Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Cottle


Pay Michelle Obama a Salary, then We’ll Talk

by @zizii2


Listen, Misses Michelle Cottle, Keli Goff, Time Mag’s Kay Hymowitz, and your ilk:

This is 2013 not 1851, or 1619 for that matter. FLOTUS Michelle Obama is NOT Sojourner Truth who carried the cause of the Suffragettes on her burdened shoulders in Akron Ohio, knowing perfectly well that the women on whose behalf she spoke were not going to fight her battles with her against slavery, and certainly not her particular oppression as a black woman. And Ms Truth said as much in her famous speech “Aren’t I a Woman”?

“Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?”


And what were the Suffragettes fighting for? Repeal of women’s status as legal minors, recognition of their rights to property, and the right to vote. None of these were ever going to accrue to Sojourner Truth.


But she knew the value of the recorded word and like a Troubadour, used it to full effect to wedge her place into American history. As for those on whose behalf she spoke, the fact that as recently as 1998 there was even a battle over her inclusion in the statue of 19th Century Women’s Rights activists belatedly installed in the Capitol Rotunda, says volumes about the rifts between modern day heiresses of the Women’s Rights Movement, and People of Color, as well as economically disadvantaged women of all races. Incidentally, those claiming the need to preserve the “artistic fidelity” of the 1920s sculptor of the statue won that fight to exclude Ms. Truth from that effigy in 1997-1998.


It was only in 2009 that FLOTUS Michelle Obama helped unveil the stand alone bust of Sojourner Truth in the Capitol Rotunda. She is the one who Michelle Obama looks up to fully appreciate the long road women of color have traveled from the plantations and ghettoes to pave the way for her own current perch.
She said (starting from 2:10 min mark):

“I hope that Sojourner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendant of slaves serving as the First Lady of the United States of America. So I am proud to be here on this day for this dedication…”


If you privileged snobs had your druthers about you you’d realize that Michelle Obama’s chosen causes to fight for are all founded on the principle of “EXPANDING ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITY” to as many people as possible who would otherwise have those DOORS PERMANENTLY SHUT in their faces. Her concern is about the broad base of the pyramid not about how high the tip can pierce clouds and ceilings, glass or otherwise.


Shocking, I know, that a highly accomplished woman in her own right would forego the pedestal altogether in order to bring the largest number of potentially talented but economically disadvantaged young’uns along to sit, read, dance or stoop with her, be it at the children’s state dinners she pioneered, read-ins at schools, founding a seldom publicized mentoring program pairing accomplished women with teenage girls, or encouraging kids and parents to see exercise as fun not drudgery, or plant, harvest, cook and drool over fresh produce.


That you think what she is doing is “safe” and “inconsequential” says a lot more about your hubris and poverty of imagination, than it actually measures the worth of her actions. You, ladies are blinded by your beltway status and privileged life.


Have you walked to any of the run-down schools in communities surrounding your beltway cocktail junket circuit? Know why several of those bright eyed kids become sad statistics? They are no less intellectually endowed than you were at their age. Opportunity. Access. Simple.


And Michelle Obama’s doing her bit to ensure those young bodies survive physically, live healthily, thrive intellectually, and gain confidence professionally. It is the unsexy work most in need of doing. She chose to spend her unpaid tenure as First Lady to help crack those doors a little wide open. And you in your infinite wisdom, or is it stupidity, have a problem with that?


Many commentators have already said plenty to debunk both your premise and arguments about Michelle Obama’s relevance to “the feminist cause” (there is only ONE? Right there is the problem). I just wanna ask you.

Have you already Deconstructed the “patriarchal trap” embodied in the FLOTUS position itself at your most recent professional conference? And you expect Michelle Obama to turn into Superwoman and instantly transform an unelected position into the ramparts of the battleground to fight your ideological battles? For the insults you’ve rained on her, exactly HOW MUCH ARE YOU PAYING Michelle Obama to serve as First Lady?


Your feminist forebears rode Sojourner Truth and all unsung heroines like her, like mules, expecting them to leave their own children (if they’ve not been sold downriver!) caterwauling in their shacks, to take care of your children, spiffy up your manses, lace up your stays and undergarments, fetch your chamberpots, your stirrups and riding clothes, primp your hair.


Now about that war you want Michelle Obama Joan of Arc-ing herself for, where are you yourselves positioned on that front? You Ms Cottle, praise Sarah Palin then expect someone else to fight back against her religious fundamentalists’ and Tea Party’s War on Women? Did I see you jump up to defend 9 year old Quvenzhane Wallis when she was viciously attacked by your fellow media? How about the myriad times Mrs Obama herself has been ferociously attacked? Did you speak up to defend her? See, as we say in my homeland, “hand go, hand come”.


I’m sorry, but SHOW MICHELLE THE MONEEEEEEEEEYYYYYY, then we’ll talk. Until then, Ms Obama gon take care of her own. “You better call Tyrone, but you can’t use Michelle’s phone.” Secret Service on line One…Ma’am!







Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.



RSS Obama White

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • 'He was this quiet force': Remembering the life and legacy of Fred Hiatt
  • Former D.C. Guard official accuses Army generals of lying to Congress about Jan. 6 response
  • 'They acted so carelessly': Why Mich. parents charged with involuntary manslaughter
  • The true story of how one woman was radicalized
  • Can both the Dems and Republicans get their houses in order?



Blog Stats

  • 43,152,835 hits
December 2021