When Men 'Whistled' At Her And Teachers Dismissed Her, Michelle Obama Decided To Listen To Her Own Voice


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited Argentina this week to coincide with the 39th anniversary of the country's Dirty War. Although most people are talking about the Obamas' wicked awesome dance moves during the visit, the powerful speech the first lady delivered on the trip is what really deserves everyone's attention.

On Wednesday, the first lady spoke in Buenos Aires to a group of young women about gender equality in education. Juliana Awada, the first lady of Argentina, was also in attendance.

"Like most women, I know what it feels like to be overlooked," Obama said, according to Bustle. "And like many of you, as a woman, I take all of this personally."

Obama spoke about her "modest upbringing" in a small city apartment as a child. She told the crowd about her ambitious dream of going to a university and becoming a lawyer. Although Obama had the support of her family, she said that the teachers in her school doubted her potential.

In the speech, she described them as "people who thought a girl shouldn't have ambition."

She added that they were more focused on which man she should marry, instead of how she could achieve academic success.

"As I got older, I found that men would whistle at me or make comments about how I looked as I walked down the street, as if my body were their property, as if I were an object to be commented on instead of a full human being with thoughts and feelings of my own," Obama said. "I began to realize that the hopes I had for myself were in conflict with the messages I was receiving from people around me."

While these voices made Obama feel "less important" as a girl, she found a way to overcome the sexism, and she shared her empowering message with the audience.

"I decided not to listen to the voices of those who doubted or dismissed me. Instead, I decided to listen to my own voice," she said.

Obama added that by listening to her parents and by doing well in school, she was able to achieve academic success.


Obama presented the speech as part of her Let Girls Learn initiative aimed at opening educational opportunities to girls around the globe, including the 62 million girls who are not in school.

(H/T: Huffington Post)


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