This is Michelle Cottle, a delightfully deluded and viciously misogynist contributor at Politico, who writes that First Lady Michelle Obama has betrayed the sisterhood by caring about her husband, her children, food for the nation’s children (all of them), wounded soldiers and … gasp! Literacy!
The ability to read?
Who needs that?
Here, finally, was an issue worthy of the Ivy-educated, blue-chip law firm-trained first lady, a departure from the safely, soothingly domestic causes she had previously embraced. Gardening? Tending wounded soldiers? Reading to children? “She essentially became the English lady of the manor, Tory Party, circa 1830s,” feminist Linda Hirshman says.
Let’s think this through, shall we?
Michelle cares about her husband.
Michelle’s husband Barry works long hours, travels extensively, shoulders a wee bit of responsibility, and faces down some formidable opposition to his ideas about how to do his job. He answers not to an immediate superior, but to the ENTIRE FUCKING NATION.
Barry and Michelle have two children. When Barry got his job, Michelle realized that there was more at stake than just her own personal happiness and she made a choice: she would be there for Barry, and in doing so, be there for their children when he couldn’t be.
What a dumb bitch.
She went to law school, people! Can’t she afford some other brown lady to raise up those children for her, just like all the white ladies do? What’s the matter, Michelle? Something about that feel not quite right?
While there are many, many fault lines in feminism, I think this attack on Michelle Obama highlights one of the most important ones: feminism hates black women in particular, especially when black women align their interests with the men in their community rather than the white ladies who would rather black women fall in line, after they are finished picking up the white lady’s kids from school, making dinner for the white lady’s husband and ironing the white lady’s shirts, which she needs to do her important job as an administrative assistant for some man who is not her husband.
Since when have black women had the luxury of being at home, gardening and caring for their own children rather than someone else’s? What would happen if a whole lot of black women decided Michelle and Barry had the right idea and that the nuclear family is, after all, the best form of family organization? What if they stopped cooking and cleaning and gardening and ironing and raising white children and decided to spend all that energy on their own communities and their own families?
Feminist nightmare indeed.
This faultline has been in feminism since it’s very inception. White women have done a glorious job convincing themselves and countless millions of others that they have somehow managed to “catch up” with the work men have always done and are now participating on more or less equal footing in the labor market. The wage gap is closing! More women in the board rooms! Women are graduating in record numbers from colleges and universities!
In the first place, it’s all a giant smokescreen obscuring the fact that most women are doing nothing more than HOUSEWORK in the labor force, earning college degrees in hard subjects like reading, dancing, feeling and caring for small children, while men continue to design, build, operate, maintain and repair the communication, energy, transportation, sanitation and protective services infrastructure that makes all the housework jobs even possible.
And in the second place, the women feminism champions are by and large RICH WHITE WOMEN, who go out of their homes every day to perform some housewifely service for some man other than their husbands and leave the work their own families entail to women of color and poor women, who must neglect their own children and husbands to provide for the white woman’s.
All the discussion about “intersectionality” and “inclusiveness” in mainstream feminism is pure sophistry: if feminism were to address the interests of ALL women, it would quickly collapse, because the white ladies cannot engage in their teary-eyed hand wringing over the plight of poor colored ladies without immediately implicating themselves as the principal source of racism and exploitation.
Intersectionality and inclusiveness has never been part of feminism and never can be.
You know where women of color and poor women WILL find their own unique perspectives and interests addressed?
In the Men’s Human Rights Movement – MHRM. The moment women of color put the interests of their sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, nephews and every other black man at the center of their quest for equal rights and responsibilities, they will find the inclusiveness feminism can never deliver.
Feminism promises equality, but is only really interested in equality that delivers a benefit to white women. Where is the cry for equal sentencing before the courts of law? Where is the cry that 50% of all workplace related deaths are women? Where is the cry that half of the nation’s garbage collectors and sewage treatment workers are women? Where is the cry that half of all the homeless and indigent be women?
Ew. Icky. Pick up garbage? Gross! And who cares about criminal sentencing anyways? It’s mostly black thugs who get the harshest sentences, and the more of them in jail, the easier it is to exploit the women left behind. Please don’t forget to vacuum the cat hairs off my couch, Jemima, and make sure you give Bootsie her fresh liver pate. You did make her fresh liver pate, right?
I will no doubt be accused of conspiracy: feminists caaaaaaare about black women and they aren’t silent about wildly disproportionate sentencing of young black men because they want a steady supply of exploitable domestic labor. No, no, no. That’s just a coincidence.
Men of color have long known that the MHRM has inclusiveness at its core, as have gay men, disabled men, poor men, every other category of man you can think of: no condition other than the simple fact of biological sex comes in to play when it comes to infant genital mutilation. Boys, no what matter their skin color, social status, ethnicity, ability – irrespective of any social condition you can think of – can be legally mutilated during infancy. Pick any other issue: suicide doesn’t care how rich you are, the school system doesn’t care what color your skin is – boys of every class and race and group will be marginalized.
Women of color have been trying for 80 years to be included in the broad category of “women” that feminism purports to represent.
It will never happen.
And when very successful, accomplished black women like Michelle Obama decide to make their husband and children a priority, they are called “traitors” and “nightmares”.
Nightmares: black and scary.
But in Michelle Obama’s story lies a kernel of truth, a breath of freedom and honesty and a message we need to get out to women of color in particular: the civil rights of men ARE the civil rights of women.
We cannot possibly be equal until we are ALL equal.
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
The truth is very simple: until men, all men and not just rich white men have equal rights under the law, no man or woman will have equal rights.
Waiting for rich white women arguing with rich white men to notice the interests of everyone is like waiting for a lioness to care about the plight of the earthworms who create the soil that nurtures the life of her entire world.
It won’t happen. 20/20 says the MHRM lives in the underbelly of the internet. The deep dark recesses. Well, that’s where life begins, no?
It might be dark down here at the moment, but we aren’t afraid of the dark. Even when the dark we are talking about is the color of your skin.
All men matter. And so do all women.
And together, we can change the world.
Lots of love,