The "Trump and Women" dynamic, from one perspective, is reminiscent of "Father-Daughter" relationships. Usually very special, sometimes complicated. Most every girl looks for a man that reminds them of their Daddy. Big, strong and lovable. All Dads are in their daughter's eyes. The numero uno "take charge protector" against any threats or bad guys is Dad. No guy is good enough, unless he is somewhat like Daddy and Daddy likes him. Dad expects respect and so long as a suitor shows respect to him and to his daughter then he is okay to let him into her life, alongside Dad. That's why the Father, sometimes begrudgingly, gives the hand of his daughter, the bride, to the groom. In the increasingly dangerous world we live in today, even strong daughters look up to strong men for protection for themselves and their children. "I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection," are the words of Sigmund Freud.
Not being a trained psychologist, but as the daughter of a strong Father and eldest of 10 children, the first eight being strong daughters, my "university of life" experience says Freud got that one right and makes understanding the Trump phenomena easy. Donald Trump reminds women of Dad and of other strong men in their lives. For better or for worse. Mr. Trump's children certainly are a true testament of his positive Fathering skills. Of course, like our Dad, he chose great Moms.
"You Can Be Whatever You Want by Hard Work"
When considering Trump and his obviously good and supportive relationship with his daughters Ivanka and Tiffany, I recall in the early '90s an eye-opening invitation by a friend in New York whose Dad was a well-known billionaire baron in Texas. The invite was to join a unique father-daughter retreat in the mountains of Colorado. Trouble was then and throughout their lives the fathers were missing, physically and emotionally. This group of politically diverse heiresses from multi-billion dollar families got together every year to talk about something they shared in common-their disappointing relationships with their Dads. To this day I wonder why I was invited, since I am not an heiress, my Dad is not a billionaire, and he is actually more of a feminist than his eight daughters. In fact, contrary to his strong daughters, he is for Hillary simply because she is a woman. The days I spent with America's blue-blooded descendants were enlightening. Until that insightful weekend, I thought most fathers were supportive of their daughter's worth and most women were "Daddy's girls." That was my life experience.
The group of affluent women friends are all accomplished in their own right yet somehow they felt a lack of appreciation by the man in their life they desired loving affirmation from the most, their Dad. They complained that their destiny was partially unfulfilled because they had been let down by their fathers. They expressed harbored "love-hate" sentiments toward their Dads. All were from famous second, third, fourth and beyond generation wealth, representing iconic American families. As we sat in a circle, one by one, each woman poured out her heart about her Dad. With each grievance, I became more and more squeamish as to how I was going to share my positive "Daddy" experiences of us eight sisters growing up being told by our Dad we could be whatever we want so long as we worked hard for it, and had faith in God and in ourselves.
Not The Boss' Daughter, Feminist Dad and CEO
As a side note, I recently received the book "Unbinding The Heart" from a beautiful friend and talented author, Agapi Stassinopoulos. In one chapter she describes a friend who is an artist and could not ever feel good enough for her neuroscientist Father. The sorrowful daughter said to Agapi,
I'll never match up to my father! He doesn't see me at all, and I don't think he ever will. You don't know what it is like to be raised with such a powerful father who gets so much attention. Wherever you go, you are this man's daughter, not yourself. It makes you question your own abilities. It makes you doubt who you really are.
The disappointment shared in this strained and painful "father-daughter" relationship made me think of Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, in striking contrast.
The biggest gripe expressed by the highly-educated group was that their Dad only trusted the business acumen of the sons to carry on the family's enormous wealth. These "daughters of fortune" said they were expected to hold teas with their Mothers, undertake philanthropic endeavors and marry well, not be involved in the business of the Dad.
This is not the case in Donald Trump's family. The contrary is true. His daughter Ivanka plays a vital strategic planning and senior management role in the Trump Organization. He notably praises her talents, her advice and her commitment to practicing Orthodox Judaism. Ivanka is her own entrepreneurial person, even with her own brand and clothing line, but she proudly keeps her Trump name. Donald Trump is an equal opportunity Dad, CEO and entrepreneurial politician. Even when he offends people by his sometimes brash New York business-style, he does so equally, irrespective of gender. That clearly illustrates he is not a misogynist. He may even be a "feminist Dad", advancing his daughters at every opportunity. Women with good relationships with their Dads do like Donald Trump. He puts his daughters forward, encouraging them to fulfill their potential. It is also interesting to note and to give him due credit, that he keeps a positive relationship with their Mothers, Ivana Trump and Marla Maples. Both ex-wives only have good to say about him and support his candidacy. His wife Melania Trump is a formidable woman, devoted mother and trusted confidante.
I have known Ivana Trump for many years and she is a strong, confident, successful businesswoman, in addition to being a dedicated Mother and Grand-mother. She and Donald, the Father of her children, enjoy a beautiful mutually respectful relationship with each other, their children together and the extended family. This shows Donald Trump is sensitive and values women and the importance of family, because there is nothing worse for a child (except divorce) than an acrimonious relationship between their parents.
It would not be surprising to learn that women in the media vehemently attacking Mr.Trump for being "anti-woman" possibly have Dad issues. Certainly some act like it. The obsession of marking Mr. Trump as discriminating against women resembles the bitterness expressed during the memorable weekend I spent with the circle of lamenting women attacking their Dads. Feminist women expound their desire to be treated equally until equal treatment interferes with what they want from a man. The weekend in The Rockies seemed a bit like the 1966 film, "The Group." Needless to say, that was my singular retreat with "the group." I do not fit the anti-Dad mentality.
It Bears Repeating, Strictly Business: True Grit
Meeting CEO Trump in his Trump Tower offices to discuss the plight of disadvantaged women in developing countries and inner-cities, I can reiterate he is "strictly business" and respectful in his approach with women and desire to support their advancement. Not flirtatious, nor condescending, treating women professionally, with integrity and as equals in business.
In the book, "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters" the author Dr. Meg Meeker writes,
When we think of masculine men, we (women at least)
envision those with one overriding quality: a spine of steel.
Nothing makes a woman's heart melt like a man with courage and resolve.
We admire men who are willing to risk their lives to help good triumph
over evil and who have the moral wit to distinguish between the two.
Masculinity means strength.
Men in high finance are often highly charged, deeply driven,
and propel themselves through hard work to success.
Men work with such intensity because they have grit.
Undeniably, Donald Trump has true grit. Independent, conservative and liberal women I know who support Mr. Trump for President share a common bond, Daddy. They feel respected, trusted and encouraged by their Fathers. And if married, they feel loved and respected by their husbands who remind them of their Dads. One of my strongly pro-life sister's likes Mr. Trump because "He speaks truth from the heart, no holds barred, non-politician approach. Someone who will fight for our freedoms." Women concerned about national and financial security for their families and frustrated by America's diminishing leadership role in the world respect CEO Trump. He is tough like their Dad. Big, strong and lovable. Even Dad and Grand-daddy Trump fighting for babies in the womb is endearing to women who believe his intention is to protect them and their baby or grandbabies from harm's way.
After all, The Talmud teaches: "He who saves a single life, saves the entire world." And as The Good Book says, "The righteous man walks in his integrity, his children are blessed after him (Proverbs 20:7)."
Brothers and Sisters, Alleluia, Amen.