28 May 2009

I love Mrs. O

Much of the world is in thrall with our first family. I know many women who have a crush on President Obama. It is hard not to; he is charming, intelligent, lithe and graceful. He moves like a cat. And have you seen those abs?

I challenge you to name a country with a sexier President. (To say nothing of his Chief of Staff, my personal object of affection. Typical Jewess; always a soft spot for the Hebrew. But, I digress.)

Much has also been made of Michelle Obama's arms, and there is no denying her beautiful deltoids!

But what I really admire about our First Lady is her balls. Her straightforwardness is a breath of fresh air. Consider this item from today's New York Times. When asked recently by a schoolboy if she still enjoyed cooking for her family, even though she has a staff to take care of that, she answered, “I don’t miss cooking. I’m just fine with other people cooking. Their food is really good.”

I love to cook, and I really do believe I would miss it, if I had all the money in the world, and a staff at my disposal. (But I would like a sous chef, and a clean-up crew...that would be really sweet.) But I found myself admiring Michelle Obama for her candor, and thinking perhaps this is a significant moment in feminist history; that we have in the White House a First Lady who does not feel the need to assert her femininity or maternal credentials by whipping out her favorite cookie recipe.

Throughout the Presidential campaign, as exciting as I found it, I often found myself thinking that I could never be a politician. Diplomacy is not my strong suit. When faced with the choice between saying something nice but insincere, or saying nothing at all, I am more likely to quietly smile, and do the latter. Our President is a masterful politician, but our First Lady has the cojones to speak the truth, about marriage, and raising a family. That being a wife and a mother is hard, there is a lot of drudgery involved, and you spend a lot of your time wondering if you're doing right by your children.

Here is a woman who put aside her own successful career, not without reservations, in service of not only of her own family, but of something bigger, to become, in a sense, the world's most high profile housewife. But when confronted with a child who dreamed some day of becoming first lady, she encouraged the girl to consider something more lucrative, explaining, that being First Lady "doesn't pay much."

This is the feminism I believe in.

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