Small ask: If you were thinking of using women’s naked bodies as political talking points, don’t.
Just this week the used menstrual pad dirty bird-cage lining newspaper the New York Post released several decades-old nude photos of potential FLOTUS Melania Trump. I must protest that these are even news-worthy as it’s long been known she posed nude or close to it since Donald got together with her in the 90s. Regardless, people are collectively losing their shit over said photos.
But it’s not the Christian right or “family values” conservatives whose heads are exploding. No, it’s the progressive left’s. My team. Obviously, conservatives who love Trump should not support a candidate who’s wife is a former bikini model with breasts of questionable authenticity, and they must know they are bad and wrong for being such hypocrites!! Disgusting!!! TO TWITTER!!!
According to these people’s own statements, they want to point out hypocrisy and/or sway votes by tweeting the photos Melania’s boobs and asking “WHAT THE HECK, CONSERVATIVES, WHY DON’T YOU HATE THIS?”
Here is why using a woman’s body to make a political point about hypocrisy is a terrible idea and you should throw your phone into a fire instead of go through with it:
Is it hypocritical for conservatives to slut-shame only when it’s politically convenient but not when it’s not? Absolutely. Do they think it’s hypocritical, or really even care? Absolutely not. The conservative Christian/family values bloc hates the left and status quo sooooo muuuccchhh they will gladly set aside their moral standards, or change them as they see fit, to make sure Hillary never sets foot on the White House lawn again.
Despite this inconvenient cognitive dissonance, the left feels it has the moral obligation to tell their political opponents they are dumb and wrong, a tactic that definitely always works when it comes to changing hearts and minds.
What happened instead, as evident in the replies to these tweets, the right has latched on to its favorite seasonal pastime: an opportunity to call the left the hypocrites.
Disseminating these photos just ads fuel to the right’s hatred of the left and the “liberal media” because now we’re the ones attaching shame around female nudity to a public crisis.
Your response is of course that YOU aren’t shaming her. You’re a feminist! You’re just posting the photos she willingly took and you have ~all the respect~ for women! and sex positivity! active consent! Her nudity isn’t a problem for you, you’re just telling other people it should be a problem for them and their beliefs and goals!
For your consideration: “You shouldn’t vote for Trump because his wife was naked once,” doesn’t carry any more moral weight or political truth coming from the left than from the right. It propagates the patriarchal myth that naked women and “family values” can’t exist in the same space by insisting other people should believe it. It’s anti-feminist and regressive.
For further consideration: you don’t have to post actual naked boobs to make a point about someone else’s beliefs. But some of you did it anyway. You didn’t post just a photo of tits, but also all the history, symbology, mythology, religiosity, and patriarchy that is irrevocably attached to them.
How many people (ahem, men) have over the centuries used women’s bodies for their own motivations? Whether physically in the form of sex/procreation, or visually in the form of advertisements or political campaigns or the insatiable craving for retweets, women are constantly used for various political and socials ends, so CAN WE PLEASE JUST NOT BE FOR 5 FUCKING SECONDS?
If you posted these photos to call someone else hypocritical by reasserting their belief that female nudity is shameful, you are guilty of using women’s bodies for your personal political talking points through patriarchal means.
So please, don’t use women’s bodies as tools, even if you think the ends justify the means. Strive to be better. Don’t be the hypocrite the Trumpers say you are. Be. Better.