Or actually the first thing I thought — because I was hearing it, not just reading it — was oh, no, she's one-upping Nancy Pelosi doing that feminine "crying" voice. Oh, how my heart has hardened to Crying Voice! I don't know how I'm going to keep going. It's not easy.
But then after I thought that and thought the Instapundit thought (that men have a shorter life span), I saw the First Lady's point. Women may depend more heavily on the health care system, especially early in life when they need to manage their fertility. Childbirth and its alternatives — other than celibacy — require medical help. And babies and young children need their doctor visits, and a lot more women than men take responsibility for getting them.
Men have shorter life spans, but not because they are short-changed on medical treatments:
[N]ew research into why the gap in male and female life spans exists suggests that a natural male propensity toward risky and daredevil behavior may be one reason men don't live as long as women....And let's not forget that some of that male violence is directed at women — another reason women seek medical care.
More men than women die in car accidents, other types of accidents, homicides, and suicides, the researchers note. They add that in the U.S., the gender gap in death rates peaks in young adulthood and is mainly due to behavior.
Moreover, without advanced health care, the male life span would be greater:
“Up until very recently in human terms, life expectancy for men was greater than for women,” [said] Carol J. Hogue .... a professor of maternal and child health and of epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health....So, I'm going to say that Michelle Obama is right, that health care has a special women's angle, and it made sense to mobilize the rarely-seen female figurehead to tell us so.
Why did women overtake men in life expectancy?...
“The major killer in early life for women was maternal mortality, and that has been tamed considerably, whereas the major killer for men is violence and accidents, and that has not gone down as dramatically as childbirth deaths have gone down,” Hogue says.
Women shouldn’t take their longer life expectancy for granted. The 2004 gender gap in U.S. life expectancy was the smallest it’s been since 1946. If women continue to adopt unhealthy habits like smoking, the gap may narrow further....
If she could just squeeze that crying tone out of her voice. Stop hamming it up. Talk straight using real facts and tie it to actual provisions in a legislative text so we can check your work.
As for that belt. I know everyone is talking about the belt MO wore. Some people are perceiving a 3-D quality that make it look like it holds bullets. But it is flat, and it just happens not to be flattering.
Somebody has apparently decided that MO should accentuate what might be the narrowest part of her body, the very high waist. This theory has been taken to an extreme with wide leather belts. But the circumference isn't that small. And the "waist" at that level includes the rib cage. It's right over the diaphragm. You can't cinch that belt tight without restricting breathing. I'm thinking the belt looks bad, worse than her stylists realize, because she's giving herself breathing room.
I'm guessing Michelle is feeling chafed and constricted by a lot of things, and that belt isn't just literally suffocating her, but it's reminding her of all the many ways she's being reined in and tied down. It makes you want to let that belt out another notch. Or take if off all together. Use it as a whip. But no, she really can't. She's got to be First Ladylike. So here she is murmuring feelingly about women's health.
And there she is acting out a show of vegetable shopping:
Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.Did she say that with admiration? I'm sure she tried. I imagine her thinking: They made me do this. They've consigned me to the vegetable department. Why the fuck are you people here?
The first lady, in gray slacks and blue sweater, marveled that the people were "so pumped up" despite the rain. "I have never seen so many people so excited about fruits and vegetables!" she said.
The first lady picked up a straw basket and... she loaded up with organic Asian pears, cherry tomatoes, multicolored potatoes, free-range eggs and... two bunches of Tuscan kale. She left the produce with an aide, who paid the cashier as Obama made her way back to the limousine.There now. Are you satisfied? I am not carrying this thing, and I am not doing any money transactions. Now get me the hell out of here. Where's my limousine?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking her. I sympathize. All this feminism for all these years and the First Lady — the First Lady with a Princeton and a Harvard Law degree and who had been the prime moneymaker in her family — gets squashed in the vegetable bin and squelched by an ugly belt to the solar plexus.