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Obama Declares Himself A 'Proud Feminist' In Editorial

It's "an extraordinary time to be a woman," President Barack Obama writes in a new editorial for Glamour magazine in which he labels himself a feminist and says his staunch support for women's rights is one of the reasons he's backing Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Praising the progress and strides women have made "in the past 100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years," Obama said he's proud to leave a better world for his daughters, a world where women "are leading in every sector, from sports to space, from Hollywood to the Supreme Court."

Although being the commander-in-chief and leader of the free world isn't a job that leaves a lot of time for leisure activity, Obama joked that his "commute" time -- walking from his bedroom to the Oval Office -- has been reduced to "45 seconds," allowing him to spend more time with daughters Sasha and Malia, and to watch them grow into young women.

Still, the president wrote, while "we shouldn’t downplay how far we’ve come," it's important to keep focused on issues important to women and their standing in society.

Despite the successes, "there’s still a lot of work we need to do to improve the prospects of women and girls here and around the world," Obama wrote.

Among them, he argued, are the expectations of gender. The president named the late Rep. Shirley Chisholm, a Democrat and the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress, as a personal heroine. Chisholm, he said, was prescient in the way she spoke about gender identity and gender stereotypes.

"She once said, 'The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, "It’s a girl."' We know that these stereotypes affect how girls see themselves starting at a very young age, making them feel that if they don’t look or act a certain way, they are somehow less worthy," Obama wrote, quoting Chisholm.

Despite those challenges, women are now reaching the highest levels and offices in the private and public sector. With Clinton accepting her party's nomination for president, voters are witnessing "a historic moment for America," Obama wrote.

Clinton's success -- and the fact that she's become the first female presidential nominee from a major party -- is proof "of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality," Obama wrote.

"I want all of our daughters and sons to see that this, too, is their inheritance," the president wrote. "I want them to know that it’s never been just about the Benjamins; it’s about the Tubmans too. And I want them to help do their part to ensure that America is a place where every single child can make of her life what she will."

Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive said the idea for Obama's essay came from conversations with the president after he identified himself as a feminist at the White House Summit on the United State of Women in June, CBS News reported.

"This goes beyond the kind of boilerplate -- 'I believe in strong women' -- that at this point, anybody can mouth pretty effectively," Leive said.

While Obama spent the bulk of his essay focusing on the historic strides women have made, Leive told "CBS This Morning" on Aug. 4 that Obama's essay itself is historic.

"It did strike me as this very modern moment -- something that we wouldn't have heard probably from any other president," Leive said. "But honestly, we would not have not heard before because I think the embrace of the term 'feminism' by men as well as women has really been on the rise."

Sources: Glamour, CBS News / Photo credit: White House via Politico

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