You Can Be Anti-Trump Without Slut-Shaming Melania

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Melania Trump is the spouse of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, mother of young Barron Trump, and our country’s potential next first lady. But before all of that, Melania Trump was a model and during her modeling career she posed in several nude photos.

One of those photos, taken in 1995 when she was just 25 years old, is plastered across the Sunday cover of the New York Post.

The image, which features Mrs. Trump’s bare breasts censored with starrings, is accompanied by the charming headline: THE OGLE OFFICE.

Over the course of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency, Melania Trump’s past has all along been been used as ammunition against him, by liberals and conservatives alike. In March, a conservative anti-Trump Super PAC ran ads attempting to convince Mormons not to vote for him by trotting out nude photos Mrs. Trump took in 2000 for British GQ.

The ad featured an image of Mrs. Trump lying nude on a bed, and read, “Meet Melania Trump, your next First lady. Or, you could subsistence Ted Cruz…”

But it’s not just Republican who are guilty of this kind of rhetoric. People who would describe themselves as liberal have also taken shots at Melania’s modeling career. They’ve utilized her nude shots to dismiss her as a dumb trophy-wife, and to compare her to the “classy, ” current FLOTUS, Michelle Obama 😛 TAGEND

Misogyny is misogyny, and it shows itself on the two sides, as does the hypocrisy. In response to the Ted Cruz attack ad on his wife, Donald Trump tweeted an image “ve been meaning to” ridicule the appearance of Mrs. Cruz as compared to the apparently more beautiful Mrs. Trump. And responding to the New York Post’s sensationalized covering of Melania Trump this week, Trump advisor Jason Miller told CNN on Sunday: “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. She’s a beautiful woman.”

Why is Melania Trump being discussed by the media, by both liberal and conservative anti-Trumpers, and by her husband himself as if she is an object? Why is it that her former career and her appears are being used to attack her husband, when his politics, his blatant racism, and his dangerous, fear-mongering rhetoric should really be all the material one needs to call him out?

Of course, the sexist scrutiny that Mrs. Trump is getting should come as no surprise. Michelle Obama has undergone similar assaults over the last eight years. She’s been called, numerous times, an ape and a monkey. She’s been criticized for daring to depict her bare arms in an official White House photos. She’s even had her seems compared to Melania Trump’s in a horrifyingly sexist and racist cartoon.( One wonders where Melania’s defenders the people praising her nude photos as beautiful and “nothing to be ashamed of” were when Michelle Obama was shamed for exposing her arms .)

What this speaks to is how the First lady( or potential First lady) is still viewed as an extension of her husband, rather than as an individual in her own right. Even though first dames throughout history have done amazing things while in the White House, the Jackie O consequencepersists: We remain more obsessed with their clothes and their hair, than their passions and their projects.

Defending Melania Trump from being slut-shamed and reduced to a “thing” rather than a person, doesn’t mean having to defend Donald Trump if you disagree deeply with his message. He himself, after all, seems to be pushing her body and her beauty as a selling-point.

Ultimately, the nude photos are irrelevant. They tell nothing about Melania Trump’s character or her ethics, and they surely tell us nothing of Donald Trump’s.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S .

Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com

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