As first lady to America's first black president, Michelle Obama is judged by what she does but also what she represents. It is this dichotomy, the Washington Post reports, that has caused a feminist divide. Some say her chosen issues of fighting obesity and acting as "mom in chief" are disappointing, especially in the shadow of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"Are fashion and body-toning tips all we can expect from one of the most highly educated First Ladies in history?" asked author Leslie Morgan Steiner in an online column last January. She said she'd "read enough bland dogma on home-grown vegetables and aerobic exercise to last me several lifetimes."
Steiner contended Obama probably had little leeway. "I'm sure there is immense pressure — from political advisors, the black community, her husband, the watching world — to play her role as First Black Lady on the safe side."
Feminist discontent with the first lady spiked again last summer at the Democratic National Convention, after she called her daughters "the heart of my heart and the center of my world." She then repeated her feminist crazy-maker: "You see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still 'mom-in-chief.' "
Read more at the Washington Post.