The first lady said was she “hates to see children separated from their parents” and hopes “both sides of the aisle” can come together.
No matter how much Melania Trump hates seeing children held in cages with foil sheets for blankets, this is a gross mischaracterization of a policy enacted by the Trump administration alone. To which she is intimately bonded.
On the same day, former first lady Laura Bush also spoke out against the zero tolerance policy, describing it as “cruel,” “immoral,” and “eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War Two, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in US history”.
Why is it so often women we turn to when holding to account policies enacted by men? It is a pattern that clearly demonstrates how women are held to higher ethical standards than men.
When political issues cross over into the moral domain, women tend to be called upon, or they come forward, to say something “as a woman,” or, if they really hit the moral jackpot, “as a mother.”
When White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was grilled about the separations policy, a male reporter appealed: “Come on Sarah, you’re a parent … Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?”
Meanwhile, as is customary in this stomach-turning charade, the men in power remain defiant. Or say nothing at all. Or quote the Bible.
And somehow, in the process, the moral imperative is weakened. We should all “hate” the separation of children from their parents, not because we are women or men, mothers or father. But because we are human. And it is wrong.