President Donald Trump has made his feelings about womankind abundantly clear during the first year of his presidency: just weeks after his inauguration, he reinstated a global gag order that bans US-funded groups from even discussing (let alone providing) abortions. In February, he enforced a sexist dress code upon his female staff. Then there’s the not-so-little matter of his countless on-record misogynistic remarks, as well as the fact his administration is currently doing its best to defund Planned Parenthood.
And yet, despite Trump wearing his misogynist credentials loud and proud on his sleeve throughout the presidential campaign, only 54% of women voted for his opponent, Hillary Clinton. An overwhelming 52% of white women voted for Trump – and, to these women, former First Lady Michelle Obama has issued a powerful rebuke.
Speaking at Inbound, a marketing and sales conference in Boston, Obama told the audience: “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.
“It doesn’t say as much about Hillary, and everybody’s trying to worry about what it means for Hillary and no, no, no, what does this mean for us, as women? That we look at those two candidates, as women, and many of us said, ‘He’s better for me. His voice is more true to me.’
“To me that just says, you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like.”
Despite her stern words, Michelle added that the Obamas still want Trump to make a success of his time in office.
“We want the sitting president to be successful because we live in this country,” she said.
“He is our commander-in-chief, he was voted in.”
Then, almost as an afterthought, she added: “Barack [and I are] not going to turn into what this President was, which is somebody tweeting in the wind and stirring up mess without really knowing what they’re talking about.”
Michelle went on to announce that she’s writing a book about believing in our most authentic selves – will include stories from her childhood.
“How did that little girl get to be here? How many of us have sat in a classroom somewhere and watched a man go on and on and on?” she asked the women in the audience.
“We’ve been socialised to sit there and be quiet. We think in our heads ‘maybe I’m wrong.’ We have to be perfect.”
Discussing the writing process, Michelle finished by saying it has given her time to stop and reflect on her years on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“When you’re in it, you don’t have a moment, a second, to think,” she said.
“This is the first time in eight years, probably more 10 years, that I’ll have a chance to think back on what it all meant.”
Images: Rex Features