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1 mom worked throughtout my whole life and i'm not fucking dancing on tables. i actually hate dancing...

Posted by shrubbysteve | June 29, 2007 10:53 AM

How rude of her to not consult ECB before making her own decisions in life for what she thinks is best for her daughters. Selfish!!1!

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 29, 2007 10:54 AM

ECB, you're either damned if you do and damned if you don't.

If she wants to do it, and is able to do it, then what's the problem other than the logic behind it is a bit hyperbolic?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 29, 2007 10:54 AM

I would say there's absolutely nothing wrong with her making that decision, but her language makes most of our mothers look like selfish jerks who were squandering our futures so they could enjoy the fun, fun, fun of being a working mom. That is the lame part, as far as I'm concerned.

And was Laura Bush not a stay-at-home mom? That would surprise me very much.

Posted by Levislade | June 29, 2007 10:56 AM

Let's try to not dis other people's lifestyle choices, even if we wouldn't make those choices for ourselves, mmm?

Posted by Will of HA | June 29, 2007 10:57 AM

Hmm. If it's what she wants then, as a woman, she should have the right to do it. Feminist doesn't mean workaholic.

Posted by Carollani | June 29, 2007 10:58 AM

Give her a break. Even highly ambitious women (not to mention men) shuffle their career priorities from time to time, to accommodate family or other priorities. It's an individual choice.

On the other hand, I enjoyed how the article included the pronunciation of Obama's name. Guess that's still a challenge for those downstate Illinois news readers.

Posted by Joe M | June 29, 2007 11:00 AM

Ms Barnett, that's her own lifestyle choice. Your blurb is so judgmental. Isn't feminism all about the right for us to make our own decisions?

Posted by RedGrapes | June 29, 2007 11:03 AM

The decision and announcement of said decision has a distinct air of opportunism and politicking. Good for the girls, sure. GREAT for the campaign.

Posted by watcher | June 29, 2007 11:07 AM

Big fucking deal. Her body, her choice.

Posted by Jason Josephes | June 29, 2007 11:10 AM

Big fucking deal. Her body, her choice.

Posted by Jason Josephes | June 29, 2007 11:11 AM

@6: nailed it.

erica, a woman's decision to stay at home and focus on family is just as valid as a woman's decision to have a career, or any combination of the two.

i'm surprised at your reaction to this bit of news. feminism is about choice, and a woman's right to decide her path, rather than have it decided for her.

Posted by kerri harrop | June 29, 2007 11:16 AM

@7 I grew up downstate, so dis carefully.

And Mrs. Obama's timing is what's a little off to me. "See, I'm a good mommy! I won't get in the way with my silly needs!"

Watching candidates morph is one of the things I find most distressing about politics.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | June 29, 2007 11:19 AM

Michelle Obama's 6 feet tall and will kick your ass, Barnett!

Posted by DOUG. | June 29, 2007 11:22 AM
Hmm. If it's what she wants then, as a woman, she should have the right to do it. Feminist doesn't mean workaholic.

Feminist means independent. Feminist means not believing that if you don't give up your independence, you're a bad woman and mother.

Read the article -- that's what Erica is referring to as "lame." This is yet another reason I support Hillary, whose daughter Chelsea apparently turned out horrible according to Obama.

Posted by jamier | June 29, 2007 11:26 AM

Insert ranty rant here about how the whole "should moms keep working or stay at home" argument is utterly meaningless to the majority of households for whom having Mom work is more or less an economic necessity, not a lifestyle choice.

Posted by tsm | June 29, 2007 11:29 AM

I, for one, don't have a problem with Michelle Obama staying at home with the kids. I do, however, have a problem with her implication that the children of working mothers are more likely to become fuck ups. Maybe it was only meant as a joke, but I found it insulting and disappointing.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 29, 2007 11:29 AM

so independence is working...not the choice to work or not work? feminism takes a sound principle and then takes it to an extreme and turns off anyone that believes in a more universal ideal of independence and freedom.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 29, 2007 11:30 AM

keshmeshi, the dancing on tables thing has to be an illinois thing. my mom frequently said those exact words when I was growing up (and im a guy!).

perhaps she believes her own children would be fuckups if she wasnt there, which is really just insulting to her children and barack.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 29, 2007 11:34 AM

@13 ahh, but mark, timing is all relative to the circumstances we are all in. michelle obama didn't have a husband running for president two years ago. now she does.

her decision to focus on their children and his campaign -- a campaign with an end result that will affect the entire family -- is simply one partner supporting the other.

imagine if the obama roles were reversed and barack announced that he was going to devote his time to raising their daughters and supporting his wife's campaign. he would be lauded as a supportive husband and good father.

parenting is the most difficult job there is and people fuck it up constantly. there's nothing wrong with trying to be the best parent you can be.

Posted by kerri harrop | June 29, 2007 11:36 AM

Somebody once told me feminism is about choice. It was a nice thought, but it's meaningless if we criticize a woman for choosing to spend more time with her family in the midst of the awesome workload of a political campaign.

And that stuff about Hillary is a little ridiculous. She sacrificed plenty for her husband's presidential ambitions. Her career wasn't the only thing she put on the back burner for Bill--some would say she also sacrificed her dignity and pride.

I feel bad writing that, but I find it absurd that someone would criticize Michelle Obama and offer up Hillary as a model of feminist virtue.

Posted by Ryno | June 29, 2007 11:38 AM

oooh oooh as for people being opportunistic in politics;


get over yourselves idealists.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 29, 2007 11:39 AM

Ms. Harrop is wise. Bwaaaananan!!1!

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 29, 2007 11:40 AM

eh, it could go either way. She says the campaign wants to show the country that family is important. she might be saying that only stay at home moms show that family is important -- or she might be saying that given her unique situatin, she feels this is what is necessary to raise her kids they way she wants to. both are good, but the former does imply negative connotations for those who could stay home but choose not to.

Posted by infrequent | June 29, 2007 11:43 AM

Okay, anyone who is criticizing Michelle Obama for being a stay-at-home mom, raise your hands!

Oh, look at that. No hands raised. (at least, not yet)

I'd like to see someone show once, just ONCE, where anyone has complained or suggested that Ms. Obama is less of a woman because she's choosing to be a stay-at-home parent. If you can't do that, then stop wasting time and space attacking straw feminists.

4, 17, and 19 got it right.

Posted by Jean | June 29, 2007 11:51 AM

I danced on a table once while singing karaoke. It was kinda wobbly.

I blame my mother.

(for the table being wobbly.)

Posted by Jordyn | June 29, 2007 11:57 AM

so... if she was raising her kids full time and she decided to get a job - would you proclaim 'Michelle Obama abandons her children!!!'

A tad shrill, no? I'm sure her workplace will replace her pretty quickly and effortlessly. Not that she won't be missed, but please.

Is it a problem that this stinks of 'must promote image of stay-at-home mother for presidential candidates'? Yes. But you didn't address that at all.

Less screech, more thought please.

Posted by ummmm | June 29, 2007 11:59 AM

Normally, I wouldn't bat an eye if a woman chooses to stop working and be a stay-at-home mom. If she's independently wealthy or someone else is around to provide a sufficient income, there's certainly no law that says she has to work.

The problem I have is the timing. With her husband's income, she clearly didn't need to work before. She chose to work, for whatever reason. Her becoming a stay-at-home mom looks like pure political pandering to me. She's just doing it to make Barak a more acceptable candidate to the traditional family crowd. Which is absurd, if you think about it.

Posted by SDA in SEA | June 29, 2007 12:01 PM

@25 - there are some feminists who have taken that position, in a more general sense.

Posted by tsm | June 29, 2007 12:02 PM

@25 - there are some feminists who have taken that position, in a more general sense.

Posted by tsm | June 29, 2007 12:03 PM

"She says the campaign wants to show the country that family is important. She asked the crowd, "How do you lead if your own home isn't in order?""

I am totaly down with staying home with the kids if you are financially able to. But, I find it a little creepy that she said "the campagin wants to show the country". I mean, that makes it sound like it wasn't a personal decision, it was the campaign's decision. As in, it will look better to Mr. and Mrs. Peoria if she doesn't work. That that will make her more relatable than, say, HRC was as First Lady. So, that's why they wanted her to do it.

I'm no idealist, but it does give me the willies a bit that the American people might not be able to accept a woman with a career.

Posted by Julie | June 29, 2007 12:04 PM

As a man, I'm a bit jealous when this issue comes up because in our culture... the man doesn't really have that much of a choice. Choice defaults to the woman.

And I'm no 'masculinist'.

Posted by man's world | June 29, 2007 12:05 PM

Don't any of you haters understand the official Stranger policy is that children are evil and stupid and should be aborted...unless they can be adopted by any number of assorted deviants and degenerates?

Come on, she should abandon her children because we all know that having a heavily involved parent makes no difference in a childs development. They just murder them anyway.

Posted by ecce homo | June 29, 2007 12:11 PM

@32. When my husband and I have kids, the discussion of who will stay home will probably rest on who has the greater earning potential. If we had kids right now, he would definitely be the one staying home since my earning potential is about 4 times his at the moment. At least in our house, choice doesn't default to the woman, it defaults to what is best for the family. Which, at this point, would be for me to continue to work, even though I would love to stay home (mostly because I hate my job, but still).

Posted by Julie | June 29, 2007 12:17 PM

are you serious? u r so yuk.

Posted by cochise. | June 29, 2007 12:25 PM

In Erica's mind, she's probably most concerned that Obama will spend her time at home pampering the family dog and helping wheelchair-bound neighbors onto the Chicago bus system. Erica's views have become so marginalized that I think it's time for her to go write for the Socialist Worker's Daily now.

Posted by Trey | June 29, 2007 12:29 PM

Oh, come on.
The dancing on table-tops was clearly a jab at the Bush twins, not at children of working mothers in general. Granted, it wasn't an overly fair jab, but they're Bush's daughters.

Posted by hattio | June 29, 2007 12:38 PM

Erica patted my dog on the head once. She can't be all bad.

@20 I am a cynic. Deal.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | June 29, 2007 12:44 PM

tsm's article summary:
So women don't have a real choice because men are tyrants and want women to stay at home. And women have to get married to men. and women should be more like men to be well rounded humans because taking care of children opposed to reading insurance contracts makes you well rounded.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 29, 2007 12:51 PM

@29/30 -- Yea, so? Where is Linda Hirshman posting on slog? Why are people arguing against her here when she, and others who agree with her, aren't around (or at least, aren't posting)?

If someone wants to argue against her position, fine. But go to her blog and do it, and stop trying to put her words in the mouths of people here.

Posted by Jean | June 29, 2007 12:57 PM


I'm starting to think you're one of those Republican faggots. I wish you A**S, C****r,



Posted by Mr. Poe | June 29, 2007 12:59 PM

Wishing me Aids huh Mr. Poe?

Class act...

I'm glad you can't have kids. The rest of us normal fags who don't do trains in the bushes at volunteer park are greatful. Have fun with your prolapse.

Posted by ecce homo | June 29, 2007 1:05 PM

ecce, I want you to prove you're homo and not a troll. Pony?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 29, 2007 1:08 PM

I don't think Michelle Obama is running for president so I'm not sure this is newsworthy.

But I do remember in 1992 that Hillary Clinton when asked why she had a career said, "I could have just stayed home and baked cookies" slamming stay at home moms. Actually throwing stay at home mothers under the bus because the question was really about how ethical it was to represent clients in front of a judge appointed by your husband.

By the way, The Sun ran pictures of Chelsea being carried drunken from a bar in the UK. And her mother quit working outside the house when she was 13 so I hope it works better for the Obamas.

Posted by mikeblanco | June 29, 2007 1:08 PM

Hey BA,

I have a little thing called self-respect. I allows me to not feel the urge to go stick my cock in a hole in the wall in some sleazey bar for a "thrill".

My partner and I are quite happy thanks. I don't need Hep.

Posted by ecce homo | June 29, 2007 1:11 PM

@44, Michelle Obama gave this speech to "female campaign donors" today, presumably to get some press on this. I think it shows more about Obama's campaign strategy than his policy positions, which I think is newsworthy. And while it seems targeted to the Bush twins, it'll likely be used by some D opponent to show that Obama is against working mothers.

By the way, I think that the Bush twins are more the result of their father's partying and his inability to be successful at anything without being propped up by his dad's buddies. (Or in the case of the Texas Rangers, being propped up by the taxpayers who built them a new stadium.) A child in that situation learns that no matter how badly you screw up, someone will be there to bail you out and provide you top notch legal representation.

And as keshmeshi says, the problem isn't that Michelle Obama is staying at home, but dissing those moms that do. I thought that Obama's campaign would be stressing the enlightened "choice" approach instead of feeding the stay-at-home moms vs. the working moms war. The latter approach is great for dividing moms, bad for uniting many women who will likely spend their adult, pre-retirement years alternating between full-time work, part-time work, and working at home. Social Security punishes women who don't work full-time, though the tax code punishes those married women who do work full-time. And that's not even getting started on this country's lack of consistent quality on child care.

Posted by Ebenezer | June 29, 2007 1:27 PM

I never said AIDS. What are you talking about?! I meant Aids. Big difernece [sic]!

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 29, 2007 1:32 PM

Mrs Obama was being cheeky, regarding the dancing on tables thing. She meant it as a jab to the Bush twins. She is not stupid. She is making a political move for the sake of voters who are a funny ill-informed, bi-polar bunch. They (the Obamas) 're trying to get that block of mom voters that HRC has in her pocket. Wives of presidential candidates are being more upfront, just look at Edwards' wife taking on Ann Coulter. I think the Obamas move is a wee late, and HRC is unstopable. The Dem machine wants HRC that seems to be obvious. My question is, Is ECB calling the political move by Michelle LAME? Or is she calling LAME the fact that Mrs Obama who is clearly a sharp cookie left her VP job for a possible role in the White house where she will be have much more power than she has now? Her post was a bit unclear.

Posted by SeMe | June 29, 2007 1:44 PM


You are no normal fag, ecce. You aren't even gay. Admit it.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 29, 2007 1:53 PM
Feminist means independent.
I love that somebody wrote that as a way to criticize Michelle Obama's choice.

Kerri Harrop has well articulated most of what I would say. Two more small points:

  • Given the new pressures, environment, and opportunities for trouble doubtless faced by any children of a presidential candidate, it's not hard to believe that the timing of Michelle Obama's switch reflects sincere concern for her children as much as anything. It wouldn't surprise me if the campaign is capitalizing after the fact on a decision made in private at home.

  • Does anyone else see a similarity between fearful opposition to same-sex marriage and the way some people here seem to feel threatened by an educated woman choosing to raise her children full-time?

  • Posted by lostboy | June 29, 2007 3:19 PM

    since when does raising kids not constitute a career? erica's post is the kind of shit that makes feminism misunderstood and inaccessible to many people.

    Posted by olivia | June 30, 2007 2:02 AM

    ericas post is the kind of trash that makes feminism inaccessible and misunderstood by many. #20 and #50 nailed it. if you dont consider raising little ones a career please dont have any.

    Posted by olivia | June 30, 2007 2:23 AM

    ericas post is the kind of trash that makes feminism inaccessible and misunderstood by many. #20 and #50 nailed it. if you dont consider raising little ones a career please dont have any.

    Posted by olivia | June 30, 2007 2:27 AM

    @46 I see. If the press cover something its newsworthy because, after all, the press covered it.

    If someone can afford not to work its their choice. If someone thinks its better for children to have one parent at home its OK if they express that opinon. People are allowed to disagree with you as long as they don't try to force you to do what they want.

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