In the last few weeks there was a lot of backlash towards Michelle Cottle’s article in Politco Magazine titled “Leaning out How Michelle Obama Became a Feminist Nightmare”, in which she states that feminists across America are very disappointed in the lack of hardcore politics or should I say policies coming from the First Lady.
Women expected a First Lady that would be tackling reproductive rights and all that and not one advocating for healthier lifestyles and education which Ms. Obama has made her main interests.
Most of this stems from the fact that she was a careered lawyer from the top of her class in Princeton to the hard streets of Chicago, so women, especially feminists, assumed she would be addressing their needs and the causes they have tried to champion for years and not necessarily be on television discussing home gardens and fitness or making the pages of fashion magazines because of her trends. They thought the second term would change her but the First Lady has maintained her image of “mom-in-chief” and has stayed far away from politics.
As I have mentioned before about the battles of the where I see myself in the future, one of them is definitely my place in my family and community. It has been noted that the feminist movement did a lot for women’s lives in the public sphere but did not do much for us in the private sphere, whereby women are still expected to be in charge of child rearing. This is where the problems arise such as what was seen when our own Parliament tried to act in form of gender equality by changing up our maternity leave, why wasn’t the option paternity leave? That’s a form of equality without harming the health of the woman and the baby or making the woman feel like she has to sacrifice benefits for the home because she gave birth. All of it falls on her.
This is the challenge that many women face today. Children are not just a reflection of your parents but a reflection of the mother who raised them. In President Obama’s book he discussed the challenges his wife went through with the feeling of never providing enough for her private home while she was climbing the corporate ladder.
Personally, I wish one day, I am in the same position as the First Lady whereby I can raise my children and give back to my community through my different interests such as gender based violence and education of young girls.
This would be quite hard when your focus is your career and chasing that corporate dream. Something has to suffer hence why I do not think you can have it all. Who will pick my children up from school when I’m traveling on business? Who will teach my girls the essence of being not just a woman but a Rwandan woman?
These are a few things I think about when I think about the future. I know it can be done both ways especially if you have your own business which allows you to make your time but in many cases it has been proven that you miss a lot when you are focused on something else. I don’t want to miss anything and I hope my future husband and I can find that balance.
I know this may sound like a woman is the solely on this earth for child bearing but honestly, we know the society we live in, mothers are blamed for how their children turn out while the fathers get little.
Feminists will be shaking their heads at this but show me a woman who has this balance and I will be perfectly fine learning from her.