Melania Trump’s speech on the opening night of the Republican National Convention (RNC) bore striking similarities to Michelle Obama’s speech as potential first lady at the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC). Allegations of plagiarism are saturating newscasters and social media, and the Donald Trump campaign is frantic; so it has defaulted to what it knows best – misogynist attacks on presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a shameless attempt to divert attention away from its own mistakes.
In the aftermath of the plagiarized speech scandal, Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort took an early morning spot on CNN to say, “Once again, this is an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks to demean her and take her down.”
Unsurprisingly, this statement cannot be corroborated since Clinton has not made a statement on Melania Trump’s speech scandal. Manafort is just throwing out misogynistic lies that paint Clinton as a ‘catty’ woman, which his target audience will unflinchingly accept as the truth.
Trump supporters are already going wild for t-shirts and bumper stickers reading “Trump that Bitch!” Clinton is being branded as the epitome of misogynistic stereotypes of woman. She is a career woman who works hard to get what she wants in the workplace, therefore she is a ‘bitch.’ Trump does the same thing and he is ‘successful.’ Clinton is a woman, and women get into ‘cat fights’ with rival women; never mind that Clinton has never treated Melania Trump as a rival.
The myth of the ‘catty woman’ is easily debunked, as Facebook executive and feminist Sheryl Sandberg eloquently does in a New York Times op-ed. Successful woman do not maintain their status by trampling on other women; they succeed because they work hard and they work smart, just like successful men.
The Trump campaign as a whole should not be able to survive by peddling such egregiously false, sexist superstitions. It speaks volumes about the primitive views of his supporters and the current state of feminist issues in America that he gets away with it time and again.
Watch Manafort’s comments here:
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) July 19, 2016
Here is a comparison between Melania Trump’s speech and Michelle Obama’s.
Melania Trump, RNC 2016:
My parents impressed on me the values: that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. They taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son.
And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. [Cheering] Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.
Michelle Obama, DNC 2008.
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And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.
And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.