Apparently, Melania Trump is a trophy wife. When she was referred to like this in Dutch media, I noticed it was done by men.
Even if Donald Trump indeed treats her like a trophy, does this make her a trophy wife? Or is Melania Trump a trophy wife, because others are labelling her like that?
A trophy is nothing but an object. The objectification of women means that women are treated as if they were objects. It is as if women are only reviewed for how they look, regardless their inner lives or feelings. ‘To objectify people is to strip them of their essential character, (..) wants, needs and desires.’ (A. G. Johnson, The Gender Knot, p. 201)
Objectification of women is widely spread and not uncommon in today’s society. We can see it all around us, in movies, advertisement, talk shows, but also at work. And indeed, we can recognize it often when Donald Trump is talking about women. We all know this man for his loathsome talk, humiliating statements and his infamous attest of ‘grabbing them.’
On January 21, the day after the inauguration of the new president of the United States of America, there will be Women’s Marches all over the world. It makes me happy to see that not just a few men will be attending as well, as it appears. I can imagine that people who did vote for Donald Trump last November are not automatically endorsing his lewd remarks.
These marches will be about inclusion, everyone is invited to join. Women, men, non-binary people, everyone who does not want to be restricted by a label, concerning gender, color, religion, health… A part of the participants have chosen to wear a pink pussyhat. Even though I am not a big fan of expression one self as a woman wear pink, I started knitting two pussyhats shortly after I found out about the Pussyhat Project.
I appreciate the Women’s March for it’s call for decency, dignity and respect. It is a composed and rational answer to the vulgar language of the future president. It expresses the discontent with the current climate that is full of hate of all kinds, the Netherlands included.
It is not okay for men to treat women as objects, to give them labels, to call them names, to associate them with weakness. This is an opportunity to show children growing up that it is not acceptable to belittle others.
Surely, the future First Lady will acknowledge these statements? I hope Melania Trump will join the March.
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This post is also available in: Dutch