Oprah! Pink T-shirts! "Gender equity" in pay! And best of all: Michelle Obama!
It's the "United State of Women," a first-ever one-day Washington "summit" on "issues that…impact women" ponsored by none other than White House itself.
And no, no, no, you cheap cynic, it's not a baldfaced ploy by the Clinton machine to shore up the female vote for Queen Hillary, timed perfectly to follow Michelle's hubby's endorsement last week. It's real! It's totally dedicated to making the lives of women better, or at least better for filing Title VII lawsuits and nagging your spouse.
And it's bringing tears to the eyes and smiles to the faces of even the most world-weary women journalists. Here's Issie Lapowsky at Wired:
Inside, thousands more fill a cavernous convention hall, where they browse exhibits set up by groups like End Rape on Campus and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Groups clad in matching pink Planned Parenthood T-shirts weave through the crowd and cling like magnets to Cecile Richards, their organization’s embattled president, who was the brunt of Congress’s many attacks last year. Together, they snap selfies. Overhead, the speakers blast back-to-back women’s empowerment anthems: “No Scrubs.” “Natural Woman.” “Run the World (Girls).”
And, in case you didn't get the message:
In many ways, today’s United State of Women conference feels like a celebration of how far women have come. And we have come far. Last week, nearly a century after women got the right to vote, Hillary Clinton clinched a major party’s presumptive presidential nomination—a major milestone in United States history.
But of course, we gals can't just celebrate. We've got to get serious:
This morning, the White House announced $50 million worth of commitments to improve the lives of women and girls around the world, as well as a litany of initiatives that target key gender gaps in society.
One of the major initiatives is the new White House Equal Pay Pledge, through which companies promise to conduct an annual gender pay analysis and reassess their hiring and promoting processes to ensure equity. Already, tech giants including Airbnb, Amazon, Pinterest, Salesforce, Slack, and Spotify have signed the pledge, which is key, given the drastic gender gaps that exist within the tech industry.
The Department of Labor, meanwhile, is updating its sex discrimination guidelines for the first time since the 1970s.
Hmm, "Equal Pay Pledge," "sex discrimination guidelines." Are any of you lawyers out there reading this? Lawyers are a girl's best friend!
Top item on the summit agenda: First Lady Obama talking to Oprah Winfrey about…men. Here goes:
It was a summit on the "United State of Women," but Michelle Obama had advice for the men in the audience: Be better.
"Be better at everything. Be better fathers," she said during a conversation with one-time talk-show host Oprah Winfrey. "Just being good fathers who love your daughters and are providing a solid example of what it means to be a good man in the world. That is the greatest gift that the men in my life gave to me."
She urged the men who were among the estimated 5,000 people who attended the daylong, White House-organized conference to be part of their family's lives, to do the dishes and not "babysit" their children.
"Be engaged. Don't just think going to work and coming home makes you a man," Mrs. Obama said.
Were there actually any men in the audience? How often do you think Barack Obama does the dishes around the White House?
Ah, what a difference a day makes! Another day, another round of "empowerment," employment-discrimination litigation, and trying to get that husband of yours to pitch in with folding that laundry. Women's work is never done.