Out of the Abundance of Michelle's Heart
On the last day of the US-Africa Leaders Summit, Michelle Obama, together with journalist Cokie Roberts and former first lady Laura Bush, attended a White House event to promote empowering women. It was during the conversation about girls and education that the first lady switched from the seriousness of racism to the levity of sexist jokes.
Discussing with Mrs. Bush that countries that typically oppress women oftentimes struggle economically, Michelle shared that she felt that when it comes to speaking up for girls, first ladies “can’t waste [the] spotlight.” On behalf of both herself and Laura, Michelle pointed out that being first lady “is temporary… life is short, and change is needed.”
Then, apropos of nothing, she added that “women are smarter than men.” Suddenly, it was like a NOW meeting, where women diminish men to feel empowered.
As for Michelle, somehow, after discussing the importance of the spotlight, pointing out the temporary status of a first lady, acknowledging the brevity of life, and promoting change, she segued into “women are smarter than men” which, on the linear trajectory of related topics, didn’t exactly flow.
Although likely a poor attempt at humor, Michelle’s “smarter than” comment, which, together with the concurrent eye-roll and furrowed brow, explains how she views her husband Barack who, as far as we know, is a still a man.
Evidently, Michelle feels she has the right to freely express the type of sexist opinion that a man, out of fear of harsh rebuke, wouldn’t dare say about a woman, even in jest.
Nonetheless, the audience chuckled and then, to cover her derriere with another joke, Mrs. Obama warned that “men can’t complain because you’re outnumbered today.” What was Shelley going to do, wrap the complainers in a “women are stronger than men” half-Nelson?
Confusing the matter more, at one point Michelle shared that “I tease my kids… I tell them I want them to use Instagram to take a picture of something really important rather than their food... I mean, no one really cares what you had for lunch.”
“Women are smarter than men” and “no one really cares what you had for lunch?”
This from a woman who has been so obsessed with food choices that she’s banished traditional bake sales from school premises, replaced snack foods in school vending machines with dehydrated organic kale, and continues to hunt down macaroni and cheese on school lunch menus with the dogged determination of Sherlock Holmes.
Suddenly lunch doesn’t matter?
Remember when, in response to her incessant haranguing, public schools actually gave consideration to recording defiant children tossing veggies in the trash in school cafeterias with “trash-cams?” Now Mrs. Obama empowers her daughters by nixing the pictures of food because she feels there’s more import things to photograph than what they’re eating for lunch?
Michelle Obama is saying these things because she is the embodiment of what Jesus referred to when He said in Luke 6:45 that “out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks.”
In her heart Michelle Obama probably does think she’s smarter than men and that her brilliance surpasses that of a certain man some say has a brilliant feminine side himself. Moreover, when it comes to policing millions of snapshots of kids’ school lunches, as far as Mama Obama is concerned, Sasha and Malia are the only ones excused.
Jeannie hosts a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com