So, I was over at Beth’s the other day, when the link to this post caught my eye. The post was written by some broad called Dana Goldstein. It was entitled, The Indignities of First Lady-Dom.
Ms Goldstein writes:
Don’t get me wrong — I adore Michelle Obama. She will undoubtedly be one of the smartest and most accomplished first ladies in American history. She survived right-wing attacks to become a force to be reckoned with on the campaign trail this fall.
But tooling around on the transition web site last night, I couldn’t help but feel discouraged by the washed-up old gender ideologies reflected there. The president-elect’s bio is built around a story of pulling himself up by his bootstraps and forging a public service career. Michelle’s bio, on the other hand, leads with the comforting news that she puts her children first — no Hillary-style meddling in politics for this first lady! It defines Michelle Obama primarily by her personal relationship to others:
“When people ask Michelle Obama to describe herself, she doesn’t hesitate. First and foremost, she is Malia and Sasha’s mom.
But before she was a mother – or a wife, lawyer, or public servant – she was Fraser and Marian Robinson’s daughter.”
Sorry, but is this supposed to be a bad thing? The fact that she puts her children first, and has no intention of meddling in her husband’s work, is wrong somehow?
Of course, this tone shouldn’t be surprising. The job of the first lady is, essentially, to fulfill arch-traditional wifely expectations. One’s career or academic successes are almost wholly irrelevant. It is, as Echidne of the Snakes writes, “the job with no paycheck.” And in that way, it provides the perfect opportunity for us to think about the unpaid labor done by every stay-at-home mom and wife:
What an utterly ridiculous and pointless column.
I can’t believe that she’s judging Michelle Obama for describing herself as a mother first and foremost. I’m pretty sure there are more heinous things in life, than somebody actually taking his/her job as a parent seriously.
As somebody who’s pretty career-oriented, as well as being a borderline feminist, if I had children, damn right I’d put them before my job. This doesn’t mean that I expect everybody to feel the same, but in my opinion, if you aren’t going to put your children first, why have them in the first place?
Michelle Obama is not going to be president, her husband is. What’s so hard to understand about that? Surely Americans don’t want a First Lady who’s going to be delegating from the wings?
And to those commenters who felt ‘uncomfortable’ about Michelle Obama’s alleged ‘Leave It To Beaver’ bio, get an effing grip, and belt up.
If more people were as dedicated to their children, the world wouldn’t be so effed up, and eight year old kids wouldn’t go round shooting people.