MSN - Barack Obama is a feminist. This is something he confirmed in detail at the White House Summit on the United State of Women in June—but it’s something his daughters, 15-year-old Sasha and 18-year-old Malia, know first hand. On the heels of his D.N.C. speech endorsing the first female Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Obama wrote an essay for Glamour, about why he is what a feminist looks like—and why it’s important his daughters know that.
When you’re the President of the United States, it means long nights (not counting almonds), and international trips away from home. But, as Obama says, “perhaps the greatest unexpected gift of this job has been living above the store.” Sasha was just 7 when her father took office and Malia 9; both have grown into full-fledged American teens, hanging around trendy music festivals and taking on summer jobs. In that time, Obama says his daughters have grown to be wise, socially aware women of the world.
“Michelle and I have raised our daughters to speak up when they see a double standard or feel unfairly judged based on their gender or race—or when they notice that happening to someone else. It’s important for them to see role models out in the world who climb to the highest levels of whatever field they choose. And yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.”
Obama evoked Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to run for president, who said, “The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, ‘It’s a girl.’?” But he says that now, with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, there is an opportunity to break these stereotypes that still exist in much of the country and the world.
“No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America,” he says. “And it’s just one more example of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality.” After all, he reminds, 21st century feminism isn’t just about the Benjamins; “it’s about the Tubmans, too.”