President Obama has penned an op-ed in Glamour Magazine, in which he addressed his feminism, the state of women’s rights, and the historic nature of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president.
“[T]his is an extraordinary time to be a woman,” the president wrote. “The progress we’ve made in the past 100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years has made life significantly better for my daughters than it was for my grandmothers. And I say that not just as president but also as a feminist.”
Obama went on to discuss being raised by a single mother, his love and respect for Michelle (whom he says was burdened “disproportionately and unfairly” with child care when their daughters were young), and, of course, parenting his young daughters, Malia and Sasha. “When you’re the father of two daughters, you become even more aware of how gender stereotypes pervade our society,” he wrote and added, “It’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.”
Discussing his own struggles with toxic masculinity, Obama called on the nation to “keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear.” He also addressed the fact that women are punished for their sexuality, routinely harassed, and that women of color are held under especially high scrutiny. “The good news is that everywhere I go across the country, and around the world, I see people pushing back against dated assumptions about gender roles,” Obama said, noting that “stereotypes limit our ability to simply be ourselves.”
Finally, Obama got to his main point — endorsing Hillary Clinton. “This fall we enter a historic election,” he wrote. “Two hundred and forty years after our nation’s founding, and almost a century after women finally won the right to vote, for the first time ever, a woman is a major political party’s presidential nominee. No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America. And it’s just one more example of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality.”