I am puzzled by some parts of Jaclyn Geller’s article about Michelle Obama.
The first paragraph refers to Michelle Obama’s “natal children.” Is it supposed to be a problem that she gave birth to them herself??
Geller says that in a magazine interview, “Obama urged women to look at the “hearts” and “souls” of potential husbands and stated that she had always made mothering her first priority.” Aside from the word “husbands,” neither of these ideas relates to marriage; one is about wise choice of a partner, and one is about parenthood. I’m confused: Would the author prefer that women NOT consider “hearts” and “souls”, and is there something wrong with striving to be a good parent?
It’s odd to complain about parenthood being part of Michelle Obama’s public identity without noting how the media during and just after the election fawned over Barack Obama’s involved parenting style and/or the fact that Michelle’s mother moved into the White House to take care of the children when Michelle is away doing her work as first lady.
There are two references to Michelle Robinson changing her last name to Obama without any acknowledgment of the difference in the effect of those two names. Robinson is an extremely common name (I’ve known two Michelle Robinsons personally) and Obama is not; might changing her name have been a pragmatic strategy to give herself a unique identity? I think it’s actually sexist to view Obama as HIS name when it is in fact now HER name as well.
- ‘Becca Stallings