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President Obama Shared Why He Calls Himself A Feminist

"That’s what 21st-century feminism is about: the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free."

Posted on August 4, 2016, at 9:26 a.m. ET

Back in June, President Obama addressed 5,000 attendees at the White House's United State of Women Summit and told the crowd, "This is what a feminist looks like."

He's the first sitting president to ever call himself a feminist.
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He's the first sitting president to ever call himself a feminist.

Now, in a new article for the September issue of Glamour magazine, Obama outlined why "it's absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism. ... We need to work hard and be deliberate about creating truly equal relationships."

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In it, Obama admitted that his own marriage has been, at times, unequal.

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I’ve seen how Michelle has balanced the demands of a busy career and raising a family. Like many working mothers, she worried about the expectations and judgments of how she should handle the trade-offs, knowing that few people would question my choices. And the reality was that when our girls were young, I was often away from home serving in the state legislature, while also juggling my teaching responsibilities as a law professor. I can look back now and see that, while I helped out, it was usually on my schedule and on my terms. The burden disproportionately and unfairly fell on Michelle.

And he talked about the importance of breaking down negative and confining gender stereotypes.

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"Forcing people to adhere to outmoded, rigid notions of identity isn’t good for anybody—men, women, gay, straight, transgender, or otherwise," he wrote. "These stereotypes limit our ability to simply be ourselves."

Obama also talked about why being a feminist is important to his daughters.

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"As a parent, helping your kids to rise above these constraints is a constant learning process," he wrote. "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."

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

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Click here to read the whole essay.

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