As his Presidential tenure draws to a close, Barack Obama has penned a powerful essay on feminism, explaining exactly why he proudly embraces the ‘feminist’ label so many others shun.
There’s one reason, he says. Well, two actually. His daughters, Malia and Sasha.
“It’s important that their dad is a feminist,” he explains in the piece for Glamour magazine, “because now that’s what they expect of all men.”
One of the most surprising aspects of being President of the United States, he says, is that living and working in The White House gave him more time with his family.
“I’ve been able to spend a lot more time watching my daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful young women.
Obama with his wife Michelle and their two (much younger) children. Source: Facebook
"That isn’t always easy, either—watching them prepare to leave the nest. But one thing that makes me optimistic for them is that this is an extraordinary time to be a woman. The progress we've made in the past 100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years has made life significantly better for my daughters than it was for my grandmothers. And I say that not just as President but also as a feminist."
Obama also admitted that when his daughters were growing up, the burden of looking after them would often fall unfairly on the shoulders of his wife Michelle and she, along with his own mother and grandmothers, had shaped his own feminism.
Raised by a single mother, he says he watched as his grandmother worked her way up in a bank only to hit a glass ceiling, which was not something he wished for his own daughters.
Barack and Michelle. Source: Facebook
It's not just women who are negatively impacted by out-dated gendered stereotypes either and growing up, raised by women, Obama says he came to realise their was no right or wrong way to "be a man".