Facebook Post on the Obamas' Relationship Discusses an Argument About Gender Roles

January 13th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

One woman's recent Facebook post about Barack and Michelle Obama has ignited a conversation about gender roles and equality in relationships. 

In the Wednesday Facebook post, Natalie Louise wrote about a dissertation she read on women's sacrifices and commitment to relationships, which made an argument about how women should be more like the first lady and sacrifice for their male partners. However, Louise's post, which had more than 2,700 shares at the time of publication, implied that women shouldn't be held to the example of the Obamas because both were relatively successful and met after graduating Harvard University Law School

While her words could seemingly imply that sacrifice is acceptable for a man with a pedigree or who attended Harvard, like President Obama, the underlying issue is that women shouldn't be expected to sacrifice more than a man. 

The comments under Louise's viral post discussed the importance of equality in relationships with some users noting that black women are often told they should sacrifice for their husbands. 

Comments about sacrifice in relationships.

Comments about equality in relationships.

Comments about equality in relationships.

Most relationship advice aimed at black women typically tends to enforce traditional gender roles. 

Steve Harvey is known for the relationship advice he gives on his television show, radio show and in his books. However, the comedian's advice for black women has faced its share of criticism. 

Steve Harvey

Nico Lang wrote a scathing review of Harvey's advice for The Huffington Post: 

"Because Harvey knows that he is dealing with the most empowered generation of women in history, the telos of the book and movie is about reasserting traditional gender roles. One section of the novel teaches women how to be 'girls' again, because it’s apparently a man’s job to teach women how to perform and respect their gender."

Gender roles are changing. 

In a 2008, a pew research survey found that two-thirds of all husbands in two-income households said that they make more money than their wives, and in 2016 women still only made about 78 cents to every dollar earned by men. But that could all change soon.  

Black women are now America's most educated group.

Posted by ATTN: Video on Sunday, May 22, 2016


Black women are now some of the most educated Americans, as reported by ATTN: in the video above, and young women are focusing more on their careers. 

About two thirds of women, 66 percent, between the ages of 18 and 34 put their career "high on their list of life priorities," while only 59 percent of men did the same in a survey released by Pew Research in 2012, which is about a 10 percent increase in women's career priorities from what was reported in 1997. 

Women's attitudes about their career.

Eileen Patten and Kim Parker of the Pew Research Center wrote about changing gender roles in 2012: "In a reversal of traditional gender roles, young women now surpass young men in the importance they place on having a high-paying career or profession." 

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