Episode 19: Ivanka Trump's New Book and Interview with Gaby Dunn

May 12th 2017

ATTN: Staff

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | SoundCloud

First daughter Ivanka Trump recently released "Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success"—a book that curates others' ideas and quotes in order to present a guide for working women. And though it will debut as number four on the New York Times's Best-Seller list for "advice, how-to, and miscellaneous books," The Cut reported, the reviews have been merciless. (ATTN: has not read the book.)



I'm so proud of my big sister @IvankaTrump on the launch of her #WomenWhoWorkBook! I can't wait to start reading it! 📖

A post shared by Tiffany Ariana Trump (@tiffanytrump) on


In the style of "Women Who Work," here are selected quotes from reviews of the book. Author and Bookslut founder Jessa Crispin wrote in the New York Times' opinion section that "[i]t reads more like the scrambled Tumblr feed of a demented 12-year-old who just checked out a copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations from the library." Comedian Samantha Bee lampooned it on her late-night show "Full Frontal," saying, "Practically every word that isn’t ‘I,’ ‘Trump,’ or ‘architecting’ is cribbed from or another self-help book —mainly 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,' which she quotes over 30 times."

Jezebel's Joanna Rothkopf noted that "[o]f the 70,000 words in her book, almost 23,000 (approximately 33 percent) are, literally, not her words—that is, they’re quotations or bulleted guides from another writer." And Fusion's Katie McDonough has a good breakdown of the income inequality that the book inadvertently highlights, by who it doesn't mention.

Beyond those critiques, the book fits neatly into a larger conversation about the commercialization of feminism and female "empowerment."

Essentially, critics of feminism's commercialism assert that female empowerment is now a commodity for the well-to-do that can be bought and sold in, say, limited edition diverse-body-type-shaped Dove bottles.

Or as Jezebel's Stassa Edwards neatly wraps it up:

"In fairness to Ivanka, that narrative of empowerment isn’t hers alone. It’s common parlance in many publications targeted to women with disposable incomes: it’s at Refinery29, where women are empowered doing anything the “discourse” says they shouldn’t (wearing a bikini, taking a selfie, etc); it’s in Sheryl Sandberg’s 'Lean In,' where systemic discrimination is toppled by board room disruption; it’s in Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS, where capitalism is wielded as a fundamental feminist expression. The narrative, the lingo of empowerment tells us, is what’s making women’s lives hard. Discourse is the enemy, they argue, but not the structures that produce discourse."

This is just one of the topics discussed on this week's edition of "Got Your Attention." The cast—Omri Rolan, Sarah Gray, Sequoia Holmes, and Mike Vainisi—also discuss why voter turnout is so high in France and so low in the United States, the MTV Movie & Television Awards, and shirts that say "Men are trash."

We round out the show with Sarah Gray's interview with the host of the "Bad With Money" podcast, Gaby Dunn. The two discuss the taboo of talking about money, practical financial solutions vs. systemic issues, student loans, the soaring cost of health insurance, and the most infuriating thing Dunn has learned while making "Bad With Money."

Podcast notes:

Read more about the stories we did (and didn't) talk about this week on "Got Your Attention."

  • Sexual assault and domestic abuse may be considered preexisting conditions under the GOP's replacement for the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) replacement.
  • Ivanka Trump brand quietly found a way to sell their clothes without using its namesake’s now-controversial name.
  • According to The Nation's Ari Berman, France's voter turnout for it's presidential election last week was the lowest voter turnout since 1969, 74 percent, is equivalent to the United States's highest voter turnout since 1896.
  • The MTV Movie and TV Awards were "woke" as hell.
  • Kim Kardashian called Scott Disick's new girl a "ghetto girl" and a "whore."
  • Nicki Minaj is going to pay off student loans for some lucky 4.0 students—which is great, but can't we just make college more affordable?
  • Ivanka Trump's book, Dove's bottles, the commercialization of feminism, and Sarah's favorite recent New York Times opinion piece.
  •  There's a new drug called Gray Death that experts are calling the most dangerous cocktail they've seen in two decades. There are already overdoses in Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio.
  • Religious porn users are more likely to think they have an addiction to porn than non-religious porn users.
  • Here is the Foreign Policy headline: "In Closed-Door Climate Showdown, It’s Jared and Ivanka vs. Bannon and Pruitt."
  •  Fitness guru Richard Simmons reportedly sued several tabloids for claiming that he is transitioning, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • "Men Are Trash" shirts were floating around twitter over the weekend and it raised a lot of "reverse sexism" questions, but this one tweet nailed why that's not a thing.

What is the "Got Your Attention" podcast?

If you've ever wondered how the staff pitch and select the stories that you read or watch on ATTN:, we're giving you an inside listen. ATTN: Media is excited to announce "Got Your Attention," a podcast where ATTN: staffers compete to have their pitches accepted by our host — while also unpacking some of the week's most important headlines.

The game is simple: Three ATTN: staff members — Senior Social Trends Editor Omri Rolan, Associate Social Content Editor Sequoia Holmes, and Senior Editor Sarah Gray — pitch their best stories to our host and Head of Editorial Mike Vainisi. If Mike picks their story, they get a point, and the four discuss the story.