As the inauguration of Donald Trump looms, it’s fitting to look back on the era of Barack Obama. While healthcare and Joe Biden memes might be the hallmark of his legacy, Obama was also the most feminist U.S. president in history.
Throughout his eight-year tenure, he appointed the justices who would legalize LGBT marriage equality; created a Bill of Rights for rape victims; cut federal funding for abstinence-only programs in schools; made it easier for women to fight wage discrimination; founded an initiative to give girls access to education in the Middle East; campaigned to prevent sexual assault on college campuses; required insurance to cover contraception and funded a program to help address economic obstacles for women of color.
So instead of dwelling on what’s to come in the Trump administration, I wanted to take this opportunity to count down Obama’s top 5 feminist moments.
5. “It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too. And… we need to work hard and be deliberate about creating truly equal relationships.”
4. “The future most not belong to those who bully women. It must be shaped by those who stand up for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons.”
3. “You can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom’. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.”
2. “Women are not an interest group. They are mothers, and daughters, and sisters, and wives. They are half of this country and they are perfectly capable of making their own choices about their health.”
1. “This is what a feminist looks like.”
Number one is not only this quote, but the entirety of the powerful, personal essay on feminism Obama published in Glamour. Read the full version here.
Let’s keep sentiments like these at the forefront in the coming years and not let the next administration set back any of the progress we’ve made.