Barack, Michelle and the Myth Of Marital Equality
They may not be equals. But they are together. Look what his dream did for them.
So, the New York Times wonders how you could ever hope to have equality in a marriage when your husband is the President of the United States. The answer is that there is no such thing as equality in marriage, and most people who have been married know that. It's a test of wills, a trial of trust. You trust each other's dream. It isn't about who has the upper hand, because rarely does anyone have it for long. Power, if we want to call it that, ebbs and flows. There is no equality, just contentment with your position. If you are married for any period of time, it all evens out.
There is some vaguely feminist notions that equality is about who makes more than or as much as whom, who has more education, who washes the dishes on how many nights of the week. Whose dream is being fulfilled. Most of you know I think feminists are full of poi, because we all know who is suppose to pay when the dinner check comes, right?
If you and your mate are compatible even a little, then your dreams will find each other and fuse together seamlessly. Michelle Obama let her husband dream without (too much) guilt. And not no trite, rhetorical BS-type of dream to keep his mind pacified either, but a dream he could actually make into reality. Barack Obama knew if he failed, she, her love and all her sheepskin had his back. It wasn't a pissing match, because if it had been, she had him beat by miles. She let him dream, and she had him faded. But that notion seems antiquated to some strong black women. I get it.
This explains the faux-mysterious failure rate of most black marriages, because many people go into them with Candyland visions of a perfect union where everything is everything all the time, men wear bras and everyone lives happily ever after. Or it becomes some kind of battle for supremacy, to see who will best the other and come out on top. Ultimately, everyone loses.
What marriage teaches you, as I note in my up-coming memoir-ish tomeThe Denzel Principle, is that people are hopelessly, tragically flawed. You have to decide upfront to accept your loved one's imperfections or move on and resign yourself to a life of multiple cats and loneliness. Sometimes, he snores. Sometimes, she farts in her sleep. More often, she makes more money than him, or vice versa. Maybe he spends money foolishlessly on comics, rare books and video games. Like me. This is Life.
What about Michelle's dream? Good question. I wonder if any black woman ever had the audacity to dream of being First Lady. So maybe by letting him dream, he gave her more than she could ever dream of. They may not be equals. But they are together. Look what his dream did for them.
Think about it.