ETA: Slate XX Factor readers, go here.
The latest issue of Ms. Magazine has Barack Obama in a Superman pose, wearing a tee shirt that says “THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE,” as follows:
Obama can greatly advance the status of women during his Presidency, and I very much hope he will. But I don’t remember hearing Barack Obama describe himself as a feminist, though maybe I missed something. This seems designed to mock people who supported Hillary Clinton during the Democratic Primary. Why does Ms. want to do that now? Polling data shows persuasively that most Clinton primary supporters voted for Obama in the general election. I think the magazine cover was a really bad idea.
ETA: Katha Pollitt has written that Obama has the potential to be feminist President, and I agree. So maybe in a year or two the cover would be appropriate. But not now.
ETA2: Ms. representatives explain the cover here, and assert that Obama said privately that he is a feminist.
ETA3: In 1972, the cover of Ms. featured Wonder Woman with the tag line “Wonder Woman for President”:
In 2008, Wonder Woman was on the cover of Playboy, and Ms. is instead symbolically looking to a male superhero to “rescue” feminism? Very problematic imagery, in my view.