Let's see, which will put you to sleep faster: President Obama's "I Am a Feminist" gush for Glamour, or the slushpile of fawning praise for the president's latest oeuvre from the commentariat?

First, Obama:

So we need to break through these limitations. We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear. We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs.

We need to keep changing the attitude that permits the routine harassment of women, whether they’re walking down the street or daring to go online. We need to keep changing the attitude that teaches men to feel threatened by the presence and success of women.

We need to keep changing the attitude that congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dads, and penalizes working mothers. We need to keep changing the attitude that values being confident, competitive, and ambitious in the workplace—unless you’re a woman. Then you’re being too bossy, and suddenly the very qualities you thought were necessary for success end up holding you back….

It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too. And as spouses and partners and boyfriends, we need to work hard and be deliberate about creating truly equal relationships.


OK, enough of that Ambien. Now for Emily Crockett of Vox:

The piece is a lovely, personal reflection about how Obama’s feminism and his life have been shaped by his daughters, wife, mother, and grandmother, as well as public figures like the late Congress member Shirley Chisholm….


Feminism is often stereotyped as being anti-male, or blind to the unique challenges that men face. But Obama points out that if you really understand feminism, that’s not what it’s about. Feminism gave us tools to understand how bias and gender stereotypes affect women, but it also uses those tools to show how these biases affect everyone — how misogyny and toxic masculinity go hand in hand, and how feminism won’t work unless people of all genders are working for it.

And Joan McCarter of The Daily Kos:

This man is certainly spending his last months in office in style, both in an official and unofficial capacity. Here he is, writing in Glamour: "This is what a feminist looks like." He writes about "watching my daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful young women."

It's a beautiful column, one that I would quote here in its entirety if copyright laws didn't prevent it. So go follow that link and read the whole thing.

The New York Times reports:

Brenda Weber, the professor and the chairwoman of the gender studies department at Indiana University, said she was “delighted” by the essay, which she said showed a nuanced sense of women’s issues. It is unusual for a man to write such an essay, let alone a president, she said.

To claim the identity of feminism and discuss why it is personally important to him and his daughters is a meaningful gesture coming from someone with the cultural authority of the president, she said.

And Lucia Graves at the U.K. Guardian adds her two cents:

For the most powerful man in the world to write about how gender stereotypes hurt not just women but men – which is to say, everyone – is a radical act….

Yes, this is powerful because it comes from the president but it’s more than that. With his powers of self-reflection and gift for articulating those insights, Obama is a role model for would-be feminist men in a way that nobody else can be.

And now, I'll just nestle down among the nice, soft pillows while the brook babbles and the wind-chimes tinkle and the angels whisper a lullaby….