America's dad, President Obama, is absolutely killing it during his last year in the White House, which kind of stings, since it just goes to show how much his supporters will miss him. Now, they have Obama's Glamour article on being a feminist dad as more proof that he's the coolest president ever. I mean, really. Just a decade ago, who would have imagined that a U.S. president would ever identify as a feminist?
Obama begins writing that the "greatest unexpected gift of this job has been living above the store," giving him more time to spend with his daughters. It's hard for him to watch them become adults, but he's hopeful, because "this is an extraordinary time to be a woman." He points out the progress we've made — and that's an important part, his continued use of the word "we" throughout the article. He's not a "feminist ally." He doesn't "support feminists." He is a feminist, and this is his fight, too. "[W]e shouldn’t downplay how far we’ve come," he wrote, but there's still work to be done. He vows to continue working on legislation, but points out that changing perceptions and attitudes is up to all of us. Here are the best quotes from his article:
"One of my heroines is Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm"
"One of my heroines." He has multiple heroines. That's actually a pretty big deal. Go ask the nearest man to list his heroines and report back on how long he took to answer. I'll wait.
"Gender stereotypes affect all of us"
As the great Hermione Granger (one of my heroines) said to the United Nations in 2014, "Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either." Male feminism isn't just about supporting women; it's about telling boys that it's OK for them to cry, or knit, or be a stay-at-home parent if they want to be.
"The burden disproportionately and unfairly fell on Michelle"
The system is rigged against women in terms of child care, and Obama knows this. In male-female partnerships, the majority of child care is usually the woman's job, and not always because her spouse is oppressing her. Oftentimes, a mother will chose to put her career on hold or abandon it entirely simply because as a man, her husband is able to earn more money than she ever could, and it just makes more financial sense to stay home.
"We need to keep changing the attitude that congratulates men for changing a diaper"
Every time my husband changed my newborn son's diaper in the hospital, some nurse would pop out of the woodwork to fawn over him for his very basic parenting skills. But nobody ever praised me, a woman who'd just had her abdomen sliced open, for doing the same. Oh, hey, is this a good time to point out that not only has Donald Trump never changed a diaper or pushed a stroller, he's straight-up baffled by the notion that he should have?
"A culture that shines a particularly unforgiving light on women and girls of color"
Of course Obama's an intersectional feminist. And no, I don't mean "of course" because he's black, but because he's awesome, and what else would we expect? He specifically brought up Michelle's concerns about having to constantly check her image and make sure that she didn't appear "too assertive or too 'angry,'" because it's bad enough to be a white woman with strong feelings about literally anything, but a black woman? Forget about it.
"Michelle and I have raised our daughters to speak up"
Not only were Sasha and Malia taught to call out sexism and racism that's directed towards them, they've been taught to stand up for others, because we're all in this together.
He also pointed out why his stance as a feminist is so important:
And yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.
"It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too"
In 2014, Obama launched the It's On Us campaign to combat campus sexual assault, because he is the best. The initiative stresses bystander intervention in preventing assaults.
"When everybody is equal, we are all more free"
It doesn't get simpler than that. Stupid term limits; why can't we keep him forever?