One woman’s take on Obama’s legacy

21 Nov

I just want to repost today’s Perspective on KQED. Patricia Riestra speaks about “Obama’s legacy” for her. She tells us:

I became a U.S. citizen in 2007 and voted for President Obama. I admired his prudence and tolerance, his calm when others were issuing threats and screaming. I’ll miss his voice and eloquence, which seemed so reassuring. But mostly, The way he treats his wife and daughters gave me hope and helped restore my view of men.

Whatever our own personal experiences with misogyny, it’s part of our cultural experience and norm. We see plenty of examples of misogyny in its most brutal forms (sex trafficking, domestic assaults and sexual assaults–which are not solely perpetrated against women, but are still normatively inflicted upon and against women as a group), as well as its more socially acceptable iterations (referring to “Hillary” and “Trump,” the unchecked use of slang for women’s body parts to disparage men, and the perpetuation of social inequalities via the intention or guise of chivalry).

While I believe and hope that we’ve had presidents before who have treated their female family members well, I agree with Riestra that Obama has been particularly notable for how we refers to and appears to treat his wife and daughters–including getting out of their way when it’s not his place to stand in it, even as POTUS.

That, I believe, is part of his legacy for all of us.

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