It’s nearly one year into President Trump’s administration and critics at Vogue are panning First Lady Melania Trump for not announcing any policy initiatives yet. Ironically, former First Lady Michelle Obama had not formally launched the Let’s Move campaign, her policy initiative on childhood obesity, until after year into her husband’s first term. So why are they targeting Melania Trump? It seems to boil down to politics.
In a “News” article entitled “After Nearly a Year as First Lady, Melania Trump Charts an Uncertain Course,” Vogue paints an unflattering picture of Trump. Pulling extensively from the controversial new book “Fire and Fury” they set up a vision of Melania Trump as unhappy that her husband won:
“Of all the many juicy scenes trickling out… one of the most strikingly sad is the reported image of sullen Melania Trump processing her husband’s victory on election night 2016…”
… almost a year into his administration it remains unclear to what extent Mrs. Trump plans to embrace the historic role of First Lady-especially one married to a controversial and bombastic president.”
In addition to gossip, the article relies on the insights of Washington insiders who point to Trump’s lack of experience with public life as a political wife as part of her challenge. Do they forget she’s not shy in the limelight?
Trump started modeling at the age of five and was doing commercials at age sixteen. Perhaps they forgot that she’s modeled for fashion houses in Paris, Milan, and New York City. After marrying Donald Trump, she became a regular on the business and celebrity party circuit. They also pan her for not being a traditional wife of a mogul who devotes her time to philanthropy and charitable causes.
Their biggest issue though is that she hasn’t gone public with a policy focus. They don’t take seriously her indications of tackling cyberbullying.
You have to read through mudslinging to the end before they admit that their concerns are overblown because there is no set timeline or mandate for a First Lady to announce a platform during her husband’s first year in office:
… While there is apparent impatience for the First Lady to more thoroughly define her plans … there is no set rule mandating a First Lady announce her platform in year one: Michelle Obama formally launched Let’s Move in February 2010, a year after President Obama took office.
If this writer started with this last sentence, there would have been no need for this article at all.
Vogue is exposing its bias against Melania Trump, specifically, and the media’s unfair treatment of conservative women, in general.
Too often conservative women face harsher treatment in the press for their political and policy positions. They are criticized and belittled. If these women held another party affiliation, those criticisms would be called mean-spirited or sexist. Let’s not forget the media’s obsession with the shoes that First Lady Melania Trump wore last year while walking to Air Force One rather than the fact that she was traveling to the hurricane-ravaged Texas region to view the devastation.
It’s time out for this blatant bias. Holding women accountable for their actions is one thing, but holding some women to a different standard and beating them up for their politics should not be tolerated.