| 03.19.2018

Misplaced blame — Melania Trump deserves to be treated fairly, despite her marriage


Husbands and wives — despite a lifelong commitment — make bad choices.

For years, women were to blame for a husband’s shenanigans. Now, it’s well known women aren’t liable for their spouse’s actions.

Every couple is different. Some share the exact same belief system, some disagree more than they agree.

That’s why I get confused when people refuse to work with Melania Trump because of her husband’s beliefs.

She has been purposefully vague on her political opinions. Melania is a private person and there’s nothing wrong with that, but ridiculous people are assuming she has the same political beliefs as her husband.

It’s known Bill and Hillary Clinton have almost identical beliefs because they have had a very public life in politics. Nowadays, no one would blame one Clinton for the other’s behavior.

So no one can blame Melania for Donald’s behavior and wild political movements.

Even if she does disagree with him, I don’t blame her for not speaking out. Melania and Donald, from what I’ve read, have pretty traditional gender roles. Donald provides monetary support and she raises children and runs the household. This is the life she wants and that’s OK.

Melania’s world has been turned upside down already. Speaking out against Donald would only change her life further, and not for the better.

It’s frustrating that designers are lumping Melania in with her husband, as if she has no independent thoughts or ideas.

Sophie Theallet was the first designer to openly refuse to dress Melania in an open letter published on social media in November. Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford have also declined to work with the new first lady.

Jacobs told Women’s Wear Daily he’d rather put his energy “into helping those who will be hurt by Trump and his supporters.”

In her letter, Theallet said her boycott stems from Donald’s “rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia.”

On the campaign trail, Melania and her stepdaughters Tiffany and Ivanka had a hard time finding designers to dress them. Luckily, Ivanka is a fashion designer, so the women used her products and bought the rest of their outfits.

Carolina Herrera and Tommy Hilfiger have been supportive of dressing the Trump women.

Here’s the thing: these designers have a problem with Donald, not Melania. So why is Melania being discriminated against and blamed for her husband’s actions?

The designers are preemptively turning down a work project because their beliefs do no align with Donald’s. I don’t want to point fingers and assign labels, but typically, these designers have more liberal viewpoints.

Meanwhile, business owners — who typically lean Republican — have refused to provide services for same-sex marriages because it violates their personal beliefs. This behavior has been condemned, while Theallet and others are being applauded for standing up against Donald.

If these designers are allowed to discriminate against someone, then business owners should be able to discriminate too.

The problem is, discrimination is wrong no matter who the discrimination is against. That’s why, as a society, there needs to be a choice made. Either business owners have the right to refuse, or they don’t — regardless of political leanings.

Melania will be the first non-natural born first lady, after moving to America from Slovenia. She became a citizen in 2006. As first lady, her first priority will be reducing cyberbullying.

Online bullying can lead children and young adults to struggle personally and at school, with higher rates of absences and depression.

Melania has also expressed support for education and other causes surrounding children.

I would think designers and others would want to show support for this woman, who in many ways embodies the American dream.

Tess Fox can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @tesstakesphotos

Related Posts
No comments

There are currently no comments to show.