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How Michelle Obama divides feminists

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Michelle Obama visit
First lady Michelle Obama jokes during a roundtable at the Minnesota Air National Guard Base's 133rd Airlift Wing in St. Paul, Minn. Friday, March 16, 2012.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Michelle Obama is a polarizing figure among feminists.

A recent Washington Post article examines why some feminists believe the popular first lady has let them down.

In 2008, when Obama announced her intention to be "mom-in-chief," many feminists decried her decision to give up her career and said she had been victimized by her husband's choices. She was regarded as one of the women feminist Linda Hirshman described as "letting down the team."

But most black feminists and writers had a different view. Let the sister get settled, they said. Give her a minute to do a head count. And if she wanted to focus on motherhood, for black women that was more than fine. It was arguably revolutionary, because black women were long denied the right -- or lacked the means -- to simply care for their own.

As she begins another four years in the White House, the nation's feminists are divided about the "work" Obama has done, and the work they'd like to see her do.

Tamara Winfrey Harris, senior editor at Racialicious and contributor to Clutch Magazine, will join The Daily Circuit on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Also on the show:  Koritha Mitchell, associate professor of English at The Ohio State University; and Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Mommy Wars and blogger for Modern Mom and Mommy Tracked.