Why do feminists hate Trump

Melania Trump, the modern feminist

"Free Melania!" Was for a while on banners of demonstrators who wanted to say that Melania Trump deserved better than sitting in the golden cage of the White House, at the mercy of a presumably boozy, or at least boozy, husband who tweeted. Kate Bennett, a journalist for CNN television, picked up the slogan and turned it around. "Free, Melania" is the title of a biography with which she tries to at least come close to solving the riddle. The riddle of what this first lady actually stands for. What a woman hides behind the facade of the narrow, sometimes frozen-looking smile.

Melania Trump, according to Bennett's thesis, does not have to be freed from the golden cage, because she is already free. By sometimes doing the exact opposite of what her husband expects her to do, she is a modern feminist. The thesis sounds daring because there is no shortage of contemporaries who see the First Lady as something like Donald Trump's fig leaf. The other day in Baltimore, talking about her project "Be Best," she was mercilessly booed by high school students. The initiative makes cyberbullying an issue, it calls for a friendlier tone on social media. It just has a credibility problem when the most famous of all cybertyrants resides in the White House. In addition, Donald Trump had insulted the city of Baltimore in the summer as a "rat-infested shithole", for which Melania received the angry receipt months later.

If you follow Bennett, then you are in any case well advised to pay close attention to the first lady's choice of clothes. That is their way of setting an example, including signs of silent protests. With this, a woman, whose facial expression in front of the cameras does not reveal any emotions, which does not reveal any cracks in the fortress wall, at least indicates what is going on behind the scenes,

There would be that January day in 2018 on which the 45th President of the USA gives his first speech on the State of the Union and she appears in the parliamentary gallery in a white Christian Dior trouser suit. Pantsuits are Hillary Clinton's trademark, Donald Trump doesn't like it when women wear them. And white was the color of the suffragettes who once marched for women's suffrage.

In this respect, a white trouser suit could only be understood as a visual sign of contradiction. Three weeks earlier, it had become public that New York lawyer Michael Cohen had paid a porn actress named Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, $ 130,000 so that she would not chat about a sex affair with Trump during the 2016 election campaign. "My theory," Bennett generalizes, "is that whenever the Trumps argue, Melania wears men's clothes."

"Does she have feelings?"

Now the CNN reporter is the only one in the White House Press Corps, the group of journalists who report exclusively on government headquarters, which has no other task than to devote itself to the First Lady. Which of course does not mean that the First Lady gave her deep insights into her soul. Melania, writes the author, is so prone to secrecy that wild speculations are the inevitable result. "Does she hate life in the White House? Does she have feelings?" In Washington, for example, there is a rumor that she doesn't live in the White House at all, but with her son Barron and her parents in Potomac, a cozy suburb of the capital. Bennett leaves it at the curt hint that she couldn't find any evidence.


All the more idiosyncratic she interprets an episode that left Melania Trump caught in the crossfire of criticism amid a humanitarian crisis. While children were separated from their parents on her husband's instructions after coming from Mexico without valid papers, while an outcry of outrage raged across liberal America, she flew to McAllen to see the Texas border town. "I really don't care, do u?" Was written in casual English on the jacket she was wearing there. She didn't really care: Everything seemed to come together in the line, coldness of feeling, shrugging of shoulders in the face of human suffering, draconian harshness in immigration policy.

In truth, Kate Bennett believes, the message was intended for the President's favorite daughter. It was a jacket from Zara, Ivanka Trump swears by the label, and the first lady practically wanted to show her the finger. Because Ivanka gave the impression that she had persuaded her father to end the family separation. When in truth it was Melania who had advocated it most persistently. The first lady has not commented a word so far. (Frank Herrmann from Washington, December 16, 2019)