As part of the U.S. government's commitment to “Let Girls Learn,” First Lady Michelle Obama and the Peace Corps have formed a powerful collaboration to expand access to education for adolescent girls around the world. This collaboration believes that educating girls is essential to healthy and thriving communities.
Globally, 62 million girls are not in school, and barriers to adolescent girls completing school are particularly significant. In some countries, fewer than 10% of teenage girls complete secondary school.
The new program will address that challenge by empowering local leaders to put lasting solutions in place. Peace Corps Volunteers who live and work at the grassroots level will serve as catalysts of community-led change, and every American can get involved and make a difference.
In March, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about her own experiences with sexism during a speech on the power of education and her “Let Girls Learn” initiative in Argentina.
At one point, Obama candidly said, “As I got older, I found that men would whistle at me as I walked down the street, as if my body were their property, as if I were an object to be commented on instead of a full human being with thoughts and feelings of my own. I began to realize that the hopes I had for myself were in conflict with the messages I was receiving from people around me.”
Obama continued to say that these messages from others were telling her how she looked as a girl was more important than how her mind worked, and “that being strong, powerful and outspoken just wasn't appropriate or attractive for a girl.”
Just recently someone put the quote on their local Facebook page. I was simply shocked at the comments about the First Lady that came because of the post. So many comments were full of aggressive, harmful language. It made me wonder what our nation has become as it struggles with polar opinions and political correctness.
Let me share.
- “Hey idiot tranny, that's a compliment where I come from.”
- “Fuckin' monkey.”
- “Men whistled at her? I have never heard a 'Monkey'
- “Who would do that? Must have escaped from a mental
- “Was that when she was a man or after her transgendering?”
- “Everyone knows that she was born a he. I wonder why they are still trying to hide it? Other countries laughing at us maybe its hard to tell.”
- “Maybe those terrible whistles gave her brain damage.”
- “But they weren't whistling at her they were whistling for her.”
- “It was only whistling like calling a dog.”
- “A tranny dog.”
- “Did they think she was a hound?”
- “Tiny Tim.”
- “'It' is probably referring to when 'it' was a 'man.'”
- “Uh, that was the tea kettle... I don't know any men that
are that hard up... or blind!”
- “It must have been Ray Charles.”
- “Dream on, who in the Sam Hill would whistle at her. Yuck spit & Puke.”
- “Whine..... this is coming from one who has made it to the top!! She will never want for anything the rest of her life and we will take care of her and her family..... get over it.... we all have been through something in our life... join the club to real life.”
- “Since they were seeing you from a distance, they thought you were a female.”
I am so amazed that people spew hatred and vile comments about the First Lady on public media for all to see. No matter your political views or your dislike for Michelle Obama, you spawn vicious discrimination by posting such bigotry. Name-calling is a sport practiced by ignorant children who do not know better. When immature adults engage in this behavior, they feed the frenzy of mindlessness so prevalent in our society.
Who is Michelle Obama?
I doubt if few who judge so harshly know anything about Ms. Obama. Perhaps a short biography is in order. For all with an open mind, here is some background about Michelle Obama.
Craig and Michelle, 21 months apart in age, were often mistaken for twins. The siblings also shared close quarters, sleeping in the living room with a sheet serving as a makeshift room divider. They were raised with an emphasis on education and had learned to read at home by age four. Both skipped the second grade.
By the sixth grade, Michelle was taking classes in her school's gifted program, where she learned French and completed accelerated courses in biology. She went on to attend Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, the city's first magnet high school for gifted children, where, among other activities, she served as the student government treasurer. In 1981, Michelle graduated from the school as class salutatorian.
Following in her older brother's footsteps, Michelle attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985, and went on to earn a degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. At Harvard, she took part in demonstrations demanding for more minority students and professors. She was awarded her J.D. in 1988.
Following her graduation from Harvard, Obama became a member of a Chicago law firm, where she met her husband, future U.S. President Barack Obama. She also worked as a Chicago city administrator and community-outreach worker.
The couple married on October 3, 1992.
In 1996, Michelle joined the University of Chicago as associate dean of student services, developing the school’s first community-service program. Beginning in 2002, she worked for the University of Chicago Hospitals, as executive director of community relations and external affairs.
In May 2005, Obama was appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she continued to work part-time until shortly before her husband's inauguration as president. She also served as a board member for the prestigious Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Barack Obama was elected President of the United States in 2008, and on January 20, 2009, Michelle Obama became the 44th first lady of the United States.
As the 44th first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama has focused her attention on issues such as poverty, education, the support of military families, helping working women balance career and family, and encouraging national service. During the first year of the Obama presidency, Michelle and her husband volunteered at homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the Washington D.C. area. Michelle also has made appearances at public schools, stressing the importance of education and volunteer work.
Michelle Obama remains committed to her health-and-wellness causes. Since 2010, Michelle has put efforts to fight childhood obesity near the top of her agenda. In 2012, she announced a new fitness program for kids, as part of her Let's Move initiative. Along with the U.S. Olympic team and other sports organizations, she has worked to get young people to try out a new sport or activity.
In May 2006, Michelle was featured in Essence magazine as one of "25 of the World's Most Inspiring Women." In September 2007, Michelle was included in 02138 magazine as number 58 in "The Harvard 100," a yearly list of the school's most influential alumni. She has also made the Vanity Fair best-dressed list two years in a row, as well as People magazine's 2008 best-dressed list and was praised by the magazine for her "classic and confident" look.
Obama has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy due to her sense of style and also to Barbara Bush for her discipline and decorum. Obama's style has been described as "fashion populist." In 2010, she wore clothes, many high end, from more than 50 design companies with less expensive pieces from J. Crew and Target and the same year a study found that her patronage was worth an average of $14 million to a company.
In August 2011, she became the first woman ever to appear on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. During the 2013 Academy Awards, she became the first First Lady to announce the winner of an Oscar (Best Picture which went to Argo).
Both Michelle and Barack Obama have stated that their personal priority is their two daughters, Malia and Sasha. The parents realized that the move from Chicago to Washington D.C. would be a major adjustment for any family. Residing in the White House, having Secret Service protection and always being in the wake of their parents' public obligations has dramatically transformed their lives. Both parents try to make their daughters' world as "normal" as possible, with set times for studying, going to bed and getting up. "My first priority will always be to make sure that our girls are healthy and grounded," Michelle said. "Then I want to help other families get the support they need, not just to survive, but to thrive."
I post this blog entry in hopes of “letting girls learn” what tremendous sexism and disgusting judgments they face as they grow up. I didn't make up any comment shared. They are all real posts (without names to identify the perpetrators). I am merely holding a mirror to the prejudice in order to warn you about some very hateful people.
Evidently some still engage in wolf-whistling and other base activities because they feel superior to women, and they feel they have the right to treat girls as animals. Witness how one person called Michelle "it." Then, of course, the worst -- calling a black woman -- anyone, for that matter -- a “monkey” or a “dog” is racist, sexist, and bigoted behavior that is intolerable. I think of my own granddaughters suffering such perverted injustice, and it makes me furious. In truth, it makes me sick.
Is it humorous to name call? Calling Obama a “tranny” is an attempt to discredit her as the wife of an American president. This may have begun because of a sick online report of “documented proof that Michelle has the hands of a man, the shoulders of a man, the overall body proportions of a man, male genitalia, and an Adam’s apple.” This transsexual rumor is very offensive and obviously a hateful hoax. Remember when the President was accused of being born in Kenya, and he had to release publicly his original long-form birth certificate that proved he was born at Honolulu's Kapiolani Hospital on August 4, 1961? Some evidently don't care about the effects of vicious stories posed to spread animosity.
It is ironic that such terrible posts stemmed from Michelle Obama's comments while she was representing the Peace Corps and the United States government at the conference about female education. Reading the vile words gives us all an education about what is wrong with human relations in America.
Ladies, people may hate you for your opinion, for your looks, for your position, for your gender, or for merely breathing. Beware of those who may prey upon you because of envy and jealousy in the disguise of opposing political correctness.