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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

EBC link'o'the day: Rebecca Traister on Michelle Obama

I'm going to try and do more of these linkage thingies. I don't really have the time to analyze every interesting literary and feminist and leftist article that comes my way, but I'd like to at least highlight my favorites.

So this is, so far, the most important recent article on the Jackie-fication of Michelle Obama: the reduction of an Ivy-educated hotshot to a fashion plate and mom. I wrote about this after Michelle's speach at the contention. I'd only add that both of the Obamas are experts at choosing substance over image. What I mean by this is, they are willing to make superficial compromises if it helps them achieve their goals. Only time will tell what their actual actions and policies look like. So before we freak out about the bondage of Michelle, let's give her a chance to do things her own way.

That having been said, it's important to consider the media's willing complicity on this:

But why have so many people who should know better so readily accepted this incomplete image of the future first lady? It is possible, I suppose, that some have forgotten that Michelle Obama is more than a pair of ovaries with a commitment to organic food and the sales at J. Crew. But there is also the distinct whiff of relief in the momification of Michelle, and in the regress to Camelot. It's as though the American media -- exhausted after the progressive exertions of having to be respectful and not misogynist about two women running for political office -- has loosened its belt and is relaxing back into a world in which all you have to do is write about what they wear and how they mother.


  1. I like her. I'm not the news media, so I don't have to tell why. (But, at least it's not related to her clothing).

  2. Yeah, it's funny how the "Black Power" version of Michelle just sort of faded away in the media. People are much more comfortable with Mommy Michelle, it seems.

    But not matter how they want to package her, she is who she is. Which is a bit of both, I suspect.

  3. you wrote:

    "I'd only add that both of the Obamas are experts at choosing substance over image."

    Michelle? Who cares?

    Barack Hussein? He is the epitome of image. He's so bamboozled his followers that not one of them has any idea what he might do as president. But all his followers still shout "yea".

    He's a lefty radical presiding over a lefty radical Congress. That gives him two years to rule like a monarch.