'Anyone who looked at those two candidates and said, "That man is closer to my voice," doesn’t like their own voice.'
During her eight years as the First Lady, Michelle Obama won herself a legion of fans thanks to her empowering and uplifting speeches. Almost a year after leaving the White House, she is still using her platform to discuss women’s rights and campaign for equality.
This week, Michelle spoke at a marketing conference called Inbound where she discussed life after the White House, the current administration, and women’s equality.
‘We [as women] think 12 times before we open our mouths – “Well maybe I’m wrong?”‘ she began. ‘We argue with ourselves in our head and we think: “Before I speak up, it has to be perfect.” While the guy is like, “Blah blah blah … “
‘Not thinking about perfect, right, or anything—he’s just like “I’m used to hearing my voice.” That’s what happens to a lot of people. And if you’ve been socialised to think your voice doesn’t matter – and it’s done in very subtle ways: maybe it happened at your dinner table with the father you adored who would talk right over you, or the brothers who just took up too much space and you learned to be quiet, or the mother who told you that being ladylike meant that you watched your words and you didn’t interrupt … There’s so much that goes on that shushes us.’
Michelle also went on to echo the sentiments of something that Hillary Clinton spoke about earlier this week. She felt that women who voted against Hillary, and for Trump, were voting ‘against their own voice.’
‘Anyone who looked at those two candidates and said, “That man is closer to my voice,” doesn’t like their own voice,’ Michelle said.
While it has been a particularly controversial week for Trump following his own personal email scandal and facing backlash for comments that he has ‘felt up’ Melania in public, Michelle wasn’t there to take cheap shots. While she questioned those who chose to support Trump’s administration, she went on to say that she does hope he is a successful President, and that she understands the struggles of the person in power.
‘It is very difficult to lead when you have a peanut gallery of people who don’t know what they’re talking about second-guessing what you do,’ she admitted. ‘We’ve learned part of our legacy is leading with grace and being humble and diplomatic.’
Of her time in the White House, Michelle said: ‘It was like being shot out of a cannon … with a blindfold and the spotlight on you,’ before saying that now she feels as though she is ‘breathing for the first time.’
She might not be the First Lady any more, but Michelle has proved that she still has the ability to inspire women across the world.