Even though First Lady Melania Trump has continued to distance herself from her terrible husband, she’s still complicit with his presidency and is equally harmful to women in America.
In a stunning interview taped in Egypt during her tour of Africa last week, the First Lady was questioned about new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and other men who have been accused of sexual assault (like Melania’s own husband, the President of the United States). This was a moment where the First Lady could have made a powerful statement and moved things forward for women, but instead, she fell back on her privilege, internalized misogyny, and ignorance.
When ABC’s Tom Llamas asked Melania if she believed “men in the news” who have been accused of sexual misconduct, the First Lady gave a very disappointing response. She said:
We need to have really hard evidence that, if you are accused of something, show the evidence.”
Llamas was notably surprised and followed up with Melania, noting that many would say that “you need to stand with women.” Melania said:
I do stand with women. But we need to show the evidence. You cannot just say to somebody, I was sexually assaulted, or you did that to me, because sometimes the media goes too far. And the way they portray some stories, it’s not correct. It’s not right.”
Does Melania know that even with “hard evidence”, a good majority of sexual assault cases go nowhere? Or that the “hard evidence” — for example, rape kits — are either backlogged for years or never even tested? The law does not favor victims of sexual assault, and even when women do report (which most do not due to unfair treatment from police, victim-blaming, or a broken justice system), they rarely get the support or justice they need.
Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama never would have said something this careless or damaging. This interview just shows that Melania doesn’t have a clue and will still stand with her husband even when it makes no sense. You can watch the interview below:
Featured image via screen capture