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Monday, November 14, 2016

Merry Christmas From The First Lady ...

Over the weekend I posted a photo of Melania Trump both on my Facebook wall and on my Instagram account with the caption "Merry Christmas From The First Lady" . Ordinarily I think this is a fabulous photo and I would absolutely consider the products she was selling, be it eyeliner, diamonds, briefcases, hand-cuffs, stilettos or rugs... But Melania was now on path to becoming the First Lady of the United States Of America.

I was not 'slut shaming' her as one Republican voting type wrote on my wall, but pointing out the hypocrisy that if Michelle Obama, or for that matter Hillary Clinton, had been shot in such a manner, the whole remaining Republican voting white folk in the United States would be up in arms demanding an explanation. In fact, it was the Republican voting type that even had a name for it - until then I had no idea what 'slut shaming' was.

What I did find appalling, more than the Republican's comment, was that Facebook and Instagram removed both images without warning and with no explanation other than it did not meet their Community Guidelines. I think in the eight or nine years that I have been blogging and writing content on whatever I felt related to menswear and bow ties, this was the very first time I had been censored, and it did not feel right. It felt like my rights, and I am not even  a voting American, had been oppressed and compromised. Social media had meant that we are all connected to the same pipeline regardless of what country or continent we were on and yet here was a company willing to put a kink in that pipeline for the purposes of protecting the image of the spouse of a President-elect who had voluntarily been photographed for a GQ magazine shoot. I was not hacking her personal iCloud account, I was not using vulgar language. I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy and with alarming speed it was pulled down as content.

So, when a Republican voting type tells me it's none of my business to get involved in US politics I have to disagree. Your country has long used ours to follow you into conflicts we had no business in and your social media companies are now censoring my right to speak freely. It is all, sadly, interconnected.

As for Melania Trump, she is welcome to be my model for my bow ties any time she likes. I am just a little concerned she may not be the right fit for First Lady.

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