WOMEN

Michelle Obama To Men: 'Be Better'

FLOTUS and Oprah got candid about gender equality at the United State of Women Summit.
Can we hang out with you?&nbsp;<i>Pleaseeeee.</i>
Can we hang out with you? Pleaseeeee.

What are feminist dreams made of? Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama hanging out and discussing gender equality.  

At Tuesday's United State of Women Summit, Winfrey and Obama talked about knowing your worth and how to handle your haters. The two also discussed the importance of men's roles in gender equality, with Winfrey referencing President Barack Obama's powerful speech at the summit where he told the crowd "I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like."

FLOTUS said men should simply "be better" if they want to help women achieve gender equality. "Be better at everything," she continued. "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 told Winfrey that it's sad that her experience of never being physically abused by a man is a "rare reality." Stopping violence against women is something men "can be better at," she added. 

Whether you're a father, an employer, a partner or all of the above -- FLOTUS said that "being better" applies to all men: 

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.

When it comes to the "hateration," as Winfrey called it, Obama said she just ignores it and proves them wrong. 

"People won’t remember what other people say about you, but they will remember what you do," Obama told Winfrey. "So my strategy -- and I’ve always been like this. When a teacher would come and tell me that I couldn’t do something, I would get so much satisfaction proving them wrong. I’d be like, OK, all right, oh, you don’t think I’m going to do X, Y and Z, well, I’m going to be the best X, Y, Z you can imagine."

She said she lets her hard work speak for itself: 

Let me wake up every day and work hard to do something of value, and to do it well, and to do something consequential, and to do something that I care about. And then let that speak for itself. And that would shut up the haters, because I would have a whole portfolio of stuff that defined me because it’s what I did, not what you called me. So the best revenge is success... and good work. You don’t have to say anything to the haters.  You don’t have to acknowledge them at all. You just wake up every morning and be the best you you can be. And that tends to shut them up.

The First Lady added that our fight for gender equality will never be fully finished. "So the work continues," she said. "And for all the young women in this room, all the young men, we can never be complacent. Because we have seen in recent times how quickly things can be taken away if we aren’t vigilant, if we don’t know our history, if we don’t continue the work."

Towards the end of the discussion, Winfrey thanked Obama for her service and how she's carried herself throughout the eight years her and the president have been in office. 

"The way you’ve handled this office, the way you carry yourself, have presented yourself to the United States of America, and the women of the United States of America, and men of the United States of America, reminds me of a line that Maya used to say -- it’s actually in the beginning of one of her books -- she says 'You make me proud to spell my name W-O-M-A-N.' Michelle Obama."

Amen to that. 

Watch the full conversation below. 

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