Can We Stop Slut-Shaming First Lady Melania Trump?

Will liberals ever stop slut-shaming first lady Melania Trump?

This past weekend, her communications director Stephanie Grisham called for a boycott of rapper T.I. over his promotional album video showing a Melania look-alike stripping in the White House. The artist meant the video to be a dig at President Donald Trump, writing “Dear 45, I ain’t Kanye” in reference to the president’s budding bromance with Kanye West.

Actress Melanie Marden plays the first lady in the minute-long clip. We see the president fly away, while “Melania” stays behind at the White House. She joins T.I., dressed as a Secret Service agent, in the Oval Office, where she takes off the infamous “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” green jacket and dances naked on top of the president’s desk.

We have to wonder if this the best T.I. can do.

As soon as her husband announced his presidential bid, everything from Melania’s past career as a model to her motherhood skills and her accent has been dissected and mocked. In the middle of the presidential campaign, the New York Post  published a series of nude photos she took while she modeled in the 1990s. She’s been called a gold-digger, a hooker, a slut, the least classy first lad y, and so on.

It’s the same line of sexist attacks branded against other women in Trump’s orbit, who have been accused of sleeping with him in order to advance their careers, or like the incest jokes made about Ivanka Trump. If the racist and sexist attacks against former first lady Michelle Obama were considered unacceptable by liberals, the same rule should apply to Melania Trump.

Yes, we are all well aware that her husband is a bully that just Tuesday used a racial slur to attack Sen. Elizabeth Warren and called Stormy Daniels “horseface.” That doesn’t mean people should treat Melania with the same hatred; it doesn’t even mean they have to agree with her.

The first lady has her own troubling views: In the past, she supported the racist conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States; she has the same regressive ideas as her husband on the issue of sexual assault; and she’s fully supported the administration’s policies, despite how the media has found a #Resistance bent on her hollow statements. She, like other women in the Trump administration, are complicit in advancing an agenda that is damaging everything from women’s reproductive rights and protections for the LGBTQ+ community to the environment and people’s access to healthcare.

Those are the things that people in disagreement with Melania Trump should be criticizing. But always falling back to mocking her career as a model or the sexbot jokes is tired. These are lazy and boring tropes that are not even smart enough to qualify as satire, so it’s time to stop deploying them.

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