Feminist Angst Over Obama
Deborah Dickerson, writing in Salon, is gnawing on her feminist nails, fretting over the fate of Michelle Obama:
As if trying to get your partner elected president is a crummy job. Dickerson doesn't see any feminist glamor in it, though:
Damn it all, Michelle Obama has quit her $215,000 dream job and demoted herself to queen. Though the party line is that she's only "scaled back" to a 20 percent workload, I doubt her former co-workers will bother alerting her to many staff meetings. She's traded in her solid gold résumé, high-octane talent and role as vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals to be a professional wife and hostess.Now, the energy and drive that had her up jogging before dawn and a gratifying day of work and family will mainly be spent smiling for the cameras.
Any day now, Michelle Obama's handlers will have her glued into one of those Sunday-go-to-meeting Baptist grandma crown hats while smiling vapidly for hours at a time. When, of course, she's not staring moonstruck, à la Nancy Reagan, at her moon doggie god-husband who's not one bit smarter than she is.
My heart breaks for her just thinking about it. Being president will be hard. So will being first lady for the brilliant Michelle -- imagine, having to begin all your sentences with "My husband and I..."
She has a point, of course. We haven't seen Bill Clinton announce that he's leaving whatever it is he does for full-time employment so he can stare moonstruck, a la Nancy Reagan, at his wife. Perhaps because Bill's been well trained not to stare moonstruck at any females in public.She has another point in noting that Michelle Obama's been stressing about the effect of work on her child-rearing responsibilities, but Barak apparently can go on being a Senator and presidential candidate without sharing that particular parenting angst.
But it's not the system that's unfair; it's feminism.
Feminism's core denial that there is a difference between men and women snags them every time. Barak simply isn't the sensitive child-rearer Michelle is, and Michelle simply doesn't have the ability to put bread-winning at a priority level that would allow her to leave her kids in the dust as she does meaningful work -- which is how Dickerson sees Michelle's work for a hospital.
More meaningful than raising the next generation?
I loved this wrap-up:
I'm still sad for Michelle. As the Times reports, "She expresses no regret about scaling down her job ... where colleagues say she excels at tackling thorny problems. But this winter, after spotting a book on the Obamas' coffee table celebrating Mr. Obama's Senate victory, her staff created a matching volume of her accomplishments. Mrs. Obama wept when she saw it."I'm sorry; doing public affairs for a hospital does not generate accomplishments worthy of a book. This is all so phony. One member of this power-couple really has the power; the other one sees that for what it is, and is doing what needs to be done for the couple's self-interest.
Falling for that cheap emotional tug ... why it's so ... so ... so feminine!
hat-tip: Real Clear Politics