FLOTUS and Oprah talk gender equality

This week’s United State of Women summit not only brought to light some of the most important issues for women, it also brought together some of the most important female figures of our time share their thoughts on these topics — namely, First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

According to the Huffington Post, Obama told the crowd gathered at the Tuesday, June 14 forum that a large part in helping women achieve gender equality comes from men’s efforts. Thus, men need to “be better” overall to facilitate the process.

“Be better fathers,” Obama offered, according to the Huffington Post. “Good lord, just being good fathers who love your daughters and are providing a solid example of what it means to be a good man in the world, showing them what it feels like to be loved. That is the greatest gift that the men in my life gave to me.”

But Obama told Winfrey that her advice to “be better” doesn’t just apply to those men who are fathers; instead, it applies to all men in whatever roles they happen to occupy.

The Huffington Post says the first lady expanded upon her advice this way:

“Men can be better husbands, which is — be a part of your family’s life. Do the dishes. Don’t babysit your children. You don’t babysit your own children. Be engaged. Don’t just think going to work and coming home makes you a man. Being a father, being engaged, all that stuff is important. Be a better employer. When you are sitting at a seat of power at a table of any kind and you look around you just see you, it’s just you and a bunch of men around a table, on a golf course, making deals, and you allow that to happen, and you’re OK with that — be better.”

Obama continued to offer her insight on some other topics throughout the summit, as well, including delivering some spot-on advice on how to handle any naysayers that may come your way. According to the Huffington Post, the first lady told Winfrey:

“People won’t remember what other people say about you, but they will remember what you do … So my strategy — and I’ve always been like this. When a teacher would come and tell me that I couldn’t do something, I would get so much satisfaction proving them wrong. I’d be like, OK, all right, oh, you don’t think I’m going to do X, Y and Z, well, I’m going to be the best X, Y, Z you can imagine.”

Summing up Obama’s strategy on ignoring any haters — “The best revenge is success… and good work. You don’t have to say anything to the haters. You don’t have to acknowledge them at all. You just wake up every morning and be the best you you can be. And that tends to shut them up.”


To watch Obama and Winfrey’s complete discussion, click here.

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