Who knows what makes Melania Trump tick? She’s hard to figure out, unless you want to make judgey, slut-shaming assessments, based on her appearance and her past life choices. I myself don’t know that much about her, but what I’ve seen doesn’t exactly impress me. I’ve seen a photograph of her with a gold-plated baby carriage in a gold-plated nursery. I’ve heard an interview with her and Donald Trump on Howard Stern, where she gleefully participates in one of the grossest “are you naked now?” shitshows that you might ever wish to unhear. I know that she doesn’t write her own speeches, and if she does, she plagiarizes like a C- student in her first year of community college. She wears way too much makeup for my taste, and seems to have married for money (because who would marry that man for anything but money? If he were an average penniless Joe, I bet she wouldn’t have given him the fumes off her perfume). So yeah, I guess I’m not a fan of Melania Trump, based on what I’ve seen of her so far.
One of the things I’ve seen of her is a modelling portfolio photograph where she stands greased up and naked, with her feet spread in the standard come-fuck-me stance, her face in a Modelling School 101 Sexy Glare, and her hand covering her pubis. Yawn. Naked lady, baby oil, early gig in a wannabe modelling career, I get it. It’s no big deal. It was a paying gig and she was a model and it’s her life and get over it. If she wasn’t famous now, it would have just been another model doing another nudie shoot. Double yawn.
But when people who eventually become famous are found to have chosen to do nudie photo shoots, or porn movies, or to have worked as escorts, it’s often rather embarrassing for them. Rarely, however, does it turn out to be any big deal. In the modelling, entertainment, film, and other sell-your-good-looks industries, such early-career jobs are part of the climb upward. Nothing wrong with that.
But Melania Trump is not in those industries now – she’s a political wife. Unless we accept that American politics and the entertainment business have indeed now completely merged into a monstrous chimera of reality TV and anti-intellectual, anti-social, just-plain-horrible political-office-seeking people (looking sort of like the monster at the end of Poltergeist II),
she’s going to have to meet a scrupulous standard of intellect, conventional attractiveness, and public service that has little to do with the game-show/gong-show/horror show that was her husband’s campaign. That’s going to be hard for her: self-evidently, Melania’s choices in her life indicate that she was looking for a high income, low-labour lifetime gig: a rich husband, a gold-plated nursery, and lots of servants. She wasn’t actually expecting to have to work.
So do we get to shame the new First Lady, for the choices she made when she was working her way up in the entertainment/trophy wife industries? In short, do we get to point to her nudie photo and giggle and smirk and make jokes? Some say yes: after all, she’s a public figure. She hooked her gold-digging wagon to a big star (the biggest, the hugest, the greatest), and at no point did she ever unhook it. So she’s a nudie-photo model and a gold-digger, and now she’s First Lady. Can we call her names for that?
No. No. No. First of all, we do not get to shame her for her modelling work. She was entitled to market her body for a possible career in fashion. No, we don’t get to fan ourselves delicately and shriek, “What kind of First Lady would pose naked – gracious!” Melania was a working woman doing a job, and well, some jobs involve getting naked. So no: her modelling career decisions are irrelevant to her job as First Lady.
As is her decision to marry for money. Sure, she married a hideous globule with a marmot glued to his balding pate, and she appears to have done it for money, because hideous globule/marmot. But that’s also irrelevant to her work as First Lady. If her heart (and her sexual response matrix) can accept something that icky, then that’s her affair (you should excuse the expression). We don’t shame sex trade workers and we don’t shame people who marry for money. It’s none of our business, even if the marriage is that of the presidential couple.
So in the face of all the finger-pointing, naughty-photo-sharing, and name-calling, it is possible to feel a little sorry for Melania. She is even more of a post turtle than her husband. After all, she didn’t want to work for a living – that’s why she married a rich man! Now look what she’s stuck with – a job! A hard job! So not only did her nudie picture career and her marriage not end up getting her the lady-of-leisure career she’d anticipated, but now she’s facing hard work. And she’s getting people waving these old pictures and her marriage-for-money decision in her face like she should be ashamed or something, when they were perfectly legitimate career choices for the career she happened to want. It’s not really fair game.
You know what is fair game? Melania Trump’s betrayal of women. For that, we get to go after her, tooth and claw. This woman, and women like her – I’m looking at you, Trump supporters – threw their entire sex under the bus when they hooked up with that brute and his political aspirations. Donald Trump has – without the help of “the media”, etc., etc., but from his own mouth and actions – showed himself to be viciously anti-woman. I don’t care if he has a history of hiring women here and there in higher-up positions. Lots of misogynists can recognize a single woman’s talents, and still be the guy who thrusts his paw up the receptionist’s skirt. And I don’t care if his two ex-wives still allegedly claim to sort-of like the guy (even the wife who swore under oath that he’d raped her as punishment for criticising his hair implants, and then retracted the sworn statement as “metaphorical”, when offered a massive financial settlement). I don’t care if you, personally, as a woman, find the guy to be charismatic or charming or a great orator or something else that suggests you might want to have your meds adjusted. Women like Melania Trump – women who follow creeps like that, and empower them, and marry them knowing what they are, and vote for them – are spitting in the faces of the women who fought and died for our right to vote; our reproductive freedom; our right to work safely and without fear of sexual abuse from our male co-workers and bosses; our right to say no to sexual advances; our right to an education; our right to not have to be physically beautiful in order to be successful (if you think that’s not an issue, try being an “ugly” woman some time). Women who follow men like Donald Trump are thieves, and they should relinquish every right that women fought for. Give it all back. Give back the vote. Give back community of property on divorce. Give back the right to work. Give back your birth control. Give back your education (if you have one). Give back your right to own property, for fuck’s sake – because women fought for that too. Give it all back, because you don’t deserve it.
Women who enable – who support – who celebrate – pigs like Donald Trump take every single benefit and right that stronger, braver, smarter women struggled to achieve, and they use it for their own benefit. Melania Trump is one of those women. She stands back in her high-high heels and her pancake makeup and applauds with her manicured hands and rattles her paid-for-by-hubby jewellery, while her man advocates for a regime that will make life for the rest of us women horribly, terribly, worse. A man who would grab us by the genitals and drag us back in time, to those good ol’ days that Trumpers remember as being just so damned wonderful, and which were anything but – for women.
For that, we get to say: shame on you, Melania Trump. Shame on you big time.