President Barack Obama penned an essay for Glamour to both commend the progress made by those fighting for gender equality and urge others to join the fight, as there's much work left to be done. The essay, published Thursday (his birthday!), sees Obama talking candidly about raising his two daughters, Malia and Sasha, with First Lady Michelle Obama and how those relationships have further shaped his own feminism.
"The progress we've made in the past 100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years has made life significantly better for my daughters than it was for my grandmothers," Obama wrote. "And I say that not just as President but also as a feminist." Obama added that the nation shouldn't "downplay" the progress of those fighting for justice, but insisted the biggest change we all have to make is ourselves.
"We need to keep changing the attitude that permits the routine harassment of women, whether they're walking down the street or daring to go online," Obama said. "We need to keep changing the attitude that teaches men to feel threatened by the presence and success of women. We need to keep changing the attitude that congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dads, and penalizes working mothers."
Obama, noting that it's "absolutely men's responsibility to fight sexism too," also highlighted the potential for this November's election to make history with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. "Two hundred and forty years after our nation's founding, and almost a century after women finally won the right to vote, for the first time ever, a woman is a major political party's presidential nominee," Obama said. "No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America. And it's just one more example of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality. "
Read Obama's essay in full here.