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The Naked Invisibility of Michelle Obama

Adrienne Zurub

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Recently, I have noted the lack of feminist/feminista support for Michelle Obama in light of the overarching ‘white male’ media attacks against Mrs. Obama. Sadly, Mrs. Obama has had her ‘blackness’ questioned as perhaps being too black, Mr. Obama was referred to as her ‘baby's daddy’ and other racially directed assaults have been levied against Mrs. Obama.

I for one am not surprised at the lack of feminist/feminista (f/f) response. The f/f's appear to still be pouting for Hillary. Not only that to be truthful, the f/f's are. . . hypocrites! You see the f/f's are more than willing to go full force for what they perceive to be a strong and powerful woman. . . as long as she is white. Yes. There, I said it. The f/f's hypocrisy is exposed.

I, as a Black woman can only imagine the collective rage of feminists/feminstas, if say a white male had ‘hurt a puppy, ’ (of course a bitch). Or stated that Lilith Fair was meaningless and a feel good exercise for white women. Or, if Michelle Obama herself had said that female circumcision, oh, excuse me, female-genital-mutilation (the term used by those outside the culture and generally within the safety of suburbia) is okay with her. Or even better yet, that Hillary Clinton was not actually a feminist but Machiavellian in her use of the feminist mantle; essentially trying to win by ‘any means necessary. ’ Oh Heavens!

The Feminist outrage, comments, and action would be. . .deafening!

Yet, Michelle Obama, a woman, a BLACK woman is subject to media attempts (mostly by white males) to discredit her, undermine her, and disrespect her and. . . nothing. Nothing from the Feminista's. Nothing from the Feminists. A perfect Ouroboros of impotence and disinterest from the ‘progressive’ women.

The lack of ‘voice’ from the f/f's is nothing new. The problem with feminism, let me correct myself here, the problem with some feminists and now some feminista's is still the old problem of inclusion. Listen ladies, this is not just a little fight with your men. Girls! This not a *** tug-of-war!

The Weltanschauung of feminist/feministas is seemingly myopic and mired in me-me-me thinking; me meaning us, white women. These women are more invested in platitudes than action.

Modern Feminism should embrace the dignity of, call for the respect of, and champion the collective socioeconomic-political-cultural empowerment of-all-women! It is a shame that feminists and feministas have to be prompted and prodded to ‘do the right thing. ’ We are still waiting.

Fortunately, many Black women and other women of color do not rely on the actions and/or (delayed) socially conscious efforts of f/f women. For hundreds of years, we as women of color have known that our progress is based on our own steady might, focused resolve and yes, intelligence. I know that Michelle Obama, being intelligent, well-spoken and outspoken and not the embodiment of any stereotype, poses a decided threat not only to the familiar and comfortable labeling by some white men and women, but to the shifting power tectonics of both.

Yet, I know too, that Michelle Obama is used to ‘holding her own’ and ‘maintaining’ (in the vernacular) in a society that offers continual disrespect, constant devaluation as a woman and as a Black woman, as well as the inevitable racial assaults.

A ‘Naked Invisible’ is someone, notably a woman who puts herself out there and makes herself vulnerable in word, person and deed and no one appreciates her, or sees her for what she is and consequently, actively seeks to devalue and denigrate her efforts and her life. Come on!

I have always considered myself a ‘Womanist. ’ I know there are many women of color who assign themselves as feminist. I wish them well and sincerely hope their ‘inclusion’ is not tokenism but activism for all.

What I would like feminists/feministas to do is simply embrace fully the principles, humanism and beliefs they espouse through the feminist mantle and to act fully in that

AUTHOR, ADRIENNE ZURUB, is a Speaker/Actor/pOet/and Stand Up Comedian. As a comedian she has performed in clubs in New York City and LA. In theater she has written and performed her solo performances pieces at Cleveland Public Theater. She performed at the historic Karamu Theater as part of Arenafest. She belongs to Toastmasters Club 6500, NSAOhio, AKA Sorority, Inc. , NNOC, IBPA, the WNBA (Women's National Book Association). She is a CNOR (Certified Nurse Operating Room) and volunteers in the Greater Cleveland community.

She is the Author of ‘Notes From the Mothership ~ The Naked Invisibles, ’ a nonfiction work that coalesces some of her experiences on the open heart team with the randiness of many aspects of her life! She is President/CEO of Chase & Wunderlick Publishers.


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