Hey-o, remember when the president of the free world thought of women as autonomous beings and not objects whose genitalia one can grab at will? That guy, who was certainly not perfect but also never practiced diplomacy by pretending to confuse the words "would" and "wouldn't," is getting pretty exasperated, too. "Men have been getting on my nerves lately," Obama informed a Johannesburg crowd (opens in new tab) yesterday at an Obama Foundation event. "Every day I read the newspaper, and I just think, like, ‘Brothers, what’s wrong with you guys? What’s wrong with us?'"
Same, Obama. Same.
The former (but forever) president was speaking about the importance of women being involved in politics, and just how critical it is that their voices are considered equal to, I don't know, someone who has described women as "fat," "slobs," "pigs," and "disgusting animals." (opens in new tab) A women in the crowd asked Obama how he'd suggest women get into politics in a country like Kenya.
"Women, in particular," Obama replied, "I want you to get more involved."
Because men have been getting on my nerves lately. I mean, every day I read the newspaper, and I just think, like, ‘Brothers, what’s wrong with you guys? What’s wrong with us?’ I mean, we’re violent, we’re bullying. You know, just not handling our business. So I think empowering more women on the continent―that, right away, is going to lead to some better policies.
Obama was speaking specifically to politics within Africa, but it's no great stretch to suggest that he had Trump et al in mind, too. In a not-super-subtle nod to Trump's Russia snafu, he said Tuesday (opens in new tab): "We see the utter loss of shame of political leaders when they're caught in a lie, and they just double down and lie some more."
With his recommendation for men in politics in Africa—that they should, essentially, back off and let women have a seat at the table—Obama doubles down on his self-described status as a feminist. (opens in new tab) A central tenet of male feminism, after all, is for men and male-identifying individuals to amplify women and femmes' voices. To stand back for a second, recognize the privilege that they own, and consider how to use it to raise the voices of a gender more oppressed.
Miss u, Barack.
Jenny is the Director of Content Strategy at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books in 2024.
Wayfair Is Currently Taking Up To 70 Percent Off Hundreds of Products
Upgrade your space, just in time for the new year.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
#ReadWithMC Reviews 'Daughters of the New Year'
"If you’re looking for a family drama to get sucked into, check this one out!"
By Brooke Knappenberger
Sustainable Gifts for Everyone on Your List
Guilt-free shopping, right this way.
By Brooke Knappenberger
35 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, show them these statistics.
By Brooke Knappenberger
How New York's First Female Governor Plans to Fight for Women If Reelected
Kathy Hochul twice came to power because men resigned amid sexual harassment scandals. Here, how she's leading differently.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
Why the 2022 Midterm Elections Are So Critical
As we blaze through a highly charged midterm election season, Swing Left Executive Director Yasmin Radjy highlights rising stars who are fighting for women’s rights.
By Tanya Benedicto Klich
Tammy Duckworth: 'I’m Mad as Hell' About the Lack of Federal Action on Gun Safety
The Illinois Senator won't let the memory of the Highland Park shooting just fade away.
By Sen. Tammy Duckworth
Roe Is Gone. We Have to Keep Fighting.
Democracy always offers a path forward even when we feel thrust into the past.
By Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland, hosts of Pantsuit Politics Podcast
The Supreme Court's Mississippi Abortion Rights Case: What to Know
The case could threaten Roe v. Wade.
By Megan DiTrolio
Sex Trafficking Victims Are Being Punished. A New Law Could Change That.
Victims of sexual abuse are quietly criminalized. Sara's Law protects kids that fight back.
By Dr. Devin J. Buckley and Erin Regan
My Family and I Live in Navajo Nation. We Don't Have Access to Clean Running Water
"They say that the United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Why are citizens still living with no access to clean water?"
By Amanda L. As Told To Rachel Epstein