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Gisele Fetterman says she faces the same ‘vicious attacks’ that Meghan Markle, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jill Biden do as women in the public eye

John Fetterman speaks onstage as his wife, Gisele Barreto Fetterman, looks on.John Fetterman and Gisele Fetterman have been married for 14 years and have three children.

Nate Smallwood/Getty Images

  • In an Elle op-ed, Gisele Fetterman detailed the scrutiny she experiences as a politician’s wife.
  • When her husband, John Fetterman, sought treatment for depression, she faced “vicious attacks.”
  • She wrote that her experience resembles that of Meghan Markle, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jill Biden.

Gisele Fetterman says she receives 10 times more hate mail than her husband, Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania.

In a new Elle op-ed titled, “The Tired Trope of the ‘Power Hungry’ Woman,” Gisele Fetterman detailed the “vicious attacks” she said she’s faced as the wife of a politician and a woman in the public eye. She wrote that critics have mocked her immigrant background and appearance, blamed her for her husband’s stroke in May 2022, and accused her of plotting to fill his Senate seat.

She and her family also continue to receive “active threats of harm,” she wrote in the op-ed, which was published Thursday.

“They’re the same attacks leveled at Meghan Markle, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jill Biden — my apparent competitors for ‘worst wife in America,‘” she wrote. “They echo the dehumanizing bullying that women like Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama have faced for decades. And they leave women shouldering a heavier side of the blame, no matter what we do.”

When John Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed hospital to receive treatment for clinical depression in February, the attacks “exploded,” Gisele Fetterman wrote. She took her three children on an impromptu trip to Canada to escape the widespread scrutiny, and she was accused of kidnapping them and “failing” her husband.

“As much as I try to block them out, these attacks are really exhausting,” she wrote. “Some days I just feel drained and have to let it out in a good cry. Even more, I worry about the millions of women who hear these attacks on TV and social media and then internalize these myths in their own lives.”

Despite the constant criticism, Gisele Fetterman said she doesn’t want to grow a thicker skin because empathy “drives my career and provides me with purpose and hope.”

“When we demand that women steel themselves in the face of unending attacks, we teach the next generation to normalize and accept harassment,” she wrote. “In the end, it only puts the blame on women once again; telling us to toughen up or ignore it reasserts the idea that we need to accept when we’re treated poorly, instead of questioning why society permits abusive behavior.”

Gisele Fetterman and John Fetterman met in 2007 while he was serving as mayor Braddock, Pennsylvania, and she was working as a nutritionist and food justice activist. They’ve been married for 14 years. John Fetterman is expected to return to the Senate in mid-April after two months of intensive treatment at Walter Reed, Insider’s Warren Rojas reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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