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Friday, January 20, 2017



I was going to write about how I thought Michelle Obama was fibbing when she said "I don't like labels" when someone asked her if she was a feminist. 

I was sure that she was fibbing because I could see "feminist" leaking out of her left, right, center, and everywhere. She made 100K more than her husband in 2006. Furthermore, she and her husband trusted one another enough that he didn't work as much sometimes (so he could build his political resume?) And...And...And....And...

I was sure because I also knew that a google search of "feminist" pulls up all sorts of hateful crap just a few years ago. Michelle couldn't afford to have anything blow back on Barack, especially not during his first term.

Team Obama is solid. So I thought she fibbed.
In sacrifice for his chance to be president, she'd already quit her career and then proceeded to act more and more like her brain only really functions for children and physical fitness. She did that for a good long while. After seeing what happened to Hillary while she was first lady, for the first four years of  Barack's presidency Michelle Obama dumbed-it-way-down when she was in front of the press.

And dumbing it down still wasn't enough. She was still attacked constantly.

After Barack Obama was re-elected she was able to open her mouth and display her wit, commitment, and intellect a little more. And she was braver than I thought was wise at times -- though I was glad. But I know she's still fairly shut down because she still cannot afford to draw but so much negative attention to her husband the president.

Negative attention in patriarchy land 2016 is a president's wife displaying that she has more than a little common sense.

I think Barack and Michelle are a team down to their collective bone marrow and I always have. I think the president would be a fool to not listen to her advice any time she gives it. And he's no fool even if I don't agree with him all the time.

But in patriarchy land? It WOULD BE foolish for a male president to appear to be sharing his presidency, sharing official decisions with his wife -- even if that's more true than not.

Michelle Obama's sacrifices for her husband will likely never be known, but I'm thinking her halfway denying her feminism was likely one of them -- unless you think Barack Obama is a feminist raising feminist daughters without Michelle being one too?
* * * * * 

While I was doing research to write this blog post,  I found out Barack Obama wrote an essay on being a feminist father. 

"The September issue of Glamour magazine will carry an essay, already published on the magazine’s website, written by President Obama on the issue of feminism. Obama, who has made it clear in the past that he’s a feminist, both explicitly and implicitly with his policy implementations, took the opportunity to talk about how being a dad has helped him recognize the need for gender equality as he’s watched his daughters grow up in the White House. Obama said prior to moving into the White House, his long commutes made it difficult for him to be the type of father and husband he aimed to be. That changed, he said, when almost eight years ago he began working in a home office. Obama candidly admitted that in retrospect he’s able to see how the demands of his previous professional schedule unfairly impacted Michelle Obama’s life and ability to raise a family."
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