Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:46 AM
bigtree (50,916 posts)
"One argument is that women are just more sensible than men,"
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, in an interview with Ladies' Home Journal and their theories on why women don't get involved in politics nearly as much as their male counterparts do, and what they're doing to ensure their daughters stay confident and build leadership skills:
"One argument is that women are just more sensible than men," the president says in the magazine's September issue of why women are less likely to run for office than men. "They don't want to put themselves through the ridiculous process. But I do think part of it has to do with the enormous strains being a candidate places on your family." He also admits that girls are often raised differently than boys. "It's easier for boys to imagine themselves being president. They see themselves as being in charge. Girls are socialized to think about other people more."
So what can we do differently? The first lady has plenty of ideas, including one that dovetails with her focus on fighting childhood obesity. "We have to start with them while they're young and instill in girls a sense of confidence. That's why sports are so important," she explains. "They teach you how to compete—how to fall down and get back up. We've got to give young women the opportunities to be leaders."
"It can be as simple as sitting down at the dinner table and asking them to articulate what's going on in their day or having them negotiate for the things they want," says the first lady. "All of that is practicing leadership. I constantly remind my girls that when they get to college or have a job, they're not going to have a parent there to help push for the things they need. Girls need to know it's okay to advocate for themselves and for the things they think are important."
President Obama agrees. "I want Malia and Sasha to feel confident about expressing their opinions. And if they're good at something I want them to have the confidence to step up and shine. I don't want them to lose their empathy and stop thinking about other people, because that's an important part of leadership too. But I don't want them to be wallflowers."
And, according to President Obama, his girls already have a pretty outstanding female role model at home thanks to Michelle. "She's very smart. She's a wonderful speaker. She's very cute. Having said all those things, the quality I love most about her is, she's honest and genuine. I think that comes across to people. They get a sense that they can trust her," he shares. "You know, the word 'authenticity' is overused these days. But I do think it captures what folks are looking for—not just in leaders, but also in friends and coworkers—and that is, folks who are on the level. People like that tell you what they think and don't have a bunch of hidden motives. That's who Michelle is. She's also funny. She's the funniest person in our family."
full interview: http://www.lhj.com/style/covers/barack-and-michelle-obama-the-full-interview/
8 replies, 1098 views
"One argument is that women are just more sensible than men," (Original post)
Response to Romulox (Reply #2)
Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:39 AM
bigtree (50,916 posts)
4. that's one opinion
I agree with the President that our society, generally, had encouraged women away from leadership roles and promoted boys and men as natural, assumed leaders. I don't think that's deniable, at all, so, I'm not seeing where I should be offended by his remark.
Further, the President has spoken of his belief in the primacy and superiority (in his view) of women in several forums and interviews, so I'm not seeing where this is 'pandering', at all, either. These are views he's spelled out in writing, as well.
Response to Romulox (Reply #5)
Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:01 AM
bigtree (50,916 posts)
7. he's backed his rhetoric about support for women with concrete actions
. . . which are not diminished by his personnel choices (which don't really support your criticism):
Women in President Obama's Cabinet or in Cabinet-Level Positions
Melody C. Barnes
Director of the Domestic Policy Council
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State*
Lisa P. Jackson
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency**
Director of the Women's Bureau, Department of Labor
Karen Gordon Mills
Administor, Small Business Administration
Secretary of Homeland Security*
Susan E. Rice
Mary L. Schapiro
Chairwomen of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Hilda L. Solis
Secretary of Labor*
Chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
(former) White House Coordinator of Energy and Climate Policy
Christina D. Romer
Chairwoman of the Council of Eco
Response to bigtree (Original post)
Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:52 AM
Fumesucker (36,399 posts)
6. Sports does not give you "a sense of confidence" if you always lose..
Not everyone is athletically gifted and not everyone develops at the same rate, I still looked about 12 when I graduated from HS and PE was a fucking nightmare of always being the last one picked for any team, I absolutely hated it..
Of course now I'm in much better physical shape than most of my contemporaries, late development doesn't mean that you never develop but a lot of the best athletes I went to school with are now decrepit blimps, or at least the ones still alive are, while I can still ride my bike thirty miles in two hours without stopping.
But I still detest competitive team sports..