Dear Media, Stop Making Melania Trump The Celebrated Martyr She’s Not
The New York Times recently unleashed an entry titled: The Quiet Radicalism of Melania Trump — and the entire piece is a frustrating ride through the familiar terrains of primed whiteness — where we are once again faced with the evidence of how merely inhabiting the template of a White woman — is universally considered a badge of honor — regardless of the damning circumstances.
Writer — Kate Andersen Brower dares to stray into forbidden territory as she casually compares the uncanny stoicism of Mrs. Trump to former first lady and successful lawyer Michelle Obama — by weirdly suggesting that both women share the progressive approach of evading the trap of worshipping their spouses to the point of purposed blindness.
“Maybe Mrs. Trump is more like Michelle Obama than people think. Though the mutual affection of the Obamas was obvious, Mrs. Obama was also the first first lady to challenge people to accept a woman who refused to play the role of the saccharine, adoring spouse.”
The writer goes on to cite an interview the former first lady did for Vanity Fair back in 2007 where she displays her signature move when it comes to her doting tough-love approach towards her larger-than-life spouse.
“That’s not me. I love my husband. I think he’s one of the most brilliant men I’ve ever met, and he knows that. But he’s not perfect, and I don’t want the world to want him to be perfect.”
There are other examples used in the essay that include the embarrassing episode of the Clintons during the Monica Lewinsky scandal — and the audacity of Hillary Clinton to stand by her disgraced and guilty husband — “regardless of her own hurt and humiliation.”
This was probably Brower’s sour attempt at drawing the parallels between Mrs. Trump’s ability to strike a similar stance when it comes to stylishly and bravely weathering the role of being a wife to a man who is nothing short of beastly in presentation — not to mention his downright grotesque demeanor — furnished by his bullish tactics — which she has fallen victim to on numerous occasions.
There are other inclusions of Mrs. Trump’s distinguished predecessors who at some point in their marriages to former presidents were subjected to the ramifications of being betrothed to men of a higher status — who all made their wives feel inferior despite being lavished with loyalty and never-ending devotion.
My primary concern with the ill-contrived essay lies solely in the inclusion of Michelle Obama — who shouldn’t have to suffer the fate of being mentioned in the same breath as a woman who enjoyed minimal success as a fashion model — before giving it all up to marry a wealthy man-child — to secure access to gold-plated real estate and riches beyond reason.
Mrs. Obama began her life in a somewhat modest setting and then worked her ass off to achieve the following:
Graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. Worked as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago. Became Vice President for Community and External Affairs of The University of Chicago Medical Center.
And here’s more:
Michelle Obama Fast Facts
Birth place: Chicago, Illinois Birth name: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Father: Fraser Robinson, water filtration worker…
And of course — she met her future husband and 44th President of the United States — Barack Obama — at the law firm where they were both stationed. They married — had two daughters — and then their lives took a drastic turn when the possibility of moving into The White House and making history as the first Black family ever to do so became more than just a dream.
All this to say that the media has to stop making Melania Trump the celebrated martyr she’s not. We all know she’s the prime example of a well-packaged coward.
She’s also nothing like Michelle Obama and the fact that this was actually insinuated by a White woman on behalf of another White woman is exactly the reason why White feminism and Black feminism will never converge to produce a tangible union.
It’s utterly ridiculous and unfathomable to imagine how Melania Trump can be deemed a poised radical — who somehow manages to juggle the responsibilities of her assignment as first lady without allowing her personal trauma to overcome her assumingely fragile disposition.
We get this from her recent decision-making process that saw her commemorate the one-year anniversary of inauguration day by “tweeting a single photo of herself on the arm of a marine.” And then for her 13th wedding anniversary — she opted not to escort the president to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The writer of this pointless article seems convinced that Mrs. Trump’s epic moves when it comes to silently rising above her husband’s abhorrent roster of disgustingly vile offerings — including the “shithole” scandal, the government shutdown, the senseless and humorless public response to the women’s march and the case of the bribed porn star — all prove beyond a doubt that she’s being grossly underestimated.
“She may not be progressive. She may not be political. And yet Mrs. Trump may end up doing more than any of her predecessors to upend our expectations of the slavish devotion a first lady must display toward her husband.”
Not only is this a load of crap but it’s also a disservice to the women’s movement and demobilizes the blocks of progress — that have been activated to navigate this climate of change — that is experiencing the momentum of a renaissance in the midst of the #MeToo and Time’s Up initiatives.
It’s all about empowerment and speaking up and against the forces that threaten the livelihood and survival of those who’ve been overwhelmed by the ghastly wiles of men in power. It’s also about spreading the vaccination to other parts of the globe — where women are suffocating under a system that can’t provide refuge from intolerable conditions that are in place to guarantee mental and physical imprisonment — with no realistic choices of escape.
Melania Trump and her evil step-daughter-in-law Ivanka Trump represent the worst case scenario when you analyze their uninterrupted support for a man who has never hidden his sexist, racist and fascist tendencies. Both women haven’t even attempted to express their dismay or disgust at any of the glaringly abominable shit that has been delivered on a daily basis from the man they’ve chosen to “ride or die” for.
Back in 2011 — Mrs. Trump echoed her husband’s senseless rant against then President Obama when she appeared on Joy Behar’s show on HLN — and stupidly demanded to see the document that proves his citizenship.
The clip certainly doesn’t showcase a woman of independent means who was being groomed to be the first lady — who will surely revolutionize or modernize her lofty position in ways that could potentially rival her classier predecessors.
Melania Trump is simply a woman who married rich because that’s what wannabe models with thick European accents tend to do when their careers stall. She didn’t marry Donald Trump because she was seduced by his good looks and charm or because she was certain that he would be a faithful and adoring husband. She did it to secure her financial future and her lifelong admittance to high society.
She will not be remembered as the first lady who maximized her position for the betterment of those who suffered the danger of remaining tragically under the radar.
That honor goes to Michelle Obama.
No, Mrs. Trump won’t be remembered at all. And if she does come up — she will only evoke the image of a pathetic figure who put more effort in her designer wardrobe than in her quest to be vocally disapproving of her slanderous partner.
There is nothing radical about a woman who “keeps up appearances” in the comfort of million dollar surroundings with no shame in her game. And the very notion that this is being theorized indicates how White women are consistently romanticized as fantastical figurines who despite their own immense contributions to their predicament — are still able to avoid any blemish to their character.
Black women can be educated and overly-accomplished with vast resumes and still suffer the plight of being compared to White counterparts — who don’t even come remotely close to earning the right to be associated with the women who seem to do all the work without assistance — even though the privileged unfairly reap the benefits.
Mrs. Trump refusing to stand by her man at Davos as a way to confirm “a united front” isn’t an enviable move or even the starting point of a long overdue demonstration that she possesses a mind of her own and is now willing to utilize it.
She’s not a victim and never was. She’s the generic prototype attached to a pompous ass who knows her better than anybody. The only thing impressive about the first lady is her ability to stand by or walk with her husband without zigzagging in contempt at the mere sight of him.
That’s not “ quietly radical.” It’s loudly uneventful.