Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National convention last night was brilliant rhetorically and substantively. It was delivered with the passion of someone speaking her truth, the spark of a woman deeply in love, and the skill of a lawyer who knows how to build an arc of persuasion.
There was no ridiculous “I love you women!” moment in Michelle’s speech. There didn’t need to be because she actually communicated with women how her husband’s policies—from equal pay to reproductive rights—demonstrate that he respects and values them.
When Michelle said of Barack, “Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are,” she drove the ball straight home with voters. And she touched the hearts as well as minds of anyone watching.
Mondays are typically slow news days, and today was apparently no exception to judge from the superfluous questions asked of Politico’s Arena panel today. On the other hand, I’m still ticked off that I didn’t know about the Missoni collection at Target until it was sold out, so what do I know? Did any of you find the Missonis? And really, do you think the media should have spent one drop of ink reporting on Michelle Obama’s shopping trip to Target?
Arena Asks: An Associated Press photographer’s shots of First Lady Michelle Obama strolling away from the checkout counter at a Target store in Alexandria, VA, circled the globe Friday. While many found the photos endearing, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck saw it differently. Considering the photographer just happened to be at Target at the same time, was the first lady’s shopping trip an innocent errand or image manipulation?
This post is generously shared by its author, former New York Times reporter (she was their first female sports reporter) Robin Herman. It was originally published Sept. 12 on her blog girlinthelockerroom. Robin was also in the first class of women at Princeton University.
Forty years ago this September, on the first weekend after Labor Day, a group of just over 170 young women set foot on the Princeton campus as bona fide members of the University’s 3,400-strong student body. Their steps onto the ivied campus and into the old stone classrooms constituted an historic milestone for the more than 200-year-old Princeton, but it was also recognized as a symbolic act for a nation that was grappling with issues of equity in civil rights and women’s rights. For until that fall of 1969, young women, no matter their intelligence and potential, were still excluded from some of the greatest centers of learning in the United States — Princeton, Yale and Dartmouth — while several others of the Ivy League colleges maintained a technical distance from women by admitting them only through “sister schools”.
Although Yale University also went coed that same fall, it was Princeton that attracted television cameras, high jinx and hoopla as we arrived at the designated women’s dormitory, Pyne Hall, on a sunny afternoon, the yellow bees buzzing around the juice and cookies that had been placed on tables in the courtyard. Princeton and its Gothic architecture, beauty and fraternal traditions had been advertised for decades to thousands of high school English classes through its best publicist, Princeton alumnus F. Scott Fitzgerald, in his semi-autobiographical novel “This Side of Paradise.”
Princeton’s decision had come haltingly and hastily in the spring of 1969 as a means to blur its “old boy” image and stay competitive, recognizing that top high school students were showing Woodstock-era preferences for coed colleges. By admitting just a sprinkling of young women, Princeton became a coed institution that year in name only, our presence serving as a test case. Would we make it?
And so that September we were greeted by a welcoming committee of male student guides who gallantly carried our luggage up the steep flagstone steps to our dorm rooms. But we also soon heard about the outraged alumni who saw in us teenaged girls the slipping away of the all-male Princeton paradise that they’d known. In letters to the University and to the alumni magazine, furious male alumni baldly suggested that Princeton was wasting student slots on women — who would only get married and tend house afterwards — even mounting a discredited movement some 10 years later to “Bring Back the Old Princeton.”
This is what’s on Anne Doyle’s mind these days as she contemplates the recent rise of women in disparate worlds of politics and business. She’s “tired of tokens and tailblazers”, and looking for real, sustained leadership by women. Thanks, Anne, for sharing this thoughtful post.
What a month it’s been.
First it was an historic, stockholders meeting for Xerox. CEO Anne Mulcahy officially confirmed she willbe retiring July 1st and introduced her personally selected and groomed successor, Ursula Burns. Not only will Burns be the first Black woman to head a Fortune 500 company, she and Mulcahy have also charted the path of another milestone: the first woman-to-woman CEO handoff in Fortune 500 history.
Superheroines, Quemosabe! If art imitates life and pop culture depicts contemporary life most real and raw, then these new Female Force comic books deliver a powerful message that women in top political leadership have truly saturated our cultural consciousness. Embedded video …