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Observer (UK): Yes Michelle Obama can (May 3) - 12 Female Writers' views on the First Lady

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Jackeens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:20 PM
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Observer (UK): Yes Michelle Obama can (May 3) - 12 Female Writers' views on the First Lady



Yes Michelle Obama can

First Lady, Mom-in-chief, role model, fashion icon, dinner lady, serial hugger. Twelve top female writers celebrate the many faces of Michelle Obama


Working wife
The Obama with the biggest job

Mom-in-chief. What a ludicrous title that is. Like cultural brand enhancer, or chief executive officer, the more you consider it, the sillier it seems. Unless Michelle Obama really does have a crack troop of trained mothers under her command, armed with Wet Wipes and a GPS locator of enemy naughty steps. It's that or she beat Angelina in an arm-wrestle for the cup...

In fact, Obama chose Mom-in-chief as her job description because she wanted her husband to be President. "Princeton- and Harvard-qualified lawyer turned community affairs director" was too scary for the voters to deal with. They didn't want to know that until she stepped aside for his political ambitions Michelle was earning more than Barack. Or that when he began his legal career she was his mentor. That she's been a determined high achiever from the moment she entered school.

We forget, but before she claimed M-I-C status, Michelle was struggling in her new public role. She was seen as too emasculating, too political, too clumsy. And, after she gave her husband a fist bump in celebration at his candidate nomination, too black.....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/may/03/mich...
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firedupdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:32 PM
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1. Interesting opinions! Thanks n/t
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asphalt.jungle Donating Member (792 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:40 PM
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2. this is wrong: "until she stepped aside for his political ambitions Michelle was earning more"
Edited on Sat May-02-09 08:41 PM by asphalt.jungle
she was earning more than him for a time BECAUSE of his greater political ambitions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/magazine/03Obama-t.ht...

Did Michelle ever make more than you did?

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, sure.

Probably only for a brief time, because I was working three jobs most of the time that I was in the State Senate. I was still practicing law and I was still teaching. So when you kind of put everything together, I think I was still making a little bit more. But when I started campaigning for the U.S. Senate and I had to drop some of those jobs, then she carried us for a couple years.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:52 PM
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9. i believe when they met and she was his mentor she should have been earning more, correct?
i guess he forgot about that, huh?
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asphalt.jungle Donating Member (792 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 06:58 PM
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11. when they met he was a summer intern still attending harvard. they weren't married then.
they married in late 92 and she had already left that law firm and was now working for the mayor's office (circa 1991) and that's where they met valerie jarrett.

again she didn't "step aside" to allow him to advance his political career. she stepped UP when he wanted to run for us senate.
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islandgirl808 Donating Member (255 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:09 PM
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3. great article
she is the culmination of what women have been fighting for years. glad she's the first lady :).
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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:54 AM
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4. Love it
"Michelle is a reminder that black American women are not the sum of the stereotypes and dysfunction on constant display in the media. She is exactly where she is supposed to be. And when the world sees her, the world gets to see us."
Gina McCauley

:)

Thanks for posting.
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dalaigh lllama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:11 AM
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5. I am amazed MO can stay so natural under this intense scrutiny
Enjoyed reading these opinions, but did this one strike anyone else as sadly clueless?

...And let's not forget that she is black and has worked her way up from a poor Chicagoan childhood. Her obvious pleasure in faintly bling detailing - the Tom Binns crystal necklace for the inauguration, her sequined cardigan for her visit to Downing Street, her rows of bracelets - owe more than a nod to the style of her generation of black Americans. Much as we love the way she looks, with this country's complicated attitudes to class and appearance, would we feel the same unquestioning adoration of a privileged white woman in her position who dressed similarly?
Alexandra Shulman


Um, I know lots of "whites" who'd wear any and all of these items mentioned. I thought Shulman's remarks quite bizarre.

One of my favorite anecdotes from the article:

"When she was at Princeton, her brother called me and said: 'Mom, Michelle's here telling people they're not teaching French right'. I told him: 'Just pretend you don't know her'"
Michelle's mother, Marian Shields Robinson, March 2008


It's a special person who can diffuse others' histrionics with gentle humor. I think Marian Robinson would be really great to know. :-)
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:31 PM
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6. We're lucky to have her in the White House. And she brought that guy with her -- Wazzizname.
He's OK, too
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vaberella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:36 PM
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7. "Emasculating"...oh the ever-present curse of being a Black woman.
Edited on Sun May-03-09 01:36 PM by vaberella
added to the fact their hyper-sexualized. But I'm glad to see she's changing some minds.
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JayMusgrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:45 PM
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8. And some people thought only Hillary could advance the plight of
women, until they got to know who Michelle Robinson Obama is!
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blaze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 04:32 PM
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10. Wonderful read!
Thanks so much for the link!

What fun to read.
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