Chef Angela Dimayuga was surprised to see freelance writer Adi Heyman slide into her DMs recently. "I would love to conduct an interview (via telephone/email) with you spotlighting your work as a strong female entrepreneur,” wrote Heyman, calling her work "extraordinary."
The catch to all this positive press? It was for Ivanka Trump's website.
Heyman went on to reassure Dimayuga that the website was “a non-political platform of empowerment for modern working women.” Dimayuga is the executive chef at Mission Chinese Food, so she has certainly accomplished extraordinary things. However, she disagreed with Heyman's characterization of an Ivanka property.
In a long response which Dimayuga screenshot for Instagram, she laid into the idea of Ivanka Trump profiting off her story in any way. Dimayuga is queer, the child of immigrants, and a woman of color. In her letter she says that any amplification of her voice through Ivanka's publication wouldn't put a dent in all the techniques the Trump family is using to silence people like her all over the country. Here's her letter in full:
Hi Adi, Thank you for thinking of me. I’m glad you are a fan of my work so much that you want to provide more visibility for my career to inspire “other working women.” However, I’m for women who actually empower other women. I don’t believe that IvankaTrump.com is truly “a non-political platform of empowerment for [women]”.
So long as the name Trump is involved, it is political and frankly, an option for the IvankaTrump.com business to make a profit. I don’t see anything empowering about defunding Planned Parenthood, barring asylum from women refugees, rolling back safeguards for equal pay, and treating POC/LGBT and the communities that support these groups like second class citizens.
As a queer person of color and daughter of immigrant parents I am not interested in being profiled as an aspirational figure for those that support a brand and a President that slyly disparages female empowerment. Sharing my story with a brand and family that silences our same voices is futile. Thank you for the consideration.
The Huffington Post reports that Dimayuga is even more aware of intersectional politics because of her job as a chef, as cooking is often a male dominated field. She told them, "It’s important for me to acknowledge the intersectional community in which I’ve been able to creatively thrive in." In return, she's gotten an enormous response on her post, including a comment from celebrity chef Antony Bourdain who wrote, "My hero!" in the Instagram comments.
”The sheer number of people that have been supportive just shows that there is a stronger and bigger community than I see on the day-to-day that are willing to actually help, protect, support women and those in marginalized communities,” Dimayuga told The Huffington Post, adding, “I’m not interested in a catfight―I just found an opportunity to speak and share my narrative and my truth to vocalize my values and my own integrity. For me, it was an opportunity to say I belonged to a community where I hope to enrich the different spheres I live in and to cultivate empowering environments that are safe for us.”
Though Dimayuga hasn't heard back from Heyman, she got a bunch of new followers from her post. Including Ivanka Trump herself. Guess Ivanka momentarily heard at least one new voice, probably because it was shouting, "HELL NO."
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