Hey guys. Watching the US presidential inauguration coverage from across the border is quite a view. I love how Americans go all out with stuff like this. Honestly, I do. I love watching ceremonies from an anthropological standpoint. Being that the US is Canada’s closest neighbour, I feel obligated to keep up with the national news.
But one thing about it in particular has got me a little angry.
It’s the coverage of the First Lady. This first lady, as a national first, is actually more in the public eye than her predecessors. She’s also participating more than former First Ladies, and is pretty much a public servant by her own design. She’s made great leaps in public health and nutrition programs, as well as working against childhood poverty. She’s also formerly a lawyer, and a graduate of Harvard law. In short, a very intelligent, accomplished lady.
But I seldom hear about about her work, and accomplishments. What do I hear about her?
What is she wearing. How her arms look. How her butt looks (which I gotta say, is mighty inappropriate). How her hair looks. Does anyone talk about how the President’s butt looks? Not really, because it’s not appropriate to talk about a major public figure’s intimate parts! And that’s what annoys me. Why is is ok to talk about his wife’s body?
Michelle Obama is more than her outfit. She’s more than her body. She’s more than just a pretty face that hangs out with the president.
But this is a snapshot of what happens to women in power in general - I’ve seen the same thing happen to former First Lady/Secretary Clinton, as well. It happens in other countries too. Often when I hear about PM Gilliard (Australia) it’s talking about her appearance, or cruel nicknames for her red hair. She’s often called ‘manly’ and ‘unfeminine’, as is German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Apparently to be considered feminine in the political world, you’re supposed to prance around and say nothing. Personally, I’m not the type to sit down and shut up. I never have been, and it runs in the family for a LONG way back.
I challenge every girl reading this to stand up and speak. Stand up for yourself, and for others.
You deserve better than this.