Michelle Obama has a message to the men of the world: You need to communicate better.
The former first lady recalled how she kept her “sanity” by having friends around her for support and told the men in the room at the Obama Foundation Summit on Wednesday that she was concerned for their own well-being and wanted them to do the same.
“Women, we do it better than men,” she said. “I’m, you know, sad for you guys. Y’all should get you some friends. Get you some friends and talk to each other, ‘cause that’s the other thing we do; we straighten each other out on some things, our girlfriends.”
She also admitted that even her own husband, former president Barack Obama, sometimes fell prey to this isolating trend among men.
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“Sometimes I’m like, ‘Barack, who you talking to? And it can’t just be Marty [Nesbitt].’ Ya’ll need to go talk to each other about your stuff because there’s so much of it. It’s so messy.”
She went on to say that the isolation of men started young and that the difference in the way we treat boys and girls can ultimately be damaging: “The problem in the world today is that we love our boys and we raise our girls. We raise them strong and sometimes we take care not to hurt men. And I think we pay for that a little bit and that’s a we thing because we are raising them, and it’s powerful to have strong men but what does that strength mean? Does it mean respect? Does it mean responsibility? Does it mean compassion? Or are we protecting our men too much, so they feel a little entitled? And a little, you know, a little self-righteous sometimes, but that’s kind of on us, too as women and mothers as we nurture men and push girls to be perfect.”
On the flipside, she also acknowledged that there is often a drive to be overprotective of our children, which she saw as a mother of two young women. “But you can’t be so afraid that life will break them, that you don’t prepare them for life,” she said.