The woman who attacked another woman’s business because… feminism

If you were a vegetarian would you protest people eating meat by eating meat? If you were a Christian protesting Islam would you become a Muslim? If you were a feminist upset with some sexist things a man said would you attack his daughter and destroy her business? You would if your name was Shannon Coulter, a woman who sees nothing amiss in the financial damage she has achieved against another woman for the crime of having a father who once said some sexist things. She has targeted a successful businesswoman because she shares her father’s famous surname. Shannon Coulter’s actions are?the antithesis of feminism. She is punishing a man she disapproves of by hurting his daughter.

Shannon Coulter co-founded the Grab Your Wallet boycott campaign (Photo by Christie Hemm Klok for The Washington Post)

Back in October, Shannon Coulter was doing some late-night browsing on the Nordstrom website.

Before long, the small business owner had a nagging feeling about the department store?s line-up of Ivanka Trump apparel and shoes ? a brand she couldn?t help but see in a different light amid the unfolding events of the presidential campaign.

Just days earlier, news had broken of the explosive ?Access Hollywood? footage in which Donald Trump bragged about groping women without their consent.

?Something changed for me when the Trump tapes came out,? Coulter recalled in an interview. ?Those words were just ringing in my ears.?

And so she decided to take action: Coulter began a campaign called Grab Your Wallet, which encourages shoppers to stay away from retailers that sell all manner of Trump-branded goods, as well as to avoid Trump properties such as golf courses and wineries.

She maintains a meticulous spreadsheet online of the dozens of companies that should be boycotted, including notations about why they?re on the list and updates about the inventory of Trump-branded merchandise they offer.

Those that cease doing business with the Trumps are removed from the list.

The campaign has been chugging along for months, but it has come into a particularly bright spotlight in recent weeks, when big-name chains started to back away from Trump goods…

None of the companies cited the boycott specifically as the reason for dropping the merchandise. Nordstrom said it did so because of falling sales, not politics.

It is reasonable to assume that the falling sales were related to the success of Coulter’s sophisticated and targeted campaign.

Still, Coulter exemplifies the new and potent possibilities that social media presents for ordinary consumers and voters to catapult an idea for activism from their living rooms to like-minded people across the country ? and to the center of the news cycle.

…?I was very much a straight-ahead career girl for the last 24 years, and it feels like that?s changed now.?

But now, Grab Your Wallet has practically become a full-time job: Coulter, a resident of the San Francisco Bay area, has outsourced all of her client work at her small marketing firm.

That marketing background, she says, has been a critical component of her ability to grow Grab Your Wallet.

…There are also frequent decisions to be made about what companies should be on the list.

Chains such as Lord & Taylor or Macy?s easily make the cut because they carry Trump family merchandise.

But other times, it is less cut-and-dried. Bookstores are generally spared, but that could change if any agree to host Ivanka Trump during her upcoming book tour.

…Meanwhile, The Washington Post is ?NOT being boycotted at this time,? even though it is owned by Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of, which makes the list for carrying Trump family products.

On the Grab Your Wallet website, it says that decision came after a majority of boycott participants said in a poll that the Post should be excluded.

…Despite the boycott, Ivanka Trump brand says its sales overall grew 21 percent in 2016.

?We?ve expanded our categories, distribution and offerings with plans to continue this growth in 2017 and we?re reaching more women than ever before,? the company said in a statement.

While Coulter started the campaign as an outcry against Donald Trump?s treatment of women, it has mushroomed into a more sprawling expression of anti-Trump sentiment.

This is a campaign that claims to be offended by Trump’s sexist statements from long ago and ignores that his right-hand man is, in fact, a woman, Kellyanne Conway and that he is known for surrounding himself, with strong female leaders. The campaign targets a President’s family members including his daughter in a vindictive boycott because too many Democrats are sore losers while pretending all the while that it is all about fighting misogyny. It isn’t.