When Michelle Obama visited Saudi Arabia in 2015, Donald Trump criticized her for not wearing a headscarf. When his own wife arrived today, also without a headscarf, the president didn’t seem to have much to say about the matter.
Women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear a headscarf – though foreign dignitaries are not – and Mrs. Obama received a lot of praise for electing not to wear what many consider to be a sign of oppression. Even Sen. Ted Cruz wrote, “Kudos to First Lady Michelle Obama for standing up for women worldwide and refusing to wear a Sharia-mandated head-scarf in Saudi Arabia. Nicely done.”
Donald Trump, however, had a different perspective:
Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted.We have enuf enemies
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2015
While the Saudi minister of foreign affairs told reporters “We welcome any style of clothing” from visiting dignitaries, Trump maintained that the Saudis were “insulted” by Obama’s clothing choice.
Trump has yet to issue any condemnation of his wife’s identical choice.
Publications are largely supporting Melania’s choice to forgo the headscarf. While some are writing as if Mrs. Trump is carrying on a tradition originated by Mrs. Obama, no first lady has ever worn the garment.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) May 20, 2017
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. His less-political Youtube channel can be found here. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW