A good portion of a conversation Saturday between former first lady Michelle Obama and actress Tracee Ellis Ross consisted of criticizing traditional family values and seeming to put down women for choosing mothering and family roles over anything else.
What was the conversation about?
The two women, who discussed feminism at the Women Summit on Saturday in Los Angeles, blasted what many consider to be traditional values — specifically young girls growing up and dreaming about their wedding days and having families.
Ellis Ross, a 45-year-old unmarried actress without any children, asked Obama her thoughts on what today's children should be dreaming about.
"What are we asking women and men, or boys and girls, to dream of different things?" Ellis Ross asked. "We talk so much about empowering young girls, what is the conversation?"
Obama explained, "I still think that young girls are taught to be perfect, and I think they still dream of weddings and the security of the prince charming."
What did Obama say?
The former first lady went on to note that today's women are actively "working on" changing the conversation around young women.
"I think we're working on it," Obama explained. "I'm proud of what I hear from young girls, but I think something happens when they get to that stage where you're supposed to be married and have kids."
At this point, Ellis Ross gleefully interrupted Obama and proudly shouted, "Missed it!" — pointing to the fact that she's 45 years old and without a spouse or children of her own.
Smiling widely, Obama applauded Ellis Ross.
"Good for you," she said. "Good for you. But there’s still the notion, when you say, 'Oh you don’t have kids,' 'Tracee Ellis Ross must not be happy because she’s not married with kids.'"
Ellis Ross turned around and told the audience, "Look where I'm sitting!"