It isn’t Michelle Obama topping Forbes list of Most Powerful Women that should be getting people all hot and bothered. It is a financial magazine attesting the role of First Lady. What did you expect? She has clout, she has money, she is the face of low-cal apple pie and high-end frocks.
Therefore, for a reason not many will be with me I endorse the fact that, in a rather circuitous manner, the ‘housewife’ as power figure is being legitimised. For those who scoff at it wearing their standard power suits and posing like Lady Gaga who is also on the list, let us get this in our heads – a lot of women in the world do not work out of choice (and career women are also mothers and wives). A lot of women are indeed homemakers because that is what they want to do. I meet such women, young women, who want to just get out of the career thing because they have started early and now wish to relax. I meet men who want to retire before they are 40 because they are done with the rat-race. But this is not about men; it is about women. And I see no reason why the magazine has to justify her as fashion icon, tout her law degree and emphasise that she is not a political interferer.
If her concern about children’s obesity has reportedly made Coca Cola and Kelloggs look into the calorie count of their contents, then it is due to her political stand. It will impact how her hubby will be viewed as well as how the White House pushes health care policy to at least a certain degree.
So, forget fashion. Ms. Obama has got the top post because she is the female face of the US. For those who believe that Hillary was a more deserving contender, well, she was in the White House as First Lady. Oprah Winfrey earns big bucks for making people talk about fashion and tending gardens and men and women. Lady Gaga has got balls, which would put her in a different gender category. And, most important of all, they might all have liked to be within sniffing distance of the Oval office if they got a chance. So Michelle gets it for being at the right place at the right time with the right person – and what’s her dog’s name?