During Barack Obama’s first term as president, first lady Michelle Obama became a well-loved public figure in the United States. Recently a poll showed that the majority of Americans (73 percent) believe that Michelle has been a wonderful first lady. However, this adoration does not come without criticism. As in most disputes, the group with the largest bone to pick happens to be a group of women. It turns out that feminists have a problem with how Michelle is handling her role as first lady, and they are feeling let down by her example.
Well-known feminist Linda Hirshman was vocal about her opinions about Michelle Obama choosing to give up her career in 2008 by claiming that Michelle had “let down the team.” Feminists were not quiet about their belief that Michelle Obama had become a victim of her husband’s choices. Even black feminists parted from the main group, claiming that it has been historically impossible for a black woman to just be a mother, and pushing that Michelle has the right to do just that if she pleases.
Recently Hirshman has spoken up again since Michelle has made it clear that she is not going to live her life the way that others see fit. The first lady seems to be content with raising her children and gardening. Hirshman says, “I’ve kind of lost interest in Michelle Obama. She was trapped by assumptions about race and had limited room to maneuver. Whether that was a welcome choice or she had no choice, I will never know. It’s very difficult to envision her as running for senator from the state of Illinois as you did with Hillary Clinton running for senator from the state of New York.”