Glamour Exclusive: President Obama On Feminism and The World He Wants to Leave His Daughters

The latest popular essay on feminism comes from the top: President Barack Obama on Thursday published an essay with Glamour discussing equality, why it's men's duty to fight sexism, setting an example and more.

"We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear. We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs," he said in the 1,500-word essay, which will be published in Glamour's print edition in September and went live online Aug. 4, on Obama's birthday.

The essay echoed the sentiment Obama expressed at the United State of Women Summit in June, when he said "This is what a feminist looks like." He also discussed everything from real progress on equal pay and reproductive rights to less easily definable issues like gender roles and societal stereotypes about girls and women. He's also adamant that his role in the fight for gender is crucial for his daughters.

"And yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men."

He is absolutely correct about setting an example—and it's so important to see support for gender equality at the highest levels. We're thrilled to share this contribution from a leader, father, and feminist.

Click through to read the essay in its entirety. - There are a lot of tough aspects to being President. But there are some perks too. Meeting extraordinary people across the country. Holding an office where you get to make a difference in the life of our nation. Air Force One.

But perhaps the greatest unexpected gift of this job has been living above the store. For many years my life was consumed by long commutes­—from my home in Chicago to Springfield, Illinois, as a state senator, and then to Washington, D.C., as a United States senator. It’s often meant I had to work even harder to be the kind of husband and father I want to be.

But for the past seven and a half years, that commute has been reduced to 45 seconds—the time it takes to walk from my living room to the Oval Office. As a result, I’ve been able to spend a lot more time watching my daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful young women.

That isn’t always easy, either—watching them prepare to leave the nest. But one thing that makes me optimistic for them is that this is an extraordinary time to be a woman. 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. And I say that not just as President but also as a feminist.

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