Monday 10 December 2018
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theguardian - 26 days ago

Becoming by Michelle Obama review – race, marriage and the ugly side of politics

This revealing memoir offers new insights into her upbringing on the south side of Chicago and the highs and lows of life with Barack ObamaBefore I tell you how much I love Michelle Obama, let me tell you what I have against her. The former first lady is a woman capable of muddying your stance on things you stood firmly against. First on the list is the very concept of a first lady. Just think about this. For feminists, or anyone frankly with a 21st-century grasp of gender equality, it is a highly troublesome concept. It is a position that involves a woman – no matter the glorious complexity, glittering accomplishment or human drama of her prior life – being shoehorned into a role that is, by definition, about the man to whom she is married.Her role has never been defined, because, I suspect, to do so would involve the awkward truth – that it’s essentially to make her husband look good. First ladies both feed into, and reflect, our patriarchal values, and so, in this world still so intolerant of female domination, making their husbands look good inevitably involves diminishing themselves, and a decoupling from their own achievements, so as not to outshine the president. Continue reading...

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