I believe Michelle Obama has done more for women’s self image and the future of girls than any leader I can remember. Whatever your political leanings, I’m hoping everyone got to hear her speech in Manchester, NH last week because it’s something to share with all our children – male and female alike.
Michelle Obama has worn women’s rights as an integral part of her fiber as a mom, wife and a leader. She has called upon women to model better behavior toward women – she has called upon men to reflect on how they behave as well. So it’s no surprise she had something to say to both Democrats and Republicans in Manchester last week, on the heels of Trump’s sexual harassment video.
In this speech she gives us the language and permission to be sad and angry with any one person who makes us feel lesser than just because we are women, and not to dismiss it.
Michelle is 52 years old, born in 1964. Many of us have watched the evolution of how women see themselves since the 60’s. The language that Trump used on “the bus” would have been unacceptable to most women but it would not have made headlines back then (or even a decade ago).
Today in 2016, things are different and we’ve come a long way to find the courage to stand up for ourselves. Michelle’s speech urges us not to dismiss “locker room” talk. She reminds us not to slide backwards and to continue to press forward for our equality. And that has been the response as evidenced this past week by the outpouring on social media when over a million women responded with #NotOkay on twitter and shared their experiences of sexual assault.
She reminds us there is power in numbers and each person who speaks up makes it easier for the rest of us.
She reiterated this was not about politics, but outrage at how women have been demeaned. She expressed that – no matter what your political preference – a woman’s right to be treated as equal should never be forgotten.
She reminded us to not forget how important this topic is for not only ourselves but for our daughters – our sons and our husbands. At risk of sliding back to archaic ways of talking and thinking about women – she gives us the language in this speech to see that it is “not normal” to have men talk about us this way.
Here is what she said if you missed it:
Her words are clear and straightforward and remind us to speak up in order to make the world better for not only ourselves but for our children and their children.
I hope you will share this speech with everyone you know.