Tracey Mendrek, Senior Consultant

Washington Post writer Lonnae O’Neal Parker wrote an interesting piece on First Lady Michelle Obama this weekend regarding the choices she makes as a mother, first lady and an African-American.  Should she do more, should she do less, should she take on more substantive issues than childhood obesity?  Are her platforms appropriate for an educated black woman in America?  Many men probably missed the dialogue since it ran in the lifestyle section of the paper, an appropriate place for this long-running discussion.

But the bigger question is why are we still having this discussion?  Wasn’t the crux of the feminist movement to give women more opportunities and more choices to make, what ever they might be?  It is tiresome to see women beating down other women for their choices.  This is not a red or blue issue; this is an issue of choice, a choice that is made every day by every American, white, black, Hispanic, male or female.  Haven’t we come far enough in this country to simply respect the choices women or men make?

Michelle Obama has focused her attention on two things since moving to Washington; Sasha and Malia. Women and men make choices every day that may not make them popular, but in that moment they believe they are doing what is right. It is not our place to judge those decisions. Just imagine the upheaval if we suddenly didn’t have a choice.  That my friends is called communism, anyone interested?

Beyond her family, Mrs. Obama has chosen to shine a light on childhood obesity and military families.  These are perhaps the two most forgotten segments of our population.  In both cases the people she has chosen are well deserving of her attention.

Childhood obesity is killing us, literally and figuratively.  This is a key reason why health care is so expensive.  As for military families, their only fault is falling in love, or being born into a family where someone has chosen to serve this country.  Far be it from us to question their choices (see reference to communism above).

If you watch the inauguration festivities today, take a deep breath and don’t judge Mrs. Obama on her dress, her bangs or her decision to be a “mom in chief.”  She makes the same choices we all make every day.  Respect her choices and our freedom to make them.

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