April 28, 2009

"She shows women that it's OK to have dark skin and to not have a son. She's quite real to us."

The women of India look to Michelle Obama for inspiration, it says right here.

39 comments:

AlphaLiberal said...

That sounds so odd but I guess we used to think that way. (about the sons)

Balfegor said...

That sounds so odd but I guess we used to think that way. (about the sons).

I'm sorry, what is this "used to," white man?

peter hoh said...

The 1960s.

Couple down the block had 10 girls before they finally got their boys. Then they stopped reproducing.

I know a family where the mom told me that her husband was pressuring her to have a 4th child because he still wanted a son.

Balfegor said...

"She might be the first woman of color that females in male-dominated countries have seen as confident, bright, educated, articulate and persuasive," says Barbara Perry, author of "Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier."

Perry must be working from a different definition of "of colour" (vile locution) than I am. If we're talking about, say, India, then Indira Gandhi was probably the first (unless we go back to the Raj, in which case the Rani of Jhansi. If we're talking about Pakistan, then it would be Benazir Bhutto. If we're talking about the Philippines, then Imelda Marcos. If we're talking about Indonesia, Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Unless, I suppose, actual female presidents, rather than mere presidential spouses, aren't "bright, educated, or articulate." Or their skin isn't dark enough.

Africa may be a different kettle of fish, but my vague understanding is that the patriarchal structure in Africa is different from in Asia -- less of the son emphasis, etc.

Invisible Man said...

I know that someone will come around and try to twist this but skin color is a huge issue in India, especially for women. African-Americans have dealt internally with these issues for awhile, but Indians have an even greater insecurity about the hue of someone's skin. These are the types of issues that making broader racial discussions difficult. Some would rather ignore the perniciousness of issues that have developed from racism and how it still affects many to this day.

Marcia said...

"I know a family where the mom told me that her husband was pressuring her to have a 4th child because he still wanted a son."

That may or may not be about valuing sons over daughters. A lot of people want to have at least one boy and one girl. I don't remember where I read it, but in this country, couples are a lot more likely to have a third child if the first two are the same gender (either gender). And among my acquaintances, it is just as common for someone to "try for a girl this time" as to try for a boy.

rhhardin said...

``Trying for'' should lead to an increase in the other sex, on the average. So, let's see, a widespread desire for a son would lead to an increase in the population of daughters.

Differently stated, the most productive men wind up being the ones that tend to produce daughters.

rhhardin said...

I'd like to hear whether the criminal element admires Michelle.

You always hear from these innocent third worlders in surveys.

Peter V. Bella said...

Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn
Stretch. Who cares?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Indians have an even greater insecurity about the hue of someone's skin. .

Can you clarify? Are you suggesting that Indians are racists?

Bissage said...

It’s not just the dark females of the world who have found their hero in the First Lady.

Word has it a newly inspired Michael Jackson has been undergoing an extensive course of negroplasty.

jimbino said...

Good for Michele, but too bad she, like almost all lawyers, especially women, doesn't do math, science, chess, haute couture, haute cuisine, cabinetmaking, welding, engineering and design.

And she's visible only because a man is walking beside her. Better role models are lawyer and chemist Maggie Thatcher and PhD physicist Angela Merkel ("the most powerful woman in the world").

Furthermore, Angela Merkel, better even than having no sons, has not polluted the world by breeding--another greatly needed example for the Indian woman.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"She might be the first woman of color that females in male-dominated countries have seen as confident, bright, educated, articulate and persuasive," says Barbara Perry, author of "Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier.".

Condi Rice is chopped liver? More likely, too much of a stretch. She got where she did on her own, not by marrying a man who put her there. That may be so out-there that these people can't even see it.

MadisonMan said...

Further evidence that America is great.

TMink said...

When we were told that my wife was carrying triplets I was terrified that I would have all daughters. This is not because I needed a son to feel like a man, but I was worried that I would never get to watch guy tv.

Turned out fine, were are three and three.

But it is differenct having girls and boys. I am pleased to be blessed with both.

Trey

TMink said...

Laura asked: "Condi Rice is chopped liver?" Yep she and Margaret Thatcher are not included.

Only "correct thinking" strong women need apply thankyouverymuch.

Trey

William said...

Some years back I read of a bus containing Brahmins that had overturned and gone into a a river. The Brahmins preferred to die rather than accept a life line thrown to them by lower caste bystanders. So it goes.....Not all prejudices are created equal. The murderous hatreds of Africa and Asia are as ignored as the hideous class prejudices of the Marxists that killed millions in previous generations......The Obamas are nice people. I hope their example encourages other people to be nice. But anyone who looks to them as a source of salvation is sure to end up as bereft of hope as a Madoff investor.

mariner said...

Laura(southernxyl):
"Condi Rice is chopped liver?"
Condi Rice is a non-socialist. That's MUCH worse than chopped liver.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Anyone else getting tired of the media famning over the Obamas?

Chris Matthews is likely to die from electrocution, caused by slobbering on his microphone.

Give it a rest.

srfwotb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

I'm not a fan of the Obama's but if you read the article, it makes the key and very good point very early on:

They're considered ugly if their skin and hair are too dark. They are deemed "cursed" if they only have daughters. Many would-be mothers even abort their children if they learn they're female.

[Michelle Obama] has dark skin and hair. She walks next to her husband in public, not behind. And she has two daughters. But no one calls her cursed.
If all Michelle Obama does is give oppressed women around the world more confidence, all power to her.

srfwotb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cedarford said...

MadisonMan said...
Further evidence that America is great.
..

Woman with OK grades and medium test results gets scholarship to Princeton. Where coincidentally, her older brother is The basketball star and thinking of leaving his senior year to play for the NBA. Princeton "finds a way" for him to stay and still comply with NBA rules.
On strength of her skin color and Princeton degree in sociology, she gets into Harvard Law.
Gets through, gets into a prestigious law firm, but fails the Bar. After 6 months of tutoring, she retakes it and passes but being a lawyer is not something she is cut out to do, so she drops her law license after 3 years of struggle. But thanks to meeting Big O, has now won patronage of Big O's patrons of the fabulously wealthy Crown, Pritzker, and Klutznik families. And his patrons in top law ranks and Chicago Dem politics.

And starts a string of "sinecure" jobs with the Dailey machine, then the U of Chicago as a "Diversity Queen" with flexible hours...

Next thing you know, she is in the White House. Where according to Heather Ferreira she "inspires Indians by her skin color not to think they must have sons" and lionized by Jackie Kennedy hagiographer as "She might be the first woman of color that females in male-dominated countries have seen as confident, bright, educated, articulate and persuasive," says Barbara Perry."

My gosh, what a fairy tale and proof America is great! Forget about Indira Gandhi, Acquino, Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Or all the non-noble pasty-skinned women leaders.

She's Jackie with a tan! Our new Princess Caroline's Mom now that the original and the daughter are somewhat brand-damaged.

jimbino said...

No, Michele is not quite "Jackie with a tan." Jackie could speak a foreign language fluently, something that NONE of our other first ladies could do and that NONE of our presidents since Teddy Roosevelt could do.

We are a nation of ignorant patriots, and we probably deserve the ignorant leaders that we get.

Anthony said...

If you notice, most of the women quoted are neither very international nor part of the subgroup of women that are supposed to be so impressed.

-- Susan M. Reverby is a professor of women's studies at Wellesley College

-- Barbara Perry is author of "Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier."

-- Thu Nguyen is of Vietnamese extraction but works at a nail salon in South Pasadena, California

The others (apart from the white German woman) seem to be primarily those associated with Western NGOs, notably World Vision.

This is a stupid, useless, fawning piece of journalistic diarrhea. Condi Rice would have been a far better candidate to inspire actual dark skinned women to succeed apart from hanging on the coattails of their husbands.

But then, it's a typical sort of NY Timesy article about a supposed "new trend" sweeping the nation which turns out to be a trend among a few people in Manhattan and San Francisco that the author knows.

Cedarford said...

jimbino said...
No, Michele is not quite "Jackie with a tan." Jackie could speak a foreign language fluently, something that NONE of our other first ladies could do and that NONE of our presidents since Teddy Roosevelt could do.

We are a nation of ignorant patriots, and we probably deserve the ignorant leaders that we get.
Not true.

James Garfield was expert in speaking and writing in both Greek and Latin. He was a classics language instructor for a time. And Garfield was famous for a parlor trick that perhaps only he, in history, could do. Garfield was also ambidextrous and what they call "mentally agile". So he could read off a book in English, Greek, or Latin /and do the same with someone speaking the language to him --and simultaneously translate the other two languages writing with both his left hand and right hand on two other pieces of paper. Shame he was shot. Crete Garfield was fluent in French and German.
Woodrow and Edith Wilson spoke and read German.
Both Herbert Hoover and his wife Lou spoke and read Chinese. Mrs. Hoover was completely fluent, and did book translations from Chinese. Lou Hoover was also a brilliant woman, a true natural athlete, and a polyglot. S she was fluent as well as medieval Latin, medieval German, high+low German, Italian, and French.
FDR was conversant to fluent in both French and German. But in meetings with leaders preferred a translator "lest one careless word be misconstrued". Eleanor was fluent in French and in sign language for the deaf.
Ike spoke German, Maisey did not know another language but English.
Jackie you mentioned.
Lady Bird Johnson was fluent in French, and conversant in Spanish.
Pat Nixon was conversational in French and could "get around" in Spanish. Nixon himself knew Latin and could follow Spanish and French at meetings - but was far more interested in knowing the history and culture and writings of a nation and it's leaders - to better understand them - than language. His knowledge of some countries key history and cultural drivers was stunning to some foreign leaders.
Betty Ford knew and taught for a living once, 3 languages used for developmentally disabled, blind, and deaf.

Both Carters are fluent in Spanish.
As are George H. and Barbara Bush in French.
***************

BTW, we are not a nation of ignorant patriots. But we do have some ignorant people that think language fluency is a prerequisite to being patriotic and not being ignorant.

molly said...

Can you clarify? Are you suggesting that Indians are racists?You could leave a comment like this, or you could do a quick Google search.

Synova said...

"I know that someone will come around and try to twist this but skin color is a huge issue in India, especially for women."

It seemed to be a big deal in the Philippines when I was there. One lady told me that it was good to go work in Kuwait for a year (despite knowing how terrible the treatment of Filipina maids could be) because having to keep covered up and never going anywhere meant that when you came home again your skin was very light. Skin bleaching treatments were advertised on television.

It was a bit much for an American girl to get her mind around.

Those who worked outside -- poor girls on farms -- got very dark very quickly. Having dark skin is a sign of poverty. Being tan is going out of fashion here with concerns about skin damage, but trying to have a dark tan meant the opposite. Someone with time to lay out doors and roast herself was likely well off.

In any case... I don't mind Michelle. I don't care about her either, but if it encourages someone that she is very dark and not subservient and not expected to produce a son... that's great.

I think she's far better looking than her husband anyway, mostly because she looks more African than he does.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

George W. Bush speaks Spanish, a fact conveniently smothered by a biased press in 2004 as they fawned over Kerry for speaking boarding-school French.

Obama speaks only English.

michael farris said...

"Condi Rice would have been a far better candidate to inspire actual dark skinned women to succeed apart from hanging on the coattails of their husbands"

No, not without kids or husband she wouldn't be. Not saying that's wondeful or rational, but it's the way it is.

I'm not a fan of either Obama but if Michele can help Indian women have fewer hangups about skin color and less hangups about giving birth to girls instead of boys then all power to her!

Foobarista said...

In much of the world, skin color is regarded as a class marker, not a "race" marker. If you have dark skin, the perception is you got it by working outside in the sun as opposed to "professionally" working indoors.

BTW, Chinese are the same way. Just ask any Chinese woman to go to the beach. As often as not, she'll show up covered from head to toe to avoid the sun, and may have a sun umbrella to boot.

Palladian said...

"Just ask any Chinese woman to go to the beach. As often as not, she'll show up covered from head to toe to avoid the sun, and may have a sun umbrella to boot."

See, that's what I call intelligent. It's better than melanoma.

richard said...

does this mean we're not racist?

Cedarford said...

Jeff with one 'f' said...
George W. Bush speaks Spanish, a fact conveniently smothered by a biased press in 2004 as they fawned over Kerry for speaking boarding-school French.
Vincente Fox commented that Bush II tried to speak Spanish, but really wasn't that good. "Like he took it in grade school, then stopped. But I appreciate him trying."

Neo said...

No, it means that only America is racist - all others who hate people who are darker than they are are in fact superior to our base ways.

Synova said...

"It's better than melanoma."

It might not be.

If it turns out that the sun is good for some things that can't easily be seen, the fact that it's bad for the skin that can easily be seen, might well weigh out in favor of sun exposure.

Methadras said...

"AlphaLiberal said...

That sounds so odd but I guess we used to think that way. (about the sons)"

Your neutered, why the fuck do you care? Besides, your feeble attempts at trying to rehab your reputation here after blaming conservatives for shootings is a failure and transparent, you shameless, humorless prick.

kentuckyliz said...

If Indian women are getting blamed for not having sons, it shows that they are not getting a rudimentary high school biology level education.

The sperm determines the sex of the child. X or Y. Women only have X.

Men should be ashamed of themselves if they can't have sons.

There, see how ridiculous?

Better education is what they need.

Wen said...

Rainbow.