Female leadership and the ‘woke’ culture – Barack Obama

By: Dhipa Palani
Reading Time: 2 minutes



Barack Obama claims that women are better leaders than men, pointing out that most problems in the world stem from decisions made by older men. Speaking in Singapore this week, the BBC reports that Obama said the world would be a better place if it were run by women.

He is confident that while women “aren’t perfect,” they are indisputably better than men. “I’m absolutely confident that for two years, if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything… living standards and outcomes,” he noted. 

Power and how it can corrupt

He expressed the opinion that there would not be as many wars in the world and children would be better taken care of – together with a general improvement in living standards. The former US president added that most problems originate from old men being placed in power. “They cling to power. They are insecure. They have outdated ideas,” said Obama at the private event

Obama said it is crucial for political leaders to try and remind themselves that they are there to do a job, but that they are not there for life or to prop up their own sense of self-importance or their own power. 

With regard to change across the board, especially with the involvement of the younger generation, Obama also noted that calling people out on social media does not necessarily bring about change. 

On ‘woke’ culture and social media

In October this year, Obama had challenged the so-called woke culture for being too judgmental and too hasty to condemn anyone who seems flawed. “I get a sense among certain young people on social media that the way of making change is to be as judgemental as possible about other people,” he said in a summit in Chicago. 

The former US president highlighted the pitfalls of the woke culture amid the 2020 presidential race debates which saw many of the candidates apologizing for past incidents. Democrat candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg have gone on to publicly apologize for using phrases like “All lives matter.”

He added that occasionally social media users get carried away to the point that even a mistake in the English grammar could prove detrimental to a candidate’s campaign. “If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because ‘Man did you see how woke I was? I called you out!’”