Cool, So Obama Says He’s A Feminist: Here Are 6 Ways He’s Proven That To Be True
Speaking at the White House’s first United State of Women Summit Tuesday, President Obama confirmed that he identifies as a feminist. “I know you’re all here for Michelle … but I did want to stop by and make one thing very clear,” he said to the crowd convened to discuss women’s issues in every aspect of society. “I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like.” While it’s pretty exciting to have a United States president finally say this loud and proud, Obama’s actions have actually proven he’s a feminist.
His declaration didn’t cause as much of an explosion as when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly called himself a feminist (what can I say, Obama’s a little late to the game) and people on Twitter lost their shit, but it’s still a momentous moment. The leader of the nation should believe in the basic principle that men and women are equal and should be treated as such, and it’s important that he set an example for other men, showing them that they need to support equality and not be afraid to use the “F” word. If it were any other man, I would be skeptical about them co-opting a women’s conference to declare themselves the face of feminism, but a speech from the president helps bring attention to the conference’s existence, and as the face of the nation, he needs to rally behind feminists.
Obama has been the most feminist president in history. While every leader has room for improvement, his administration has worked toward social and economic reforms that would drastically improve women’s lives, as well as explicitly advocated for gender equality throughout the years. Here are the main ways President Obama has backed up his claim to be a feminist.
He Created The White House Council On Women And Girls
In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the White House Council on Women and Girls with the specific purpose of addressing the problems facing females in America every day and ensuring federal agencies take women and girls into account when creating and implementing new programs and policies. Before this, half the population didn’t have a government group looking out for them. As he said in the executive order, women’s issues “are not just women’s issues,” because they really effect every single person.
He Supports Female Scientists
The Office of Science and Technology Policy, in collaboration with the White House Council on Women and Girls, is dedicated to increasing the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Obama has rallied behind efforts to encourage more mentorship of girls potentially going into STEM fields and efforts to keep women already working in the sciences in those jobs. “Communities that give their daughters the same opportunities as their sons, they are more peaceful, they are more prosperous, they develop faster, they are more likely to succeed,” the president said last summer in a speech given in Kenya.
He Wants Equal Pay For Equal Work
In January, Obama required companies with 100 workers or more to report how much they pay their employees to the federal government broken down by race, gender, and ethnicity. The goal was to combat discrimination and the gender pay gap that results in women in full-time jobs earning 79 cents for every dollar a man earns and women of color earning even less. “Women are not getting the fair shot that we believe every single American deserves,” the president said at a press conference announcing the new rule. “What kind of example does paying women less set for our sons and daughters?”
He Fights For Accessible Health Care For Women
The Affordable Care Act, championed and signed by Obama, not only makes health care more accessible for low-income Americans, it also prevents insurance companies from charging higher premiums solely on the basis of sex and ensures women can get birth control, cancer screenings, and maternity care. He also believes women should have autonomy over their own bodies and said he’s “deeply committed to protecting this core constitutional right” of obtaining abortions on the last anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
He And Vice President Joe Biden Have Stood Against Sexual Assault
Along with the vice president, Obama has made a point to speak out against sexual assault and create policies to prevent it. The nation’s two leaders created the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault in 2014, aimed at addressing campus assaults. He also joined Biden to launch the It’s On Us campaign the same year that spreads the message that everyone needs to be involved in stopping sexual assault.
He Wants Affordable Child Care To Be A Priority
The president also gets that child care is extremely important for women to be able to work outside the home — you know, like men are allowed to do. He’s pushed for expansions of the Child Care and Development Fund that gives grants to states for low- and middle-income family child care programs. He’s also been committed to making early childhood education a possibility for every child, which reduces child care and parental burdens that often fall on mothers. “In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, affordable, high-quality child care and early childhood education — these aren’t just nice to have, this is a must-have,” Obama said in a speech at the University of Kansas.
America still has a long way to go in terms of gender equality, so hopefully the United State of Women Summit achieved something. At least now we know for sure that the man leading our country believes we’re equal human beings.