As if we needed any more reasons to love Barack Obama.
The president of the United States, husband to Michelle and father of two young girls published an essay in Glamour on Thursday explaining why he's a feminist, and encouraged other men to adopt the label.
In the short but poignant essay, Obama proves that feminism is an important value for all people to have if we want everyone in society to be treated as equals.
He began that his job for the last seven-and-a-half years has actually given him more face time than ever with his daughters, given that his commute to his office has "been reduced to 45 seconds from my living room to the Oval Office." As a result, he says, "I've been able to spend a lot more time watching my daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful women."
He continued to discuss the huge leaps womankind has made in America and around the world. "In my lifetime we’ve gone from a job market that basically confined women to a handful of often poorly paid positions to a moment when women not only make up roughly half the workforce but are leading in every sector, from sports to space, from Hollywood to the Supreme Court," he wrote, adding, "I’ve witnessed how women have won the freedom to make your own choices about how you’ll live your lives — about your bodies, your educations, your careers, your finances. Gone are the days when you needed a husband to get a credit card. In fact, more women than ever, married or single, are financially independent."
Obama continued to say that the most important people in his life have always been women; his mother who raised him as a single mom, his wife Michelle and his two daughters. "So I’d like to think that I’ve been pretty aware of the unique challenges women face — it’s what has shaped my own feminism. But 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. And while he recognizes the leaps our society has made, he knows there is still much room to grow, saying, "We need to keep changing the attitude that permits the routine harassment of women, whether they’re walking down the street or daring to go online. We need to keep changing the attitude that teaches men to feel threatened by the presence and success of women."
He added that his own feminism has been an important example for his daughters "because now that’s what they expect of all men."
Incredible speech by an incredible woman. Couldn't be more proud & our country has been blessed to have her as FLOTUS. I love you, Michelle.— President Obama (@POTUS) July 26, 2016
Great speech. She's tested. She's ready. She never quits. That's why Hillary should be our next @POTUS. (She'll get the Twitter handle, too)— President Obama (@POTUS) July 29, 2016
He concluded to say that continuing the feminist movement is not solely a woman's job, writing, "It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too. And as spouses and partners and boyfriends, we need to work hard and be deliberate about creating truly equal relationships." Adding that Hillary Clinton is just one more woman in the long line of women who have helped push our society to gender equality.
"This fall we enter a historic election. Two hundred and forty years after our nation’s founding, and almost a century after women finally won the right to vote, for the first time ever, a woman is a major political party’s presidential nominee. No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America. And it’s just one more example of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality." Finally, driving home his entire point, he wrote, "That’s what twenty-first century feminism is about: the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free."
It is clear that Obama will happily and proudly submit his vote for Clinton this upcoming election day, so our first Black president may be followed by our first female president.
(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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