Thank you President Obama for penning an essay that stands up for Michelle, Malia, Sasha and all American women. And, it’s especially important that you did this now while we face the prospect that Donald Trump could be our new Misogynist-in-Chief.
Leave it to the country’s Father-in-Chief, President Obama, to write an essay for Glamour magazine, calling out our culture which “raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive.” The dad of Malia, 18, and Sasha, 15, has had it with a society that “criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear.”
“We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs.” It’s an extraordinary and long overdue move for a president to champion women as equals. And it couldn’t have come soon enough. With Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, verbally insulting women for months, AND the Republican party setting a party platform that sets back women’s rights — no abortion even for rape or incest, for example — many American women have felt like they were heading back into the Stone Age.
After all, if the GOP nominee makes it ok to call women “pigs,” “slobs,” “bimbos,” then there are a lot of other men who will follow his example. Here’s just some of what we’ve endured from him. He called Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “too disgusting” because she had a bathroom break during a Democratic debate.
He implied that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly asked him tough questions during a debate, because she was having her period. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” he complained. He insulted fellow GOP nominee contender, Carly Fiorina’s looks — “Look at that face, would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that?”
Donald Trump even had harsh words for the gorgeous Heidi Klum – “Sadly, she’s no longer a 10.”
It’s this steady, misogynistic drivel that American women have been subjected to that’s been so disheartening.
Not only did it go unchallenged by the Republican party — many of whom cheered on Trump for not being politically correct — but they did nominate him as their presidential candidate. Trump even recently call ex-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson and anchor Megyn Kelly “ungrateful” for alleging sexual harassment by Fox News ex-CEO Roger Ailes, who he described as a “very, very good person.”
That’s why it was especially empowering to have President Obama, a father of two daughters, write a manifesto on the importance of changing outdated ideas about women. You can read the whole essay here.
“We need to keep changing the attitude that values being confident, competitive and ambitious in the work place – unless you’re a women. Then you’re being too bossy, and suddenly, the very qualities you thought were necessary for success end up holding you back,” he wrote.
His point is that for all the progress we’ve made in the past 50 years since the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s, women remain limited by sexist attitudes and expectations. In the working world, women still only earn 79 cents for every dollar of a man’s. Women are still not guaranteed paid maternity leave when they have babies. Women still shoulder a majority of the childcare and housekeeping responsibilities.
Women still routinely hit their heads against glass ceilings as they try to grow their careers. Only 4.4 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO and women make up just 19.9 percent of the board of directors of the those companies. Meanwhile, as President Obama so rightly points, women can’t win in the office. If they are assertive and ambitious goal-oriented managers, they are “b***ches” or “ball busters,” while men are called ambitious go-getters, when they have the very same traits.
If women date multiple guys and/or aren’t ready to settle down, they are called “sluts” by both men and other women. Guys who juggle women are “players,” who are celebrated by their male peers. It’s a double-standard world, even without Donald Trump adding fuel to the anti-feminist flames.
So thank you President Obama for writing that it’s important for Malia and Sasha to know that “their dad is a feminist,” as you pointed out, “because now that’s what they expect of all men.”
Yes, we do need to expect that of all men… and all women,and especially of our leaders. It’s 2016. We may have our first female president in Hillary Clinton, and it’s long past the time for backwards attitudes towards women to exist. We are equal and deserve equal opportunities.
President Obama wrote that he wants to “ensure that America is a place where every single child can make of her life what she will.”
I second that. Do you, Hollywoodlifers? Let me know.