Michelle Obama gave a speech about treating women with respect and here’s why that’s important
The First Lady Michelle Obama gave an impassioned and inspirational speech yesterday (October 13th) regarding sexual assault and the current language being used in the election.
Speaking in New Hampshire, Obama spoke about how recent discussions had “shaken me to my core.”
"The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today," The First Lady said.
Opening up about how on Tuesday (October 11th) she had been celebrating the International Day of the Girl and Let Girls Learn, Obama told how she wanted to instil a sense in young women that they deserved to be treated with respect and dignity, something that the current political rhetoric of one presidential candidate didn’t permit.
"I can't believe that I'm saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women," she said. "This is not something that we can ignore. It's not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. "Because this was not just a "lewd conversation". This wasn't just locker-room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behaviour, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV."
Michelle Obama went on to say that this sort of rhetoric encourages a dangerous conversation and legitimization of rape culture.
"Strong men - men who are truly role models - don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together," she said. "And that is what we need in our next president. We need someone who is a uniting force in this country. We need someone who will heal the wounds that divide us, someone who truly cares about us and our children, someone with strength and compassion to lead this country forward."
You can read Michelle Obama’s full speech here.
Watch Michelle Obama’s full speech below.
Michelle Obama’s speech is so, so, so important. As she said, there’s been an outpouring of hateful and dangerous language about women being used in the run up to the presidential election.
While she didn’t name any names during the 30-minute speech, Obama’s message about the impact that these sorts of comments being made by powerful figures like, say Donald Trump, have on people and how they legitimise misogyny, sexism, rape culture, and negative attitudes towards women.
Likewise, as she said, this isn’t just another headline, normal or “politics as usual.” No woman deserves to be abused in any way shape or form, whether verbally or physically, and any conversations that endorses that behaviour is never okay.
"Enough is enough."