Daughter, sister, wife, mother — pre-feminism comes to the Democratic convention

Michelle Obama is an accomplished woman. She graduated from Princeton and from Harvard Law School. After that she practiced law at a top Chicago firm. Then, she took on a prominent role as a lawyer for a major hospital.

Yet last night, at least according to the transcript of her speech, she mentioned none of these accomplishments [note: she alluded briefly to having gone to college and law school and having left a law firm]. Instead, she defined herself as the daughter of her “rock” of a father, the sister of the estimable Craig Robinson, the wife of Barack, and the mother of small, cute daughters.

It was a pre-feminist speech.

For the Obamas, the need to impress voters with Michelle’s “ordinariness” (a counter-intuitive way to impress) clearly trumped the need to adhere to the feminist narrative so dear to the heart of Hillary Clinton’s core supporters.


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