Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker at the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles on Saturday (May 5), where she spoke with Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross about women and voting.
Obama made a point to address the high standards women hold one another to and how that has affected society. “In light of this last election, I’m concerned about us as women and how we think,” Obama said according to The Hill. “What is going on in our heads where we let that happen, you know?”
She also addressed how Hillary Clinton’s experience and qualifications as a politician didn’t matter in the 2016 election. “When the most qualified person running was a woman, and look what we did instead. I mean that says something about where we are,” Obama said of Clinton’s failed presidential bid. “That’s what we have to explore because if we as women are still suspicious of one another, if we still have this crazy, crazy bar for each other that we don’t have for men … if we’re not comfortable with the notion that a woman could be our president compared to … what, then we have to have those conversations with ourselves as women.”
In Obama’s eyes, society has not reached a leveled playing field when it comes to gender equality. She suggests that women are not allowed the same privileges as men when it comes to failing.
“I wish that girls could fail as bad as men do, and be OK, because let me tell you, watching men fail up—it is frustrating,” the former first lady said. “It’s frustrating to see a lot of men blow it and win. And we hold ourselves to these crazy, crazy standards.”
You can hear Obama speak about women and failure at the 24-minute mark in the above video.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.