In a week where International Women’s Day celebrated women all over the globe, WJLA reported that the White House announced that First Lady Melania Trump would present the International Women of Courage Award to “an extraordinary group of women who have shown tremendous courage.” In the same week, the President of the United States took to Twitter and used tweets to degrade women that included members of the press and Hollywood.
This week Donald Trump also tweeted the suggestion that he was the only star in America, including a bracketed disclaimer that he was “just kidding.” Deadline reported that at a rally last evening, Donald Trump also degraded both Oprah Winfrey and Rep. Maxine Waters of Congress. He said he would love to run against Oprah Winfrey because he “knows her weaknesses” and he called Maxine Waters a “low IQ individual.”
Melania Trump has said nothing. She is also allegedly spearheading activism against bullies during her time as First Lady. But other than visiting some schools, giving speeches in dresses that cost more than some vehicles, and spending time with children, she has done absolutely nothing to change the face of bullying in America.
She’s living with someone whom many believe is the biggest bully in America. She says nothing when her husband degrades and demeans professionals and leaders in the nation, as he reportedly did just this weekend.
Meanwhile, Vice Impact reported that in a STOMP Out Bullying survey in December, 88 percent of teens said they felt the United States is lacking compassion right now. They blame Donald Trump for that. Donald Trump called New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman a “Hillary flunky” this week. He’s used the same insult for female members of Congress, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who he called a “lightweight and a flunky” for Senator Chuck Schumer.
Between October 19 and October 21 of last year, Donald Trump called Congresswoman Rep. Wilson “wacky” on Twitter three times.
That was just a few weeks after Melania Trump said the following to the United Nations General Assembly.
“By our own example, we must teach children to be good stewards of the world they inherit. We must remember that they are watching and listening so we must never miss an opportunity to teach life’s many ethical lessons along the way.”
It was during the election campaign in 2016 when Melania Trump made her possible future cyberbullying campaign known. President Bill Clinton gave thoughts on that at a rally for Hillary Clinton, saying he felt bad for Mrs. Trump.
Tweets with the theme of “start with your husband” began to be seen on Twitter after Melania’s United Nations speech.
Response from the public could echo those sentiments after the 2018 International Women of Courage (IWOC) Celebration, in which Mrs. Trump is scheduled to give remarks. The IWOC Courage Award was launched in 2007 to honor International Women’s Day and is the State Department’s only all-female award according to the White House. This year, over 120 women of courage from 65 countries are expected to appear at the IWOC Celebration.
The White House shared a press release on the topic, with a statement from Melania Trump.
“The fearlessness with which these women fight for equality and freedom in places far from the safety of their own homes, is remarkable. Their courage only furthers my belief in the powerful impact women can make through solidarity and support of one another. Our strength is something to be celebrated and I consider it a great privilege to have the opportunity to stand with these women and present them with awards they so justly deserve.”
It is possible that Melania Trump does care about the women and children of the world. It is also possible that Melania Trump wants nothing more than to publicly hand swat Donald Trump when he takes to Twitter to degrade brave women in the press, in Congress, or any woman with the courage to think she could run for the Oval Office. She has already swatted his hand publicly before.
But many of Melania Trump’s own constituents believe that just giving speeches is not enough. Many are asking her to swat away his more public behavior that is less offensive. Here is Mrs. Trump’s speech last year where she said kindness and setting good examples for children were important.
Vice Impact reported that Mrs. Trump has yet to release any information on any of her anti-bullying efforts that go beyond giving speeches. Her spokesperson Stephani Grisham said the following by email.
“As she has since day one of this administration, Mrs. Trump is focused on the overall well-being of children and looks forward to announcing her initiatives in due time.”
That was December 2017.
Melania Trump has never professed to be a feminist. But people do notice when she talks about how adults need to set examples for children. They will notice when she speaks at a conference for women that her husband has a reported history of not treating women so well.
There is a palpable incongruency between words from the White House and actions from the White House.
Today, it is possible that the same Wifi signal that was used to release the press announcement of Melania Trump’s upcoming speaking engagement for women is also the same Wifi signal being used for Donald Trump to attack women on Twitter. Beyond speaking at the IWOC Celebration later in March, it is unclear if Melania Trump has any further initiatives to speak out against bullying. They may be announced, “in due time.”