Did you see the rally for Obama in Los Angeles last Sunday? It rocked my world: Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and California First Lady Maria Shriver talking to a packed stadium at UCLA. (Watch the video here.)

For one thing, Michelle Obama is a great speaker in her own right and she is teaching us how to talk about race and women in new ways that only a non-candidate could do. But also, Maria Shriver made an unscheduled appearance to endorse Barack Obama even though her husband, Governor Schwarzenegger, had just endorsed John McCain.

It’s a great picture of how much power women have—women who are so confident in their power that they know they can throw it behind a man to get what they want out of the world.

Some of my harshest critics say that I’m “bad for feminism.” They say I give bad advice to women because I don’t see work as a place for women to fight against men to get equality.

Indeed, I generally see work as a place where women have equal footing with men. And personally, I see work as a place where men have mentored me the whole way. I would be nowhere without all the men who have helped me.

Sure, I know I’m still at a disadvantage because I’m a woman in the workplace. I was reminded of it just the other day when my business partner Ryan and I met with a potential investor. The guy passed on girl-related small-talk and spent twenty minutes with Ryan talking football.

And the same is true for black people in this country. Obama’s success doesn’t mean that things are suddenly great for black people everywhere. But Obama’s success suggests that we can stop requiring everyone to divide everything by black and white.

And that makes me also think we can stop dividing things by men and women. I don’t need to vote for Hilary Clinton to show that I support women. I support women by looking ahead to the next generation. My generation—which is Obama’s generation—does not need to fight the women’s fight anymore. Other people did it for us.

So thank you, feminists, but we’re moving on. And to see all those women in California—those women who got their power on their own, using it to support a man—that sends chills up my spine, because I relate to that. I want to stand with the men and be on their team, and the only way to do that is to earn power myself and share it, with whoever deserves it, man or woman.

Watch for this in politics, and do it yourself at work. You can get stronger at work by breaking free of the divide that some people assume is there. We don’t owe it to the last generation to keep fighting their fights. We owe it to the last generation to thank them, and then move on.

We have our own, more relevant fights today. Like how to work to live instead of live to work, how to stop being a slave to money, and how to make time for our families. These are issues for men as much as women. We are in those fights together.

And that’s what I saw happening in Los Angeles on Sunday. I saw a centerpiece of the new fight: For change. Whoo hooo!

58 replies
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  1. JT
    JT says:

    Ummm… was it me, or did Obama get his ass handed to him in California– particularly by women?

    Look, I am a definite fan of Obama. Without question I think he could be a great leader.

    If you look at the numbers, Clinton won every age demo in California (even young people) and she won women by a 25 (yes 25) point margin.

    I enjoy your career posts, but I would leave out the political commentary. It is lacking…

  2. Anon
    Anon says:

    Clinton did not win by a 25 point margin in California JT – you can’t trust the polls when only 17% of precincts have reported. Remember 2000?

    BTW – I am a woman and I talk football with guys. One of the women who’ve talked to women in our office about gender issues recommended reading the sports page on Monday morning. I played sports and watch sports, so this is not so much an issue for me, generally.

    We have other issues, old school. A man man who goes home early to catch a game is a hero, while more family pressure falls to women on a regular basis.

  3. Oyibo
    Oyibo says:

    I am interested in what the candidates policy will be in regards to comparable worth/pay between working men and women.

  4. Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    Andrew Yu-Jen Wang says:

    Speaking of Barack Obama:

    Barack Obama is a racial-minority individual, and in his heart and mind he inevitably does not endorse hate crimes committed by George W. Bush.

    George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism (indicated in my blog).

    George W. Bush did in fact commit innumerable hate crimes.

    And I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed other hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention.

    Many people know what Bush did.

    And many people will know what Bush did – even to the end of the world.

    Bush was absolute evil.

    Bush is now like a fugitive from justice.

    Bush is a psychological prisoner.

    Bush has a lot to worry about.

    Bush can technically be prosecuted for hate crimes at any time.

    In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    I am not sure where I had read it before, but anyway, it is a linguistically excellent statement, and it goes kind of like this: "If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded." Oh wait – off the top of my head – I think the quotation came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

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