There was a short edit of a piece of film – or a GIF – which was circulating on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and when I first saw this I wondered if it had been edited in some way.
It disturbed me, really disturbed me.
It disturbed me so much I spoke with my team colleagues about it. Amy, my Features Editor, made a statement having worked with victims of abuse, and she shares her story here.
I just felt a chill when I saw the change in Melania Trump’s face. The whole world was watching her, surely she knew this, but whatever feelings she was experiencing they were that strong that she couldn’t keep the smile going. The change from “smile” to “pain” was dramatic.
— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) January 23, 2017
Take a read of Amy’s feature and let us know your thoughts…
I’m not here to judge her. Not even a little. In my experience, most women I’ve met and talked to have been put in a position at one time or another where they have been treated poorly.
Do I think Melania is affected by his attitudes towards women? Absolutely. Does it matter if she chose to be married to him i.e. does she deserve to be treated ‘less than’? Absolutely not. Does it matter if he hits her? Nope. It’s all about power. The power differential between the two is very evident by his behavior and body language.
People pointed out differences between the way the Trumps have behaved in public with former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle’s body language, which suggested a more loving equal relationship.On Inauguration Day, when the Trumps got out of their car to greet the The Obamas, Trump left Melania in the car and ascended the stairs to greet Barack and Michelle on his own.
Communication and body language expert Susan Constantine told Mic
“Melania is an object to [Trump],” Constantine said. “I don’t see any warmth or true love and compassion in that relationship whatsoever.”
I’m so glad this GIF exists. pic.twitter.com/a4BNmzfa5C
— summer. (@SummerNazif) January 21, 2017
If someone sees you as inferior, how can they ever again see you as an equal? It just doesn’t happen. Power differentials are the reason for abusive behavior. “I am more than you… so I can do and say what I like”. Research says that you can’t get over that… look at the batterer recidivism rates for further reference.
Whether or not Donald Trump is a batterer, he does exhibit lack of regard for his wife and for women in general. People seem to be really torn about this. Is Melania an abused woman? Does she deserve what she gets because she asked for it? That goes against everything I believe in and stand for. No one ‘deserves it’. Ever. We take it for many different reasons.
We want to give people the benefit of the doubt. That their negative acts are because of outside influences; a bad day, a rough time, stress, issues… et cetera. We usually don’t seek out conflict or controversy, especially in our “close” relationships. Hell, I used to do the same with relative strangers… “Oh it’s okay. They really didn’t mean to be mean” or as I like to call it head-in-the-sand-ism. The judging of Melania needs to stop.
Perhaps all this can be explained away with the fact that she’s now the First Lady and as we’ve seen recently, her every move will be scrutinized? Perhaps. But I doubt that’s the reason for the look on her face in the above videos. When he faces her she smiles BIG, as soon as his back is turned complete dejection. Her facial expression speaks volumes to me.