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President Barack Obama has long been a champion of women's rights, but he made this even more clear Thursday, declaring he is a feminist in an editorial he penned for Glamour magazine.
He cited the significant gains made since women achieved the right to vote nearly century ago, exploring broken barriers some younger women may be entirely unfamiliar with. "Gone are the days when you needed a husband to get a credit card," he wrote.
However, even though he declared himself a feminist on paper, the president explored ways in which he may not have done his best. Obama wrote that he realized his wife, Michelle, often bore most of the responsibility for raising their daughters, Sasha and Malia. "I can look back now and see that, while I helped out, it was usually on my schedule and on my terms," he wrote. "The burden disproportionately and unfairly fell on Michelle."
The president thanked women who have fought against limitations on their career paths, explaining that his daughters were taught to challenge those who seek to pigeonhole them based upon race or gender. He celebrated the Democratic Party's nomination of Hillary Clinton for president, writing, "For the first time ever, a woman is a major political party's presidential nominee. No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America." And he thanked groundbreakers in general: "You're helping all of us understand that forcing people to adhere to outmoded, rigid notions of identity isn't good for anybody -- men, women, gay, straight, transgender, or otherwise."
For Obama, "when everybody is equal, we are all more free."
The president is not the first male leader to identify as a feminist. In 2014, well after he left office, President Jimmy Carter declared his feminism. In an interview with Vox in April, Canadian, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "I will keep saying [I'm a feminist] until there is no reaction."
Trudeau, who is raising a daughter and sons, shared Obama's viewthat it's as important to train men to focus on women's rights and opportunities as it is to train women to be leaders. For Obama, being a role model for his daughters matters. "It's important that their dad is a feminist, because now that's what they expect of all men," he wrote. "I want them to know that it's never been just about the Benjamins; it's about the Tubmans too," joked the cool dad, who is familiar both with rapand the legacy of Harriet Tubman, a black abolitionist and women's rights advocate whose image will be the first of any woman placed on U.S. paper currency in nearly a century.