Michelle Obama weighed in on #MeToo on Thursday, saying the world is “dangerous” for women and girls and that “enough is enough.”
Appearing in front of a cheering audience on NBC’s Today show, the former first lady made impassioned remarks about the place of women in modern society, saying “enough is enough” and that the #MeToo movement will set the spark for future generations of young women to create change and determine their own paths in life.
“I chose to engage because there’s no choice,” Obama said. “The world is a, sadly, dangerous place for women and girls, and we see that again and again. Young women are tired of it. They’re tired of being undervalued, they’re tired of being disregarded, they’re tired of their voices not being invested in and heard.”
The former first lady also announced the Obama Foundation’s latest project, Global Girls Alliance, a project to bolster girls’ education and enable donors on GoFundMe to directly support grassroots leaders.
Change is not a direct path, Obama said. But she urged girls to push through resistance and use their education to lift their voices.
“It’s up to the women out there to say, ‘Sorry. Sorry you feel uncomfortable, but I’m now paving the way for the next generation,’” she said.
Obama did not address President Donald Trump, newly sworn in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, or other current events in her remarks. But they come after Kavanaugh’s confirmation divided the country over allegations of sexual assault (which he denied), and after Trump said that “it’s a very scary time for young men in America.” (Women, Trump said, are “doing great.”)
This isn’t the first time Michelle Obama has spoken out about gender equality. Two years ago, Obama gave a fiery speech at a Hillary Clinton event in New Hampshire, in which she denounced Trump’s rhetoric against women and said it had “shaken me to my core.” She made those comments after a leaked tape recording with television personality Billy Bush revealed Trump making vulgar comments about women and their bodies, most notably how male celebrities are able to “grab ‘em by the pussy.”
“This is not something that we can ignore,” Obama said in 2016. “Because this was not just a ‘lewd conversation.’ This wasn’t just locker-room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women.”
In the Today interview, Obama also shut down rumors that she might run for elected office, saying that while she has never had an interest in being a politician, she will not abandon the commitment she made to young girls when she was in the White House.