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Emily Ratajkowski, Melania Trump and the fight against slut-shaming

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Moya Crockett
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One is a self-proclaimed feminist and Democrat who campaigned against Donald Trump in the run-up to the US election. The other is the wife of – um – Donald Trump.

But Emily Ratajkowski and Melania Trump appear to have formed an unlikely alliance on Twitter in the fight against slut-shaming.

Earlier this week, Ratajkowski posted a string of tweets defending the first lady, after a male reporter described the president’s wife as a sex worker at a New York Fashion Week party.

“Sat next to a journalist from the NYT last night who told me ‘Melania is a hooker’,” the model and actress wrote on the social networking site. “Whatever your politics it’s crucial to call this out for what it is: slut shaming.”

She added: “I don’t care about her nudes or sexual history and no one should. Gender specific attacks are disgusting sexist bullshit.”

emily

Emily Ratajkowski (far left) with Alexa Chung and Christina Ricci at New York Fashion Week.

The journalist in question was New York Times features writer Jacob Bernstein, son of the late Nora Ephron, who has since apologised for making what he described as “a stupid remark about the first lady” in “what [he] thought was a personal conversation”.



Bernstein was repeating unverified rumours that the First Lady worked as a high-end escort in the 1990s. Trump has described these allegations as “100% false” and is currently suing the Mail Online for publishing them, claiming that their report could have cost her “multimillion-dollar business relationships” during the years in which she is “one of the most photographed women in the world”.

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Melania Trump, then Melania Knauss, with then-boyfriend Donald Trump in 2001.

However, Ratajkowski’s assertion that she couldn’t care less about the First Lady’s “nudes” appears to be a comment on Trump’s modelling days.

The former Melania Knauss posed naked for several publications in the 1990s and early 2000s, including an infamous cover shoot for British GQ in which she was photographed holding a gun and lying on a fur rug on Donald Trump’s private jet.



When these photos resurfaced during the election campaign, some Trump critics suggested that posing naked made Trump unfit to be first lady. However, this wasn’t an argument that was ever likely to fly with the staunchly liberal Ratajkowski. The 25-year-old supermodel has posed naked for photo shoots on countless occasions, and is a frequent defender of women’s right to sexual self-expression.

Melania Trump herself quickly responded to Ratajkowski’s tweets by thanking her for her support –throwing in a couple of novel hashtags for good measure.

“Applause to all women around the world who speak up, stand up and support other women!” FLOTUS tweeted, linking to Ratajkowski’s account. “#PowerOfEveryWoman #PowerOfTheFirstLady”.

Many Twitter users were quick to point out what they saw as Trump’s hypocrisy, given that she has not previously made a habit of ‘speaking up’ on behalf of other women.

The 46-year-old former model has never commented on the Women’s Marches that took place around the world on President Trump’s inauguration weekend, and claimed in October that the many women accusing her husband of sexual assault were all liars.

“I believe my husband,” she told CNN. She alleged that the claims of sexual assault were “all organised by the opposition”, adding: “They can never check the background of these women. They don’t have any facts.”

Images: Rex Features