For the outcome of my Top Secret Project, which I will hopefully be able to publicly discuss soon. We are reaching a critical and delicate point, my friends. If all goes well, all shall be revealed in the very near (and exciting) future.
I’ve been watching the way in which the media handles Michelle Obama with some interest, and a great deal of trepidation. I have to say that thus far, I have been really disappointed, and I see that she’s getting put into the nice First Lady box that every other First Lady has ended up in.
What is the First Lady box? It’s the place where First Ladies go, because they aren’t allowed to be engaged in politics. The First Lady may be a fashion icon, she may be an entertainer, she may announce fresh, wholesome, family-friendly initiatives which will probably be run by someone else, she may be photographed with the First Children looking matronly and domestic, but she may not do anything beyond this. And this is exactly what is happening to Michelle Obama. It’s a crying shame, especially when you contrast her bold engagement on the campaign trail.
In the fashion icon department, she was praised pretty consistently throughout the campaign for being fashionable and innovative, with the typical intense interest in every garment she wore, and where it came from. Now that she’s in Washington, though, she’s expected to behave, and I’ve noticed a lot of criticism being thrown her way when she wears daring fashions, or chooses things which go a little beyond Washington mores.
This is probably most exemplified in the case of Armgate. For those of you living under rocks, everyone in the media is apparently horrified and furious that Michelle Obama occasionally wears garments in which her upper arms are visible. And, you might think I’m kidding about this, but seriously, major op-ed space is being devoted to the issue of whether or not the First Lady can bare her arms, and jokes about the “right to bare arms” are flying on the television networks. Because, kids, baring your arms is, uh, unAmerican or something. I mean, really, how dare she.
Mrs. Obama is also being cast as an entertainer and hostess, standing demurely at major meetings and shaking hands at meet and greets. And yeah, that is part of the First Lady’s job, because she represents America and our hospitality, and I do think it’s important for her to be present at state events, just as I would expect the husband of a female President to be. But she’s not being asked to speak, or engage in any way, she’s simply there as a figurehead, not a real person. The White House Social Secretary probably gets more face time with foreign dignitaries than the First Lady does.
And I note that the major initiative which she has introduced involves healthy eating. Which, I mean, great, people do need to be eating healthy food, and I think that’s excellent, but it’s also a classic First Lady thing. It’s motherly, and not too threatening, and not very intellectually demanding. Her photo ops all involve things like volunteer work, and walking across lawns with her daughters, and other motherly things. She gets featured in magazines with articles about “adjusting to life in the White House” and raising her daughters, and she most certainly doesn’t get asked about political issues, like, say, the economy. Only safe things which belong in the box.
Mrs. Obama is a smart, strong, powerful woman with a lot of integrity and a lot of skills. I think it’s tragic to see her being stuffed into this confining and terrible position, when she should be busting out of it, totally reshaping the way we think about the First Lady, and setting a terrific example for Malia and Sasha, as well as all of the other young women in this country. Being married to the most powerful man in the world shouldn’t turn you into a voiceless automaton.
Disability and superability are topics of discussion in this excellent video featuring Aimee Mullins. Go watch it, it’s short, and awesome.
Have a second home or investment property? The government would like to use my tax dollars to help you refinance it.
Get ready to feel sick: AIG is paying out over $100 million in bonuses.
Labels, semantics, weasel words. Welcome to American politics.