Dear reader, please free up thirty minutes of your time to watch this video of Michelle Obama’s speech in New Hampshire yesterday. It is probably the most important speech of the entire US political campaign so far. In fact it is probably the most important speech about women we have had the privilege to hear in recent years, maybe ever.
This is iconic footage; it is Michelle Obama’s finest hour. How sad though, that it had to be about something so negative, but how lucky we are to have her – to have this clear, true voice to stand for women. To say that now, enough is absolutely enough.
Through speaking about his attitude towards women primarily, what she so perfectly highlights is the real threat the US (and the world) faces if Donald Trump succeeds in the race. Without once mentioning his name, she articulates eloquently and emotionally how he makes us feel as women –how we feel under threat from him and his behaviours, his attitude and his disgusting words. How he cheapens, reduces and de-bases all the progress made thus far. How he brings their national narrative to its’ lowest level; to that of hate, fear and aggression. How he plays on people’s insecurities, how he abuses other people, how little respect and basic human decency he holds. How he is a bully, a warmonger, and a dangerously un-evolved thinker.
But this speech is a powerful plea to, and for, women. She speaks of how, maybe, we’ve become accustomed to keeping our voices low, to not stand and shout for ourselves, of how this has been the way for so long, for so many women all across the world.
How each and every one of us can probably tell a story of some negative scenario where we have felt unease around a man who was behaving in a predatory fashion. How none of us want our daughters to experience it…
We all feel we are moving on as a society, our voices are amplified on issues we need to talk about. As individuals, and as larger communities, we have social media to talk about things we care about – we have platforms, spokespeople, and initiatives. We have the Everyday Sexism campaign, we have Repeal the 8th, we have He For She, and we have great writers, great voices, and great publications. We have talks and conferences at global level. Change is happening as we go along.
But… we are still under threat from this man. Trump embodies the threat we have felt for a long time. He embodies many types of threats – not least international security. And in the past week, we have come to understand that he embodies a threat to women.
Michelle Obama, this powerhouse of a woman, has called him out on our behalf. In her words, ‘enough is enough’.
We hope, from the deepest part of our hearts, that the women of America, from all political persuasions, make the right choice with their vote. That they protect themselves, their mothers, daughters, sisters and friends, and stand up to this; their greatest threat.
In her words again, ‘truly strong people lift each other up’, American women, and all of us, need to note this.
Watch this video, then let us lift each other up, and stand for women, now and forever.