First lady Michelle Obama chided men to “be better at everything” during an interview with Oprah Winfrey at the United State of Women Summit on Tuesday.
“What can men do leaving here?” Winfrey asked Obama at the end of their session, which was held in Washington, D.C.
“Be better,” Obama told the talk show host to laughter and applause.
She continued her airing of grievances:
“Be better at everything. Be better fathers. Good Lord, just being good fathers who love your daughters and are providing a solid example of what it means to be a good man in the world, showing them what it feels like to be loved. That is the greatest gift that the men in my life gave to me.
She also pointed to her own upbringing, and said that her happy childhood free from abuse is “a rare reality.”
“And we’ve talked about this — the fact that I never experienced abuse at the hands of any man in my life. And that’s sad to say that that’s a rare reality. So men can be better at that,” she told Winfrey.
She continued her diatribe:
“Men can be better husbands, which is — be a part of your family’s life. Do the dishes. Don’t babysit your children. You don’t babysit your own children. Be engaged. Don’t just think going to work and coming home makes you a man. Being a father, being engaged, all that stuff is important.
Be a better employer. When you are sitting at a seat of power at a table of any kind and you look around you just see you, it’s just you and a bunch of men around a table, on a golf course, making deals, and you allow that to happen, and you’re OK with that — be better.”
It is unclear if the golf course reference was to her own husband, Barack Obama, who frequently golfs with friends and aides.
“Be better,” Winfrey said.
“Be better,” Obama added.
“Be better,” Winfrey repeated. “I love that.”
“Just be better,” Obama continued.