Well said, Mr. President. Barack Obama penned a touching essay about feminism on Thursday, August 4, and the importance of society at large to recognize that “when everybody is equal, we are all more free.”
The 44th president of the United States kicked off his piece for Glamour with the revelation that “the greatest unexpected gift” of being commander in chief has been the close proximity it has given him to his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Sasha, 15, and Malia, 18.
“As a result [of the presidency], I’ve been able to spend more time watching my daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful young women,” Obama, 55, wrote. “That isn’t always easy, either — watching them prepare to leave the nest. But one thing that makes me optimistic for them is that this is an extraordinary time to be a woman. The progress we’ve made in the past 100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years has made life significantly better for my daughters than it was for my grandmothers. And I say that not just as president but also as a feminist.”
Obama added that part of being a feminist is understanding that “gender stereotypes affect all of us, regardless of our gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.”
Hence, he wrote, he wants to set an example for his two daughters so that they see being women not as a limitation, but as a bonus.
“Michelle and I have raised our daughters to speak up when they see a double standard or feel unfairly judged based on their gender or race — or when they notice that happening to someone else,” Obama wrote. “It’s important for them to see role models out in the world who climb to the highest levels of whatever field they choose. And yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.”
Earlier this year, Obama was a “total dad” at Malia’s high school graduation, the mother of a fellow graduating senior told The Washington Post. “No fanfare. You didn’t know [the Obamas] were there.”
“I’m going to be sitting there with dark glasses, sobbing,” the president told Ellen DeGeneres on her show earlier this year of seeing his older daughter walk across the stage. “She’s one of my best friends. And it’s going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time. But she’s ready to go. You can tell. She’s just a really smart, capable person, and she’s ready to make her own way.”
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