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5 mic-drops from Obama’s unprecedented new essay on feminism.

"It's important that their dad is a feminist, because now that's what they expect of all men."

5 mic-drops from Obama’s unprecedented new essay on feminism.

Obama has fully embraced the F-word, and he's not afraid to show it.

The F-word being feminism, of course.

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.


In a new essay published in Glamour, the president dove into our collective successes — and the hurdles that remain — when it comes to gender equality.

And honestly? It just might be the most feminist article a sitting president has ever written.

The whole piece nails why need to be changing our laws — and our attitudes — to promote a more equal future. But a few lines really stood out as deserving of an "Oh, hell yeah!"

1. Obama is not here for the double standard that congratulates a man for being a sexual person while shaming women for the same thing.

"We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear. We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs."

Obama and famed feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

2.  The president gets that there's only so much he can do to boost equality as a policymaker — we have to change our hearts and minds.

"While I’ll keep working on good policies — from equal pay for equal work to protecting reproductive rights — there are some changes that have nothing to do with passing new laws. In fact, the most important change may be the toughest of all—and that’s changing ourselves."

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

3. Obama predicts all of the men in Sasha and Malia's lives will wear the "feminist" badge proudly. And he expects nothing less.

"Michelle and I have raised our daughters to speak up when they see a double standard or feel unfairly judged based on their gender or race—or when they notice that happening to someone else. It’s important for them to see role models out in the world who climb to the highest levels of whatever field they choose. And yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men."

Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images.

4. The president made sure to note that women have been just as influential in shaping this great country as men — even if they haven't been recognized for it.

"I want all of our daughters and sons to see that this, too, is their inheritance. I want them to know that it’s never been just about the Benjamins; it’s about the Tubmans too."

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

5. And finally, he made it very clear: Feminism doesn't just benefit half of our society — everyone wins when equality is the norm.

"I want [our sons and daughters] to help do their part to ensure that America is a place where every single child can make of her life what she will. That’s what twenty-first century feminism is about: the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free."

Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.

As Obama understands, feminism shouldn't be a politically charged term — it should be an idea that every president fights for.

That's one legacy that will live long past his eight years in the White House.

Head on over to Glamour to read all of Obama's essay.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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