Feminists and empowerers-of-women everywhere can’t seem to figure out how to deal with incoming first lady Melania Trump.
Do they ignore her while she’s mocked? Do they mock her in front of millions? Do they make fun of her because she isn’t fitting into some traditional role? Every few months, women of the left find a new way to belittle her, and December is their last chance before 2016 wraps up. Salon’s managing editor, Erin Keane, for example, sucked all the Christmas cheer out of the room Saturday with a tirade about Melania that validates every negative stereotype pinned on women. Ivanka may take up the mantle as Melania is reportedly not going to be as active as former first ladies, and that’s no fun.
Women — feminists as well as those who don’t ascribe to that movement — have worked hard to beat the rumor that women are petty toward one another: That girls are conniving and manipulative; that boys use their fists while women use their words; that we’re vicious schemers who struggle to hold down long-term female friendships.
Keane and her lot are well on their way to providing solid evidence that girls are jealous, envious husks of emotion determined to tear down any woman more successful than them.
The title of Keane’s article, “Ivanka Trump as First Lady-Daughter kills all hope for a Melania-run East Wing,” seems fairly tame, until you get to the snide subheadline: “The only fun part of a Donald Trump presidency was going to be Melania as FLOTUS — now even that is gone.”
She touts the godly bonafides of current first lady Michelle Obama before unleashing a series of what seem to be painstakingly crafted insults:
Bye bye, promise of Naked Sushi State Dinners. We hardly knew ye, solid-gold Blue Room Christmas tree decorated with pots of Melania Luxe Night Caviar Complex C6 with Lipid Matrix Receptor Technology™
If you’re unfamiliar, Keane is referring to women who lie on a table naked adorned with sushi for a group dining experience. It’s unclear if Keane means to belittle women who work at restaurants like this in her effort to shame Melania for being pretty. Melania can’t help being attractive as much as Keane can’t help being homely. It’s also unclear if, in her attempt to put Melania down for having an anti-aging skincare line, she forgot all the Hollywood women who do the exact same thing (think Jessica Alba, Salma Hayek and Gwyneth Paltrow).
The photos of her smoldering over Barron’s golden baby buggy call to mind a lesser Disney princess’s evil stepmother, and you can just tell that in Melania’s book that is a serious compliment.
She doesn’t describe how we know Melania looks up to nasty women in fairy tales — maybe we’re supposed to assume Melania’s horrible because, well, “you can just tell.”
Shouldn’t she be praised for deciding to stay back in New York with Barron until he finishes this year of school instead of moving into the White House for the first few months? Barron’s 10, and his life is going to change dramatically once his dad becomes president; keeping a semblance of normalcy in his life while it’s still possible is a good thing. “The campaign has been difficult for Barron, and she is really hoping to keep disruption to a minimum,” a source told the New York Post.
Melania conducts herself with the chilly reserve of a statue half-buried in the ruins of our civilization, waiting for James Corden to accidentally awaken her so she can destroy us all.
Quiet equals aloof, right Keane?
The piece ends as spitefully as it began: “Perhaps Melania will emerge every so often onto the balcony of the White House to shower the peasants below with her own gold First Spouse coins. If she sees her shadow FLOTUS lurking around the corner, she will know it’s safe to retreat back to her tower for another six weeks of seclusion.”
Melania made something of herself, and that should be respected. Unfortunately, because her last name is Trump, she is a woman of little value to them, only to be derided and mocked for the fatal flaw of marrying a patriarchal sexist pig.
Before this screed, feminists and liberal women turned the other way when the New York Post plastered Melania’s nude modelling photos on its cover. They did not defend her for making choices about her body as she saw fit. They did not attack the New York Post for shaming a woman. They did nothing.
Or take model Gigi Hadid, who mocked Melania’s accent in an American Music Awards impersonation Nov. 20. After backlash from the right, from which feminists were notably absent, Gigi apologized.
Political mean girls are rejecting the newest girl in town, and, much like the left is doing with Donald Trump, every single action she takes will be met with derision. No matter what she does, it will be wrong. She will be bullied and picked away at by a class of people touting themselves as defenders of her gender.
There’s a growing likelihood that Trump’s years as president will be damaging to the legitimacy women have fought for for so long — and it’s not going to be Donald’s fault. Women attacking Melania for her looks and disposition are stripping away any attacks we have against men who put women down. How can we tell a man to stop being sexist when women are all too happy to thrash their own?
Any woman who fancies herself a champion of women’s rights, then turns around and lessens a woman’s worth for superficial reasons, should consider the message they’re sending. What they’re saying is that not all women should be defended because not all women are worth it. And if you aren’t worth it, watch out, because the girls will get to you first.
We don’t need men to hold us down, we’re doing a fine job of it ourselves.