During an interview on Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama described herself as a “busy single mother,” quickly correcting herself to say that she meant she was often left alone by her husband to deal with the children:
Let us give Mrs. Obama due credit for quickly realizing she used improper terminology. But there’s still a world of misunderstanding packed into what she said. The media would be howling about how a Republican First Lady who made such a gaffe is “out of touch.”
A “single mother” is not someone whose husband is away from home a lot of the time. Most of them don’t have anything like the immense resources available to Mrs. Obama, even before she arrived at the White House in 2009. They’ve got far less “time and energy” available at the end of the day than she does, and they’re lucky if they have anyone to help. Their kids are not, as a rule of thumb, jetting around the Western Hemisphere on luxury vacations.
Michelle Obama’s experience is not remotely comparable to single motherhood, or even to the challenges faced by most other married women with busy husbands. While we’re on the subject, how do feminists feel about hearing this fantastically wealthy and powerful woman – attended by a staff that reportedly includes between 22 and 25 people – talk about how tough life can be without her husband around?