October’s Vanity Fair has a riveting article on Obama by Michael Lewis. One section in particular, I found fascinating:
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions on what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions. It’s why shopping is so exhausting. “You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t go through your day distracted by trivia.”
Do you hear what our president is saying, women? Obama is saying that if he spends his mental energy thinking about what to wear, what to eat, and what to buy, he has depleted his resources. He’s got nothing left. He couldn’t be president.
What is it, exactly, that the media tells women are the most important, most crucial areas of our lives? Dressing, eating, and shopping. Those are the three areas where women are actually allowed, supposed to be, the experts.
Is it a coincidence that Obama believes not thinking about those three issues releases the energy that allows him to act effectively as president?
It almost makes me think there’s a conspiracy going on, or maybe more like a social reflex. Women take on that “trivia” while men can choose not to. They’re free to go be president. What would happen if women stopped, really stopped, spending our time and energy obsessing about clothing, food, or shopping? What would we do?