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No, sl*t-shaming Melania Trump isn't okay. There are lots of other things to criticize her for.

The first lady took to the stage at the 2020 Republican National Convention, but rather than focusing on her morals and policies, folks chose to criticize her fashion model past.

No, sl*t-shaming Melania Trump isn't okay. There are lots of other things to criticize her for.
Image Source: Republicans Hold Virtual 2020 National Convention. WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 25. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As the 2020 Republican National Convention got underway, first lady Melania Trump eventually took the stage to deliver her much-awaited address. However, not many people had much to say about her speech itself. Instead, hordes of individuals took to Twitter in order to compare Trump to some of her predecessors. In tasteless side-by-side comparisons, they posted old photos of her modeling days and images of other first ladies, such as Michelle Obama and Jacqueline Kennedy. Now, there is no problem with having a political opinion in opposition to Trump's. However, no matter how much you dislike her, slut-shaming her isn't the answer.



 

 

No matter what side of the political spectrum you find yourself on, there are far more productive ways to criticize a woman than based on what she chooses to do with her body. So Trump used to model when she was younger, so what? Claiming she is any less suited for the role of the first lady is no different from claiming former first lady Michelle Obama, her predecessor, was bad at her role because she was muscular and "unfeminine." There is simply no need to attack a woman's body and what she chooses to do with it in order to highlight why she may be a bad leader. As author and activist Franchesca Ramsey pointed out in a tweet, "A woman has the right to do whatever she wants with her body even if she’s a bigot. There [are] so many legit criticisms of Melania that have nothing to do with her body and stooping so low is misogynist."



 

 

And she's right. "Melania sucks because she’s consistently enabled her fascist husband and happily pushed the racist birther conspiracy theory about Obama," Ramsey continued. "Her posing nude has nothing to do with her morality or value! There are more than enough legit things to drag her for. Promise." There are far more criticisms of Trump that extend beyond her past career. For instance, referring to the "racist birther conspiracy" the first lady has perpetuated, she said in an interview in April 2011, "It's not only Donald who wants to see [Obama's birth certificate], it’s American people... They want to see that." There is perhaps nothing more racist than demanding that a Black American citizen present their birth certificate after they have surpassed several obstacles of deep-seated racism in White America.



 

 

So, while she may have got up on that stage at the 2020 RNC to state that she had "reflected on the racial unrest in our country" and that she was "not proud of parts of our history," she has done little to address this "racial unrest." Further to this, Trump has been an accomplice in propping up President Donald Trump's bigotry. Some may claim she is just a "victim" in this scenario, a sugar baby who somehow became the nation's first lady, but she has aided and abetted her husband, enabling his terrible policies. When we focus on a woman's body as our center of criticism, we do a disservice to all women—yes, even liberal women. Let's focus on something of more substance, shall we?



 

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