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Michelle Obama: Do We Raise Boys to Feel ‘Entitled’ and ‘Self-Righteous’?

Michelle Obama stirred some controversy after speaking at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago on Wednesday, after proposing that the way we raise boys turns them into “entitled” and “self-righteous” adults.

The former first lady also suggested that the way our culture treats its males is a major contributing factor to the ills of modern life.

“It’s like the problem in the world today is we love our boys and we raise our girls,” she told poet Elizabeth Alexander. “It’s powerful to have strong men but what does that strength mean?”

“Does it mean respect? Does it mean responsibility? Does it mean compassion? Or are we protecting our men too much so that they feel a little entitled and a little, you know, self-righteous sometimes?”

Obama also urged men to develop emotional intelligence and to work on creating lasting connections that are based on compassion, akin to the friendships women tend to develop.

“Get some friends and talk to each other,” she said. “I see a lot of men laughing. Y’all need to go talk to each other about your stuff. Because there’s so much of it. It’s so messy.”

She acknowledged, however, that her experience raising boys is limited, as she is mother to two daughters, who came with their own unique set of difficulties.

“Look, I don’t have boys. I’m not raising boys, I’m raising girls,” Obama said. “So a lot of my focus as a mother —  I’m thinking about how do I make sure these girls are sturdy and able to exist in this world? And it is a world that is dangerous for women.”

“We have to raise our children to be people. Whether they have had struggles or whatever the world has for them, we have to raise them to be ready to be independent, well-meaning, kind, compassionate people.”

According to 2014 crime statistics, more than 73% of those arrested in the United States were male. Just this week, a spate of men, including Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, have been accused of sexual harassment and assault — just weeks after the Harvey Weinstein scandal roiled Hollywood, exposing a deep-seated pattern of sexual misconduct in media and beyond.

[image via screengrab]

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