Michelle Obama Receives Flak for Focusing on Health & Hearth
As First Lady Michelle Obama promotes physical fitness, healthy eating and her book about the White House garden, she and Ann Romney, the wife of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have submitted cookies to continue following tradition and entering Family Circle’s “First Lady cookie contest.”
(Obama’s recipe is for White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies while Romney’s is for Ann Romney’s M&M cookies.)
But all of that hasn’t exactly gone over well with some critics. Cookie recipes aside, Obama’s dedication to health and hearth has irritated some folks who, according to the Washington Post, think that Obama’s talents are being underutilized and undermined by her focus on traditional female subjects, particularly as the debate continues about working mothers who try to “have it all” which was kicked off by the recent, controversial Atlantic Magazine cover story.
“It didn’t take long before the critique [of the First Lady cookie competition] began, drawing a flurry of online comments reflecting on whether Obama had sacrificed too much by focusing on her children and her husband’s career or had offered a model for working mothers,” Krissah Thompson wrote in the Post.
The author of the book, Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World, lawyer and outspoken feminist Linda Hirshman told the paper, “The first mom, gardener thing . . . [is] silly. . . I do admire the discipline and grit to see that this is the role you have to play and play it. I could not do it.”
However Obama was given words of support by the former president of the National Organization for Women, Patricia Ireland who said: “When she started at the University of Chicago, she worked many long hours, but when President Obama announced he was going to run for president, she cut her hours 80 percent. Maybe we’re not talking about work and family balance. We’re talking about prioritizing at any given moment.”
What do you think?