Here's the problem I have with Facebook commenters: they don't. read. the. article.
Yesterday, MSN linked an article in which Michelle Obama and Laura Bush were interviewed in Tanzania. One question was what it was like to be first lady. Michelle Obama answered quite candidly and honestly, which was surprising to me. Her answer:
"while our husbands ... have to react and respond to crises on a minute-to-minute basis, we got to work on what we're passionate about. ... I have just found it a very freeing and liberating opportunity. ... [Laughing] There are prison-like elements, but it's a really nice prison. You can't complain. There are confining elements ... While people are sorting through our shoes and our hair ... whether we cut it or not"
Okay. I'm sorry. I just don't see where she blatantly says the first lady is like living in a prison. Honestly? All I see is her finding a way to explain her situation. What is her situation, you may ask? You may say, her job seems pretty cushy/lots of perks/she was just in Africa and that trip cost $500 million (that was an actual comment on Facebook). Every little thing she does is scrutinized, from her fashion choices, her infamous bangs, to her words and actions, and her right to bear her insanely toned arms. This is an excellent example of this exact thing: she says one little comment about how there are confining elements to the life of being married to the President, and people automatically get upset and call treason. Really?
And for real - Laura Bush, who was sitting right next to her during all of this, laughed and joined in, agreeing that, hey, guess what - being the First Lady is really isolating and confining! Why aren't people freaking out on her?!
And Michelle Obama is by far not the first person to say such comments about the lifestyle of a political figure:
Harry Truman called the White House a glamorous prison and the "great white jail." Did people freak out over that when he made those comments? Probably not.
Bill Clinton once said, "I don't know if it's the finest public housing in America or the crown jewel of the prison system."
And probably my favorite quote relating the life of the first family to a prison by Julie Nixon Eisenhower: "The isolation of the president in the White House is not so much self-imposed as it is imposed by others and by the nature of the office itself. The ushers, military aides, and key staff members all try to ensure that the president's energy is reserved for the big decisions; to spare him the petty details of life; to fulfill as quickly as possible his requests, large and small. His family is similarly isolated, and are oddly unaware of most of the rumors that sweep through Washington."
I just find it really odd that people try to argue with statements like these. Have these people ever lived in the White House? Have they ever been the President? Or heck, even a political figure at all? Sure, we have some preconceived notion of how a President and his family lives, and I'm sure some of it is true. But until we are in their shoes, I highly doubt we will ever know what is like to live under the microscope of the public and the media. Give me my simple life any day!
Her job is being the First Lady. And while some people think, "the First Lady doesn't do anything," or "since when is being married a job?" (-that is a real comment from facebook, also - being married takes work, I'm pretty sure, so I'd be interested in finding out if that specific commenter has been married...)
The First Lady does so much that we don't even hear about. And why? Because we only hear about her fashion choices, her haircut, or the weird comment she made about her so-called lifestyle. (I mean, really. I saw one person call her a tramp, one call her an a-hole idiot, and another call her the c-word. And you wanna know a fun fact? All three commenters? MEN.)
I don't know why I felt the need to write this.
But sometimes, the things I see on Facebook really weigh on me.
Thanks for listening. ;)