White House adviser Peter Navarro sparked an intense backlash for comparing Melania Trump to Jackie Kennedy.
Speaking to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Navarro said:
I find [Melania Trump] to be the Jackie Kennedy of her time. The beauty, the elegance, the soft-spokenness.
I think she'll deliver a powerful message to the American people.
Melania Trump indeed went on to deliver a speech from the White House Rose Garden as part of the Republican National Convention that evening. Whether or not it was "powerful" is another question entirely.
Obviously, the number one issue with Navarro's comment is how incredibly patronising it is.
Women should be beautiful and soft-spoken?
Peter Navarro describing @flotus “beauty, elegance, soft-spokenness” - the administration’s view of women
But people chose to focus far more on the comparison to Jackie Kennedy.
What likely inspired Navarro's comment was the fact that Melania Trump recently completed a renovation of the White House Rose Garden, which had gone largely untouched since the Kennedy administration.
Trump removed flowerbeds thought to be planted by Jackie Kennedy and uprooted some of the garden's iconic blossom trees.
Before and after photographs of newly renovated White House Rose Garden:
courtesy #Getty and @marycjordan https://t.co/w6bzoNHMjC
— Michael Beschloss (@Michael Beschloss)
But far too many of the criticisms centred on Trump's appearance and former modelling career.
Nudity shaming and misogyny isn't suddenly okay when it's perpetrated against someone whose ideology you're opposed to.
Women deserve respect because we are people. Not because we fit into a particular mould of what you think a woman should be.
To tear Trump down because you don't think she's beautiful, elegant, or soft-spoken is to accept that these are the standards a woman should be held to. And we absolutely don't expect the same from men.
i want to make a witty response but then i read the replies to this tweet and like... can we not with the misogyny… https://t.co/bNaiFc5SKp
— timmy, the first openly gay muppet 💕🤗 (@timmy, the first openly gay muppet 💕🤗)
So maybe we could just stop comparing the appearances and personal lives of presidents' wives altogether?
Because the standards we hold the First Lady to – and, frankly, the concept altogether – is outdated and tired.