Observing the behavior of first ladies provides tips on how to deal with unwanted attention from U.S. President Donald #trump. His wife, Melania, swatted Donald’s tiny hand in Tel Aviv. Agata Kornhauser-Duda, the Polish first lady, first subbed his handshake and went straight to Melania to buzz the former Slovenian model and then gave Donald a one-second quickie handshake.

Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister #Shinzo Abe, had a classic response that wives of foreign leaders could learn a lesson or two from when it comes to diplomatic dodging. She pretended not to speak English. Akie fooled Trump who told The #New York Times on Wednesday, “So, I was seated next to the wife of Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe, who I think is a terrific guy, and she’s a terrific woman, but she doesn’t speak English.”

Video belies Trump

She did not even say “hello,” Trump added.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The New York Daily News, however, reported that the next day, a video of Akie reading a keynote address in English circulated. She delivered the talk on Sept. 25, 2014, at the Ford Foundation in New York. The 55-year-old first lady talked about land, sea, and coastal resilience for 15 minutes.

Her fluency in English is not surprising because her secondary education was at the Sacred Heart School. It is a private high school in Tokyo that uses the English language as its medium of teaching, according to The LA Times.

National Post noted that by pretending not to speak English, Akie used one of the greatest tricks in dinner diplomacy.

Advertisements

It is a trick she could pass on to other first ladies Trump might still meet if he remains president.

Not applicable to French FL

The trick, however, cannot be used by Brigitte Macron, the 64-year-old French first lady who appeared to have been harassed by Trump when he made a lewd comment about her physique, the National Post noted. Brigitte, after all, is a literature teacher at the Saint-Louis de Gonzague in Paris – her husband Emmanuel was her student in high school.

In the case of Akie, she likely was aware of Trump’s record of misogyny and disrespect for women so she decided to pretend Trump did not exist beside her for one hour and 45 minutes at the G20 Summit dinner in Hamburg, Germany. American writer Tony Kushner – the playwright of “Angels of America” who is writing a play about the real estate billionaire – could not help but agree with Akie. As a writer, besides describing Trump as a borderline psychotic, Kushner added that the Republican president is the kind of person he would avoid being stuck with at a party.