On Saturday, Michelle Obama appeared as the keynote speaker at the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles. At the event, Obama reflected on the 2016 election and how women view female candidates for office.
“In light of this last election, I’m concerned about us as women and how we think,” she said according to The Hill. “What is going on in our heads where we let that happen, you know?”
Obama dug deep into the issue of women and voting during her 40-minute conversation with Black-ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross.
“When the most qualified person running was a woman, and look what we did instead, I mean that says something about where we are,” Obama said of the outcome of the 2016 election. “That’s what we have to explore, because if we as women are still suspicious of one another, if we still have this crazy, crazy bar for each other that we don’t have for men…if we’re not comfortable with the notion that a woman could be our president compared to…what, then we have to have those conversations with ourselves as women.”
When someone from the audience called on Obama to run for office, she shut down the suggestion and explained why that line of thinking is actually part of the problem.
“That’s not the answer, either,” she said. “When I hear people say, ‘You run,’ it’s part of the problem. We still didn’t get ‘Yes we can’ right. It’s not yes you can, it’s yes we can. And until we get that right, it doesn’t matter who runs. And look, I don’t think I’m any different from Hillary.”
Obama said she looks forward to a time when gender equality truly evens the playing field for female candidates.
“I wish that girls could fail as bad as men do, and be OK, because let me tell you, watching men fail up—it is frustrating,” she said. “It’s frustrating to see a lot of men blow it and win. And we hold ourselves to these crazy, crazy standards.”