During her solo tour of Africa, first lady Melania Trump was interviewed by ABC News correspondent Tom Llamas. Unfortunately, thanks to the prevalence of constant public attacks on sexual-assault survivors in the name of powerful men, LLamas asked her about #MeToo. Her answer is exactly what you’d expect if you consider the people she’s around the most.
“What is your take about the #MeToo movement, though? Do you believe in them?” Llamas asked.
Melania Trump jumped straight into men vs. women rhetoric. “I support the women and they need to be heard. We need to support them. And also men, not just women.”
Maybe this was a call from Melania to recognize that it isn’t just women who are sexually assaulted? However, her later answers make me doubt that. When asked about whether she believed the men reported for sexual harassment, Mrs. Trump had a pretty Trumpy answer.
“I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence,” she said. “You cannot just say to somebody, ‘I was sexually assaulted,’ or ‘You did that to me,’ because sometimes the media goes too far. The way they portray some stories, it’s not correct. It’s not right.”
It’s important to note that when journalists do original reporting on sexual violence, the amount of corroboration and evidence they seek and verify is not small. It’s also worth noting that Melania is married to one of the men who’s had numerous women report that he committed various forms of sexual violence against them. Not only has he been caught on tape bragging about sexual assault, but during a radio show appearance, he also agreed that he’s a sexual predator.
It’s ridiculous to expect victims of sexual violence to keep quiet if they don’t have evidence. That is asking them to swallow their pain and let assailants continue to escape culpability. This is part of a coordinated Republican media attack meant to shame and silence survivors.
"I do stand with women. But we need to show the evidence."
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 10, 2018