Utilizing M.Obama’s popularity, fabulosity, and intelligence, and all-around good mamaness has certainly been a boon to the democratic party. Most of the top women in the party make the rest of us bristle under the powermongering and “unfeminine” hostility. While I personally adore a strong woman, the women at the top of their political games are not the kind of people I’d like to spend a Saturday afternoon with, let alone work for. And that has been the most frustrating component of feminism in our modern experience. Women are battling women in a most ugly manner. I was disgusted by the nomination of Sarah Palin to the presidential ticket this last election cycle. Not because of Palin’s politics (though they are abhorrent to me), but because the logic behind her candidacy seemed to be about exploiting the real ugliness of women working with and for other women while being chosen by men. A wise friend told me a long time ago that “Sisterhood is [NOT] Powerful” and at the time I was horribly aghast at such an idea. She, however, has been on the fore of scientific, professional, womanly battles for work and mate. And she knew what she was talking about.
And as an aside, most everyone has chimed in on the nomination of the Honorable Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The most shocking (though least surprising) commentary fell from the lips of former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich himself. To which M.Obama’s response was to begin stumping for Sonia Sotomayor’s humanity in the public perspective. While Newt’s buddy, Rush Limaugh rants about wanting B.Obama to fail in efforts toward reviving our economy and bring back some semblance of reason to governance, M.Obama was busy wooing conservative-wifey icon, Nancy Reagan.
That is what makes M.Obama different. She doesn’t seek out the support of other women, per se. She does give her support to others while quietly plodding along, doing her best as she maintains a veneer of balance and serenity. M.Obama seems to be a woman who can “have it all.” But she doesn’t try to fool anyone into believing that she can, or should, have it all at once. The key to her success has been getting out of the limelight and working hard when necessary, getting into the show and speaking her mind when prudent, as well as focusing on what is best in her situation and working toward making it better. Even if B.Obama has not been able to attract dual-party support for radical change in Washington, M.Obama has won the hearts and minds of some dedicated conservative women by just being true to herself without attempting to take anyone else down – least of all another woman. Rather than fall into the trap of politicking like the men, M.Obama is seemingly forging a style of action that is all her own.
Lest someone accuse me of naivetee on the issue of M.Obama’s politics and political position, I am no fool in that regard. It is a disappointment to me that she is not an elected (or electable) official. My point here is that her efforts to navigate the sharkish environs inside and outside the beltway may lead toward a new sensibility when it comes to women’s politics, women as politicians, or even the impact that policymaking has on women’s lives. And that idea seems really attractive to me.