Only at the New York Times would this doozy of a supposed "contrast" (by NYT resident feminist carper Jill Filipovic) appear:
One traditional value Mr. Trump does hew to: wanting an old-fashioned wife but a modern, professional daughter. On Thursday, convention-goers will hear from the elder Trump daughter, Ivanka, a successful businesswoman currently writing a book called “Women Who Work.” They’ll also witness how the Trump family embodies a very old sexist hypocrisy: Men who want one thing for their wives and another for their children….
While Trump family values may not be particularly honorable, they are perversely traditional….
The qualities Mr. Trump seeks in his romantic partners are remarkably retro. Melania Trump is a former model with her own QVC jewelry line and skin care brand who emphasizes that her role as a mother comes before all else; Mr. Trump has spoken disparagingly of working women, does little in the way of child care, and expects women to be more aesthetically appealing than intellectually substantive….
“We know our roles,” his wife has said. “I didn’t want him to change the diapers or put Barron to bed.” Mr. Trump agrees: “I won’t do anything” to take care of the children, he told Howard Stern in 2005. “I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids.” By contrast, Mr. Trump took out a campaign ad featuring Ivanka, and said of her: “I am so proud of Ivanka. She is a terrific person, a devoted mother and an exceptional entrepreneur.”
Um, as blogger Ann Althouse points out:
Never mind that Ivanka is just as attractive and sweet as Melania and that Melania has had her professional endeavors. And forget the obvious fact that whether you devote your efforts to the commercial world or the domestic sphere, you can be independent, strong and principled or not.
But of course Filipovic's article isn't really about comparing and contrasting Ivanka Trump and Melania Trump. It's about bashing the political party they both stand for:
Today, 40 percent of women are their family’s primary breadwinners, and nearly 80 percent of Americans agree that women should not return to traditional roles in society. A third still say it’s best for small children if Mom doesn’t work at all. The Republican Party has particularly struggled to accept this new model, and still pushes back on women’s progress by opposing policies that would help women work and plan their families: things like federally funded child care, paid parental leave and access to birth control.
Yes, what Jill Filipovic is actually on about is substituting expensive government programs for families, especially traditional families where the wife is the homemaker who provides the bulk of the "child care" while the husband toils at the workplace to support them. And it's why Filipovic, although she obviously doesn't care for Melania, clearly doesn't harbor much affection for Ivanka–who, after after all, isn't asking for "paid parental leave" to raise her children and is taking care of her own child care. Note this subtle dig at both Ivanka and Melania:
In our reluctantly feminist America, one question this election poses is whether we’ve evolved enough to value women as individuals instead of assessing them relationally, as an attractive wife supporting her husband or as a high-achieving daughter reflecting a flattering light back on her parents.
Jill Filipovich has created an imaginary catfight–but what she'd really like to do is skin both cats.