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I'm a Feminist, Says Barack Obama

  • VOA News

FILE - From left, President Barack Obama with daughter Malia and first lady Michelle Obama with daughter Sasha, walk from Marine One across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Aug. 23, 2015.

FILE - From left, President Barack Obama with daughter Malia and first lady Michelle Obama with daughter Sasha, walk from Marine One across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Aug. 23, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he is a feminist.

In a piece written for Glamour magazine, Obama said Thursday that having two daughters has made him "more aware" of the way gender stereotypes pervade U.S. culture.

He said it is "absolutely men's responsibility to fight sexism too," and it is important that he is a feminist, because his daughters now expect the same standards from all men.

"As spouses and partners and boyfriends, we [men] need to work hard and be deliberate about creating truly equal relationships," he said.

Obama noted that pressure to look and act a certain way is especially intense for girls of color. He said first lady Michelle Obama has publicly acknowledged insecurity about appearing too assertive or too "angry."

The president said both he and his wife raised their girls to "speak up when they see a double standard or feel unfairly judged based on their gender or race — or when they notice it happening to someone else."

Obama pointed out that this year for the first time ever, a woman — former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — is the presidential candidate representing one of the two major political parties in the United States.

"No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America," he said. "It's just one more example of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality."

He concluded the Glamour essay by saying that equal rights for women means equal opportunity for all.

"When everybody is equal," he said, "we are all more free."

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