By Maryann Reid
While the world looks at Trump as the “winner” of the Presidential Election, there is another silent winner. Melania Trump. Over 50% of white women voted for Trump, but what if they really voted for Melania?
Melania abruptly found herself made into an “executive woman” with pop up “businesses”, and decision making power that may be out of her league. Frankly, anyone’s league whose never held public office or a full-time job in the last 15-20 years.
She told The New York Times that she would be a “traditional first lady” like Jackie Kennedy. Good luck, girl. Speeches, roundtables, dinners, Girl Scout campouts, Easter Egg rolls, and whatnot will replace cocktails at noon, and long leisurely summers on the yacht. She will feel what it means to be a modern American woman in a demanding work-horse culture. Who wouldn’t want to live this kind of American “dream”?
I’m sure Melania is ecstatic about her new found role, and the gift of First Lady from the American people. I see her secretly gushing over her revived “modeling” career and gracing the covers of Vogue, Elle, and other women’s magazines like Michelle did. A Melania White House would bring back traditional roles for women, giving them permission to be by their man’s side, while maintaining their femininity and independence. Wait, Michelle did that already. Michelle came into the White House with sculpted, sleek arms, razor sharp, wit and intelligence, and -- pastels. In the past, Melania bared it all. She has a unique opportunity to make the First Lady role her own by showing women how they, too, can be proud of their bodies and curves. Oh, Michelle did that, too
Perhaps, Melania will carve out her own role and leave Michelle’s in tact. But, some white women are expecting a lot from Melania. They put her in the White House. Michelle was nice, but maybe too much. The love affair quickly ended and the time came for someone new. Let’s take a look at those possible reasons white women secretly chose Melania and not Trump:
1) They’ve always been secretly jealous of Michelle. Melania will help bring back “white grace”. Michelle was too black, too beautiful, too smart, and didn’t look like them. Too much praise, like when Michelle Obama became First Lady, is often cloaked with envy.
2) “Getting grabbed by the pussy” behavior is rampant on college campuses. This behavior is not a “surprise” to white women and they’ve built ways to cope.
3) Melania is the epitome of white suburbia – she represents what its women aspire to be (kept, kept, kept) and red-state women admire (hello Kardashians).
4) White America saw the highly esteemed image of Barack and Michelle travel the world. They want people to forget and they think with a sharp contrast like Trump that they will.
5) White women – is Trump the patriarchy that you speak of? You speak on being held back by men, white men. Well, you listened to your white husband who was voting for Trump, and you voted same, too. How do you like that now?
White women are now charged with sitting down with their sons and daughters, and having that hard conversation. Why did they vote for a man who advocates violence, rape culture and racial polarization? What was it in Donald Trump that white women see in their own husbands? What is it in Melania that they want to become or already are?
The problem is not Donald, or Melania. More can be said about the white women who voted for him, than not.
Maryann Reid is the Digital Managing Editor of Black Enterprise magazine and author published by St. Martins Press. Her work has been featured in Glamour, USA Today, Newsweek, LifeHack, and more. Follow her on Twitter @realalphanista.