Oprah Winfrey and first lady Michelle Obama sat down at The United State of Women summit earlier this week in Washington, D.C.
They spoke at length about women’s empowerment and self-worth, but their message to men is getting a lot of attention. Asked what men attending the summit can do, Obama replied “be better.”
“Be better at everything. Be better fathers, good lord. Just being good fathers who love your daughters, and are providing a solid example of what it means to be a good man in the world and showing them what it feels like to be loved. That is the greatest gift that the men in my life gave to me.”
The fact that she herself never experienced abuse at the hands of a man, Obama said, “is, sad to say, that’s a rare reality. So men can be better at that.”
Men can also be better husbands, do the dishes, “be engaged … be a part of your families’ lives.” Obama also called on men to be “a better employer.”
“When you are sitting at a seat of power, at a table of any kind, and you look around and you just see you — it’s just you and a bunch of men around a table, on a golf course making deals, and you allow that to happen, and you’re OK with that — be better.”
Earlier in the conversation, Obama called on women to get to know themselves and learn to prioritize their own needs — the key to balance, she said. “You know why? Because [men] don’t have to balance anything. Sorry. I hope that that is changing, but so many men don’t have to do it all.”
There were also lighthearted moments as Obama spoke about her attraction to her husband. “Good lord. Watching my husband walk off of Marine One and go to the Oval Office, it’s like, mmm, mmm, mmm. And you know he’s got that walk, right?”
“He was very swagalicious.”
Winfrey is a friend of the Obamas and once campaigned for that “swagalicious” president.