At a marketing conference in Boston Wednesday, former First Lady Michelle Obama complained that women who voted against Hillary Clinton, must not have their own voice. In fact, it means they must only follow what they’re told and hate what’s best for women. The condescending comment came during a lengthy spiel Obama gave about transitioning to life outside the White House, and what it meant to be “true to yourself:”
Especially in politics, you see people who are like, ‘This is hard for you, because you’re not being yourself.’ And it’s hard to do this everyday with this spotlight on you when you’re trying to be somebody else, if you don’t value your own [indiscernible]. I see it all the time. I know there are people in this room, who are in jobs right now where they think who they are isn’t enough, so they’re pretending to be something else. Quite frankly, we saw this in this election, as far as I’m concerned, any women who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice. [applause]
After the applause died down, the moderator asked Obama to repeat her point about women who didn’t vote for Hillary: “To me, it doesn’t say as much about Hillary as everyone’s trying to wonder, what does this mean for Hillary? No, no, what does it mean for us?”
“That we look at those two candidates, as women, and many of us said, ‘that guy, he's better for me, his voice is more true to me,’” Obama said. “To me that just says you don't like your voice. You like the thing you're told to like. The voice you’re told you’re supposed to like. You bought into that.”
Immediately after those comments, Obama explained these are the things she has been thinking about, and put into her new upcoming book. “I hope the book creates a conversation,” she stated.
The moderator asked the former FLOTUS what advice she would give to women on how to “be brave enough” to “tap into their authentic selves, very quickly” for the upcoming presidential elections. Obama encouraged women to “love themselves” and to not believe society’s lies that “some people’s opinions matter more than others,” before then hypocritically bashing women whose opinions didn’t match up with hers:
We have been socialized to sort of sit there and be quiet...We think 12x before we open our mouths...I think before I can speak up it has to be perfect. While the guy is like, bla bla bla, he’s not thinking about being perfect or anything,he’s just like, ‘I’m used to hearing my voice.’ That’s what happens to a lot of people, you know, and if you’ve been socialized to think your voice doesn’t matter, and it’s done in very subtle ways...We can’t afford to sit by, and let other people run roughshod because we are living that reality right now. We are living what that feels like when we don’t make our voices heard.
If it wasn’t clear before this that Obama was talking about Trump voters, and not just women who didn’t vote for Hillary, that last statement was pretty crystal clear.
The former First Lady’s rude comments come after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made similar depreciating comments about female Trump voters this week. Ginsburg told CBS News’ Charlie Rose that sexism was a “major, major factor,” in the 2016 election results. In July, a Democrat guest on MSNBC’s AM Joy took Obama’s approach in insulting the intelligence of women who supported Trump, saying they were “very, very weak minded” and had “smaller minds than his small hands.”