Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s new book “Becoming” is flying off the shelves, and apparently, her book tour is making waves as well.
While in Brooklyn, NY, Obama decided to lay down some inconvenient truths that may have feminists, of all people, completely up in arms.
The advice? You can’t have it all despite what some feminists may tell you. Being a career woman and a happily married woman isn’t as easy as leaning in, as one popular feminist likes to put it.
Obama discussed her own personal experiences of going through the stages of marriage with her husband, former president Barack Obama, and noted that everything changed when they had kids. While Mr. Obama was off doing his job, Mrs. Obama was at home with the children.
“People are like, ‘Why is she talking about marriage counseling?'” she said. “And I’m like, duh, marriage is hard, it is hard.”
“A marriage is hard work, and I share that because, I see too many young people who frivolously enter into marriage … they think the love and the courtship part has something to do with what marriage is, and it doesn’t — it’s a little bitty part of it,” Obama continued. Marriage is “two independent individuals trying to come together to build a life, forever.”
“As much as we wanted children … kids are an interrupter,” Obama added. “They mess it all up. Barack and I say, that’s why they make ’em cute.”
That’s when she dropped the bomb.
“Marriage still ain’t equal, y’all,” Obama told a crowd of nearly 20,000. “It ain’t equal. I tell women that, it’s not equal. That whole you-can-have-it-all: Nope. Not at the same time.
“That’s a lie,” Obama said bluntly. “And it’s not always enough to ‘lean in’, because that s*** doesn’t work all the time.”
“Lean in,” is a phrase made popular by former Yahoo CEO Sheryl Sandberg from her 2013 book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” In it, Sandberg posited that women would take more leadership roles if they were more assertive, and could have it all if they put up more of a fight.
For one, nobody should be taking advice from Sandberg, who is responsible for some of the worst decisions in Yahoo’s history and caused Yahoo to take a massive dive in both reputation and finances. Obama, however, seems to have more of a realistic take on the world.
Women can’t have it all, nor should they expect to have it all.