Melania and the Tradition of Despots' Wives



What is the role of women in a political movement as misogynistic as President Donald Trump's? What does it take to be the consort to an authoritarian? The first requirement for such a figure is accepting that the chief role of the feminine in an autocracy is to bolster male sexual power. "How I adore you," Clara Petacci wrote to Benito Mussolini after making love to him, according to a book of her letters. "You were so beautiful this evening, as aggressive as a lion, violent and masterful. You are the man who triumphs over other men and over life."

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