Obama Taught Us What It Meant To Be A Feminist
Start writing a post
Politics

Obama Taught Us What It Meant To Be A Feminist

Remembering the feminist sentiments of our 44th president

7
Obama Taught Us What It Meant To Be A Feminist
Huffington Post

I never realized how lucky I had it; I was too young. When I was eight years old, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States. This was an extremely historic election, since he became the first African-American president of this country. I vaguely grasped that idea, but was too young to completely grasp the historic moment I was living through. I remember sitting in front of the T.V., watching the crowds of people cheering and celebrating his win--their happy dispositions resonating with me and fully impressing the importance of Obama's election. In 2012, I was twelve, sitting in front of the same T.V., watching similar reactions to Obama's reelection. In 2016, I was sixteen (still am), I sat in front of the T.V--but the reactions differed than the others I had seen in previous elections. I turned it off, I couldn't bare watching it. Anti-Trump protests sprung up across the nation; we were, and are, more divided as ever.

Growing up during Obama's presidency, I didn't realize how much his and Michelle Obama's beliefs shaped my opinions. Looking back, both Barack and Michelle's openly feminist remarks and sentiments make them great role models for a young girl to grow up observing. Since 2008, Barack Obama has discussed women's rights and equality. In 2014, in the State of the Union Address, Obama talked about the gender wage gap, saying, “Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment." He continued with: “A woman deserves equal pay for equal work… Let’s work together – Congress, the White House, and businesses from Wall Street to Main Street – to give every woman the opportunity she deserves. Because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds."

Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act during his first term, which created a National Equal Pay Task Force.

Obama supported Vice President Joe Biden to start the "It’s On Us". This is a program that fights sexual violence on college campuses.

Obama upped the minimum wage for federal contractors. In America nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women.

Obama defended Planned Parenthood, which made it clear that it's important and vitally necessary for American women to have the right to make decisions concerning their bodies and health.

Obama fought for the need of all people, including men, to be feminists. He wrote, in August, an essay for "Glamour", where he states: “It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too.” He also addressed the challenges and double standards that women face in society: “We need to keep changing the attitude that values being confident, competitive and ambitious in the workplace — unless you’re a woman. Then you’re being too bossy, and suddenly the very qualities you thought were necessary for success end up holding you back..."

And what's better than the President of the United States enforcing feminist ideas and behaviors? The first lady, Michelle Obama, supporting and adding to such female empowerment. One of her main points as the first lady was supporting women and their education. In 2009, she made a speech at the State Department Women of Courage Awards and talked about the importance of women supporting each other. Additionally, she said that: 1. women must stand up for themselves, 2. women must stand up for each other, and 3. women must stand up for justice for all. Furthermore, President Obama and the First Lady launched "Let Girls Learn", a government initiative to help young girls attain proper education to allow and empower them to reach their full potential. Michelle Obama wrote in "The Atlantic" about "Let Girls Learn", vowing that “As a first lady, a mother, and a human being, I cannot walk away from these girls, and I plan to keep raising my voice on their behalf for the rest of my life."

I'm grateful that such influential and powerful leaders were in charge during a majority of my youth. Certainly, it seems like such inspiring figures and messages may not be present in the next four years. Despite this, we must let the Obamas' messages prevail--that women have a voice, that women deserve equal pay, that women deserve opportunity for education, that women have the right to make decisions about their bodies, that women must support each other, that women are powerful and amazing and intelligent, etc., etc.,etc.

So Mr.Obama, concerning your open female empowerment and feminism during your presidency, I would like to take the time to say: you told us "yes we can". Yes we did.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
pexels.com

Tinder, JDate, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, Chemistry.com, Match, Zoosk — just a few of the names of big companies that promise to get you a date/potential partner. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I haven’t tried all of these options, because I have. I haven’t been on a date in over a year and I haven’t actually dated anyone in almost two and a half years. Now, I won’t lie, I’m not the prettiest color in the box, but aside from that, I do have plenty to offer. I have a brain that I use on the daily, I’m pretty freaking smart and I’ve been told that I’m funny in the form of my total sarcasm. But alas, this isn’t a personals ad hoping that someone out there will see this and start sending me emails (but hey, if that happens, that’s OK too).

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Chuck And Blair, Blair And Chuck

Why our favorite Gossip Girl couple should not be our relationship goals.

2732
Pinterest

I love Gossip Girl as much as the next person. There is nothing better after a long day than curling up in bed and submerging myself in everything that the Upper East Side and all of it's drama is. Over the course of the seasons I fell in love with the characters, particularly Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass. When I first watched the show I idealized the two of them. They were my relationship "goals" and I wanted everything that they had. However, as I went back and watched the show again some time later, after I had had a few years of experience with relationships, I realized that they are most definitely NOT my relationship goals. And they should not be anybody's.

Keep Reading... Show less

The long-awaited summer break is finally here!

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Five Facts About Ben Affleck & J-Lo As The Hollywood Pair Finally Tie The Knot

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have been a Hollywood power couple for some time now, but the pair only wed just a few days ago in Las Vegas, a city that Affleck knows all too well.

8600
Five Facts About Ben Affleck & J-Lo As The Hollywood Pair Finally Tie The Knot

But while we think we know the pair inside out, here are some facts that may surprise you about Hollywood’s hottest newlyweds…

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

A letter to my friend I’ll love forever

“It’s sad but sometimes when two people come to the end of the road they have to take different paths”

9946
A letter to my friend I’ll love forever
https://www.vixendaily.com/love/how-to-let-go-of-someone-move-on-when-still-love-ex/

It started way back in 2014, the very first time I saw you, you had long blonde hair and bright green eyes and a smile that was infectious. You where holding my favorite cousins hand, you didn’t say much at first and neither did I.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments