Why We Should Be Ashamed of How We’ve Been Discussing Melania Trump
It’s been one week since America lost its collective mind and it was announced that Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the US. While many of us are definitely feeling post-election blues, there have been many great actions on how to help fight against some of Trump’s scarier campaign promises, like ways you can get involved in activism, and how to donate to Planned Parenthood in VP-Elect Mike Pence’s name. But some of us, unfortunately, are taking our anger and channeling it toward someone who doesn’t quite deserve it, and for reasons that aren’t the best. We’re talking, of course, of soon-to-be First Lady Melania Trump.
Since election day, the attacks on Melania Trump have escalated, and they’ve focused entirely on her past career as a model. Some are channeling their rage by calling her “stupid” or “slutty,” and this isn’t quite the point. The woman hasn’t done other women any favors by completely allowing (and maybe even agreeing with) her husband’s political stances, but that doesn’t mean she deserves slut-shaming, either. While she should take responsibility for her enabling of her husband’s terrible policies and sexism, that doesn’t mean that sexism should be served right back up at her. Twitter’s been a mess with call-outs to Melania’s character based solely on her looks and job.
There’s a popular joke about her being Trump’s third wife:
The biggest winner of the election must be Melania Trump. She can now call herself First Lady instead of Third wife.
— Bob Kostic (@causticbob) November 13, 2016
Many people make fun of how “stupid” she is:
Melania Trump is sticking to script… Literally. 😂
— Melania Trump (@heIIomp4) November 15, 2016
Melania Trump is just painfully stupid.
— madd (@maddswaggler) November 14, 2016
And many are calling her out for her near-nude modeling days:
So Donald & Melania Trump are going to a meeting at the White House today. I hope Obama put plastic over the sofa pic.twitter.com/bW0zIDZ8NW
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) November 10, 2016
But, like us, many are noticing the awful double standard in mocking her physical appearance and not her terrible world views.
If you want to attack Melania Trump, attack her plagiarism or her tolerance for misogyny and bigotry. Don't attack her choice to model nude.
— Lux Alptraum (@LuxAlptraum) November 12, 2016
It’s definitely possible to question someone’s judgement when it comes to oppressive words and actions (or in Melania’s case, inaction), but it’s definitely not okay to publicly humiliate a woman just because she’s beautiful, sexy or might not be as intelligent as you *think* she should be.
We should probably take a few steps back and think about why we feel so comfortable attacking other women, and also why we choose to attack for appearance rather than more nuanced ideas.
What do you think about the shaming of future first-lady Melania Trump? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Chip Somodevilla/Alex Wong/Getty)