On September 13, Donald Trump unveiled a child care plan, crafted in part by daughter Ivanka Trump. The plan offers mothers six weeks of paid maternity leave as well as gives parents the ability to deduct childcare costs from their income tax if they earn less than $50,000 annually.
However, the focus of the plan is almost entirely on mothers, which would prove more problematic for single fathers or male same-sex couples. This is in contrast to Hillary Clinton, who has proposed a gender neutral twelve weeks of paid family leave.
In a phone interview, Cosmopolitan.com's Prachi Gupta raised this issue with Ivanka, who seemed none too pleased with her "negative" line of questioning.
"You mention the pay gap for women exacerbates after they bear children, and one of the reasons for that is that mothers are usually charged with child care over men. I'm wondering — and this speaks to the maternity leave aspect of the plan — paternity leave is said to be a great factor in creating gender equality. So I’m wondering, why does this policy not include any paternity leave?" Gupta asked Ivanka.
Ivanka replied, "I think this takes huge advancement and obviously, for same-sex couples as well, there's tremendous benefit here to enabling the mother to recover after childbirth. It's critical for the health of the mother. It's critical for bonding with the child, and that was a top focus of this plan."
Gupta then asked her about same-sex couples and how the plan would benefit them.
"So it's meant to benefit, whether it's in same-sex marriages as well, to benefit the mother who has given birth to the child if they have legal married status under the tax code," Ivanka answered.
"Well, what about gay couples, where both partners are men?" Gupta pressed.
"The policy is fleshed out online, so you can go see all the elements of it. But the original intention of the plan is to help mothers in recovery in the immediate aftermath of childbirth." Ivanka explained.
Gupta tried to clarify the implications by asking, "So I just want to be clear that, for same-sex adoption, where the two parents are both men, they would not be receiving special leave for that because they don't need to recover or anything?"
Ivanka then answered, "Well, those are your words, not mine [laughs] Those are your words. The plan, right now, is focusing on mothers, whether they be in same-sex marriages or not," she reiterated.
Things got testy when Gupta asked Ivanka about her father's 2004 interview with NBC, where he said that pregnancy is an "inconvenience" to employers.
"So I think that you have a lot of negativity in these questions," Ivanka said. "So I don't know how useful it is to spend too much time with you on this if you're going to make a comment like that. My father obviously has a track record of decades of employing women ... To imply otherwise is an unfair characterization of his track record and his support of professional women," she explained before she cut off the interview shortly after.