Michelle Obama has felt oppressed for most of her life by the feminist assumption that became conventional wisdom in American society in the early 1970s that tall, broad-shouldered females like herself should play basketball.
I have heard complaints by several tall women over the years along the lines of “No, I didn’t want to shoot hoops, and I don’t know why they kept asking.” So this doesn’t sound too far out of line.
The passage of Title IX to promote women’s sports in 1972 when Michelle Robinson was eight was one of the banes of her girlhood because it led to numerous suggestions from well-wishers that she had the perfect physique for a power forward.
Surely she didn’t look like a power forward at eight. (Twelve, maybe.) And maybe things have changed: of the 12 members of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, winners of six consecutive Western Conference titles, only four of them are below six feet tall — Mrs Obama is five-eleven — and they’re all guards.
But she’s kind of a girly girl who doesn’t like sports and wants to wear high heels, and doesn’t like the change in our culture that encouraged people to mention her height and brawn in the guise of offering helpful pro-feminist You-Go-Girl suggestions.
Malia and Sasha had to take up two sports: one they chose and one selected by their mother. “I want them to understand what it feels like to do something you don’t like and to improve,” the first lady has said.
A girly girl she might be, but her fashion sense was decidedly impaired early on; she did, however, improve.