In a recent interview about workplace sexual assault, Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump said that “[if his daughter Ivanka were subject to workplace harassment he would] like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.” His son, Eric Trump, stated in a different interview that “Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn’t allow herself to be, you know, subjected to it.” However, both of these men fail to discuss what the perpetrator of the crime should face and instead place all the blame on the victim.
It’s not a shock to many, that the Trump males are not the most understanding of women and the issues that plague them when dealing with workplace harassment. (Note: Yes, men are also 29% of the victims of workplace harassment, however, that is not what Trump was referencing). These comments were brought up in lieu of the recent claims that are brought against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes stating that he was the perpetrator of sexual harassment in the workplace. In the past Donald Trump has tweeted that sexual assault in the military is to be expected “when they put men & women together”. This claim is as though it’s just due to human nature, when in fact it’s due to someone taking advantage of another individual.
The claims that were made by both Trump men, have yet to be discussed by Ivanka – the sister/daughter that was being discussed. However, this ideology that if a woman is being harassed in her workplace, she should just get a new job is absurd and further perpetuates victim blaming. No one should be forced out of a job due to the fact that they are being harassed in the workplace. Not only that, but this is an extremely privileged viewpoint. Not every woman can afford to simply “find another career”, especially in this economy. Furthermore, according to a survey one in three women experience sexual harassment in the workplace, which means 40+ million women of the 123 million in the workplace, would be forced to “find another career”. Not only is it absurd but it’s impossible.
While Donald Trump’s claims were sickening, Eric Trump’s were even worse. His claim is that strong, powerful women do not allow themselves to be subject to workplace harassment. No individual chooses to be subject to workplace harassment, regardless of the circumstance. Furthermore, many victims of workplace harassment, cannot do anything out of fear of losing their job or out of shame. As with the Roger Ailes case, more women came forward after hearing Gretchen Carson’s claims, as their realized they had nothing to be ashamed of.
These claims that were made by Donald Trump and Eric Trump, continue to perpetuate the ideology of victim blaming. No individual should ever be shamed for experiencing any type of harassment/assault that is brought upon them.
If you are being harassed in your workplace and need support, you can read this and go to the Get Help section. If you know or see someone being bullied you can go to the Supportive Bystander FactSheet to find out how to help them.