always distracted by men and constantly looking for love. Social rhetoric like this provides evidence for misogynistic claims about gender segregation and women’s abilities in the workplace. And yes, it would make a great rom-com, but trivializing women’s workplace contributions, particularly in this situation where Ivanka is one of the only visible women in her father’s administration, sets all women back.”
To which I want to just say, “OMG LIGHTEN UP.” And I’ll get to that in a second. Cate has some stuff to say about Justin too:
On the flip side, Trudeau is portrayed as extremely desirable because he’s a self-proclaimed feminist. The basis of the meme was that Ivanka was meeting a real feminist man for the first time in her life and was immediately swept off her feet. To be fair, Trudeau does seem like a genuinely good guy who’s trying to make feminist advancements in his country, but he’s turned into a hero just because he says he’s a feminist. A guy saying he’s a feminist, or even following that up with feminist actions, isn’t a hero — he’s just a decent human doing the least society should expect of him. Men shouldn’t be rewarded for being feminists, because it’s just what’s right.
Waaaaaait just a minute. Trudeau is portrayed as extremely desirable because he’s a self-proclaimed feminist?!? Where exactly is he portrayed that way? Because in the photos above, I’m not seeing any kind of stamp on his forehead that says, “I AM A FEMINIST.” Nope – he’s portrayed as simply being hot, because he IS hot. This has nothing to do with him being a feminist, and everything to do with the fact that he’s objectively attractive. And SHE’s objectively attractive. And people like looking at attractive people.
Here’s the thing. Had Justin been sitting where Ivanka was, and had the camera caught him making the exact same expression at her as she was making at him, the SAME JOKES would be told. The same rumors would spread. The same giggles would ensue. Because this isn’t about sexism. This is about the fact that both of them are ridiculously good looking.
You know how I know that? Because if Ivanka had been making her “listening face” (as Cate calls it) at an average or below-average looking dude, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. NO ONE would be having it. We’re having the conversation because she and Trudeau are BOTH ridiculously good looking. Period.
Interestingly, this is the 2nd column Cate has written on this topic in the span of a 24 hour period, so she REALLY REALLY MEANS IT, you guys. Except in that first column, she take subtle digs at Ivanka while she’s ostensibly defending her. BEHOLD:
Suggesting that Ivanka couldn’t get through a single meeting with Trudeau without falling for him undercuts her intelligence and work ethic, and that’s not fair, even if you take issue with her.
Ivanka and Trudeau are both high-powered government leaders (or whatever Ivanka’s position is exactly — no one’s really sure), and focusing on some made-up love story that reduces both of them to romantic stereotypes isn’t helpful to anyone.
Give me a break.