How Melania Trump Is Redefining What It Means To Be First Lady

#FreeMelania has been a trending Twitter hashtag circling around the web since the inauguration of Donald Trump as President about two weeks ago. Melania Trump, the First Lady, stayed the night at the White House but left for New York once the weekend ended.

Not since Abigail Adams has the First Lady not lived in the White House since day one of their spouse’s administration. The results of this have already manifested itself, as the White House is far behind on its annual Easter Egg Roll planning.

Maybe the White House should hire someone else to do it?

It is not known whether Melania describes herself as a feminist, but it is certainly a feminist thing to do to refuse the role of First Lady from the get-go. And honestly, we should all understand her decision. She isn’t a political wife, she was a supermodel and for the longest time has been the wife of a businessman, not a politician. She refuses to have here life upended because of her husband’s career and his choice to run for president. I respect that, I really do.

But the White House needs to adapt itself to this because the traditional duties of the First Lady are being neglected because the First Lady isn’t doing them. There’s nothing wrong with Melania trying to make the position her own, or not her own, but if that’s what she’s going to do they should probably hire people to handle those duties because someone needs to do them. Those state dinner’s don’t plan themselves.

It’s a tradition that began with Hillary Clinton when she decided to spearhead the Clinton Administration’s health care agenda. She said it, now I’ll say it: before it was called Obamacare, it was called Hillarycare. With this election though, either way we were going to have a different first lady, because the spouse of one of the candidates wasn’t a lady at all, but a beloved former president.

If Hillary won, Bill Clinton would have taken the role of the first lady and upended it, making his time there a referendum on gender roles and gender stereotypes, which would have been arguably just as historic as a woman president.

But when Barron’s school year ends, and Melania moves to Washington to live in the White House, how will she adapt to the role of First Lady? Will she continue to revolutionize the office, or will she conform to traditional duties?

One thing is for sure, there is nothing typical about the time we’re living in, there is nothing typical about the Trumps. If they seem eager to change the White House during their four years, why stop at the west wing?

 

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