In response to claims about her own silence, Meryl Streep made a comment about the two Trump women to the New York Times concerning their silence in the #MeToo movement. To which I find myself asking…why do you expect to hear anything from them?
“I don’t want to hear about the silence of me,” the Oscar winner told The New York Times in an interview released Wednesday. “I want to hear about the silence of Melania Trump. I want to hear from her. She has so much that’s valuable to say. And so does Ivanka. I want her to speak now.”
But, Streep is not the first person to put some sort of weird, unfounded hope on Ivanka Trump’s doorstep.
From the beginning, people were saying that Ivanka and Jared (or Javanka as Mueller puts it) were going to come into the White House and be center-leaning voiceboxes in Trump’s orange ear because they may be backing him now as a Republican candidate, but Ivanka exists in a liberal circle. The amount of ‘Melania is secretly waiting to divorce Trump and hates him on the low key’ news were some of the most clicked stories on Jezebel last year. People have so much manufactured sympathy for the gilded cage they imagine around Melania. But here is the dirty secret…
They. Don’t. Care.
They have proven that with their silence and their complicit behavior in the face of Trump’s multiple horrendous statements. Acting as though Ivanka saying “Happy Holidays” is subtle shade at her father’s “war on Christmas” propaganda is a reach at best. Plus, she’s also Jewish so it’s not like she would say Merry Christmas anyway.
Melania’s face just looks like that. She has chronic resting face and also knows she’s constantly in front of a camera and is trying to keep her face tight so she doesn’t make ridiculous faces in photos. She used to be a model and after 12 cycles of America’s Next Top Model even I know that trick.
These are not women who are suffering, they are in two very important positions due to their association with a man whose sexist and racist history is only a Google search away. Ivanka cannot even write a book that isn’t just a collection of cliches and quotes taken out of context, yet she is assumed to be some sort of covert liberal smoke bomb just waiting to go off. Well, it’s been a year and we’ve seen her father defend Nazis, attempt to ban trans people from the military, pull out of the Paris accord, and been repeatedly accused of sexual assault and worse.
Ivanka and Melania have served one purpose: providing an attractive, “intelligent” female face to Trump’s movement. He is pushing racist, antisemitic, and anti-immigrant rhetoric while his Jewish daughter, who herself is the daughter of an immigrant, and his immigrant wife both stand beside him: they are content.
And that is their choice. Because make no mistake, if they wanted to do something, they could. Neither of these two women is stupid. Melania speaks several languages and despite the plagiarized speech having made people think she is just some stupid puppet, I think that is just indicative of laziness more than intelligence. Ivanka may have nepotism in her corner, but contrary to what Bannon has said about her, I don’t think she’s dumb. I think she’s a complicit heiress who knows that she’s the favorite and is milking that. Plus, she may actually love her dad…I guess.
However, between the two, I find Ivanka is the one who irritates me the most because everything about her presentation rings false. Let’s not forget she donated to Hilary Clinton’s campaign in 2007, as did her brother, and Trump’s second ex-wife Marla Maples. This a family without scruples when it comes to politics, which is probably why people project so much onto them. They stand for so little, so why not project onto them?
Plus, it’s not like we don’t have a history of women in political families standing against their political fathers or husbands.
Both Alice Roosevelt Longworth and Eleanor Roosevelt were very outspoken, even when it was against their own family. Roosevelt-Longworth, daughter of TR, was an endless parade of sass during her father’s presidency, ignoring most (if not all) of the standards she’s was expected to perform. When her father and husband ran against each other, Alice supported her father’s Progressive Party rather than her husband’s Republican Party.
During the presidency of her cousin, FDR, she was one of his toughest personal and political critics one calling him “one-thirds mush and two-thirds Eleanor” and her syndicated newspaper column condemned his policies, becoming a home for anti-New Deal rhetoric.
Eleanor Roosevelt frequently used her public persona to promote African American civil rights movements, even when FDR could not publically do so for fear of losing the South. She also condemned the Japanese internment camps that her husband opened. That’s right, a First Lady can actually condemn a racist and anti-immigrant policy set up by her own husband. Imagine that.
Even after his death, she would talk about their political differences: “The political influence that was attributed to me was nil where my husband was concerned …If I felt strongly about anything, I told Franklin, since he had the power to do things and I did not, but he did not always feel as I felt.”
Betty Ford, the wife of the unimpressive Gerald Ford, was an outspoken woman who, despite being the wife of a conservative president, “argued passionately for equal rights for women […] mused about drugs, abortion and premarital sex aloud and without regret.”
According to an interview with McCall’s in 1975, Ford said that if she was asked how often she and her husband had sex her answer would be “As often as possible.”
She was also openly pro-choice and an active feminist who opened up a center to deal with drug addiction, she was also open about her own fight with addiction. Again, she was the wife of a Republican, conservative President. Mind you, Ford was not elected to the position; he got it when Nixon left. But when he didn’t get elected again, Betty Ford’s approval numbers were higher than his.
So you can miss me with any argument that Ivanka and Melania can’t do more. Many, better, women from both sides of the aisle have already proven that they could.
We need to stop expecting things from these women. They have no loyalty to the “liberal” New York elite society that they have been a part of for years, they care only about themselves and maintaining their place in the world. They don’t speak up because they have nothing to say. They are content with their place in the Trump presidency and are content publically with what he does. Because even if they are speaking up behind the scenes, that means nothing because Trump isn’t listening. Unless they actually use their platform to say something publicly about him, I think we need to just accept that if you are looking for female allies in the “Republican” camp, they aren’t the ones.
Maybe give Tiffany a call?
(via Page Six, image: a katz / Shutterstock.com)
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