Barack Obama penned a pow­er­ful, deeply per­sonal es­say about fem­i­nism in Glam­our magazine

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Malia, Sasha, and Pres­i­dent Obama / Obama fam­ily Obama said rais­ing his daugh­ters has helped shape his fem­i­nism. The White House

Barack Obama cel­e­brated his 55th birthday by pub­lish­ing a lengthy and deeply per­sonal ar­ti­cle in Glam­our magazine about fem­i­nism.

Obama is the first sit­ting pres­i­dent to pub­licly pro­claim that he’s a fem­i­nist. Michelle Obama hosted the first United State of Women sum­mit in June, and both Oba­mas have shown their strong sup­port for Hil­lary Clin­ton, the first woman to win a ma­jor party’s nom­i­na­tion.

But Obama’s es­say in Glam­our fo­cused less on the pol­icy and more on the per­sonal.

“While I’ll keep work­ing on good poli­cies — from equal pay for equal work to pro­tect­ing re­pro­duc­tive rights — there are some changes that have noth­ing to do with pass­ing new laws,” he wrote. “In fact, the most im­por­tant change may be the tough­est of all — and that’s chang­ing our­selves.”

Obama touched on the fac­tors that have shaped his own fem­i­nism: ad­mi­ra­tion for the ca­reers of his mother and grand­mother, and re­spect for how Michelle bal­anced her ca­reer and par­ent­ing.

But the biggest thing that has in­flu­enced him, he said, is watch­ing his daugh­ters grow up.

“I also have to ad­mit that when you’re the fa­ther of two daugh­ters, you be­come even more aware of how gen­der stereotypes per­vade our so­ci­ety,” he wrote. “You see the sub­tle and not-so-sub­tle so­cial cues trans­mit­ted through cul­ture. You feel the enor­mous pres­sure girls are un­der to look and be­have and even think a cer­tain way.”

Fight­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion, he wrote, is about chang­ing the cul­ture — some­thing Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den has em­braced as well. At the women’s sum­mit in June, Bi­den en­cour­aged men to stand up against misog­yny and rape cul­ture.

“We need to keep chang­ing the at­ti­tude that raises our girls to be de­mure and our boys to be as­sertive, that crit­i­cizes our daugh­ters for speak­ing out and our sons for shed­ding a tear,” Obama wrote. “We need to keep chang­ing the at­ti­tude that pun­ishes women for their sex­u­al­ity and re­wards men for theirs.”

The ar­ti­cle was widely praised on so­cial me­dia.

At the end of the es­say, Obama called on read­ers to ap­pre­ci­ate that the ap­proach­ing elec­tion is a “his­toric mo­ment,” re­gard­less of po­lit­i­cal views. He noted the im­por­tance of young girls like his daugh­ters hav­ing fe­male role mod­els in po­si­tions of power and in­flu­ence.

“I want them to know that it’s never been just about the Ben­jamins; it’s about the Tub­mans too,” he wrote. “That’s what twenty-first cen­tury fem­i­nism is about: the idea that when every­body is equal, we are all more free.” Traf­fic drives on the left. Roads are nar­row and steep, with few guardrails. Do not pick up hitch­hik­ers. Road­side as­sis­tance is not widely avail­able.

Public trans­porta­tion

Reg­u­lar minibus ser­vices are fast and in­ex­pen­sive. Taxis are avail­able at air­ports and resort ar­eas. Con­firm fares be­fore de­part­ing.

Obama said rais­ing his daugh­ters has helped shape his fem­i­nism.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.