The #MeToo movement has highlighted what a "dangerous place" the world is for women and girls, and this generation can't give up its fight for gender equality — even if makes some people uncomfortable, Michelle Obama says.
"I'm surprised at how much has changed, but how much has not changed," the former first lady said in an exclusive interview on the "Today" show Thursday, just over a year after the global reckoning against sexual harassment and assault began.
"Enough is enough."
"The world is, a, sadly, dangerous place for women and girls," she added. "And I think young women are tired of it. They're tired of being undervalued. They're tired of being disregarded."
Obama's comments came after a particularly emotional couple of weeks and just days after President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, was confirmed to the high court, despite allegations of sexual assault against him dating back decades playing out in a public hearing that captivated — and divided — the nation.
After a bitter confirmation process, Trump openly mocked Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and apologized to Kavanaugh for the "terrible pain and suffering" that the accusations had caused him. Meanwhile, the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., said the fallout over the Kavanaugh allegations made him more concerned for his sons than his daughters.
“I’ve got boys and I’ve got girls, and when I see what’s going on right now, it’s scary,” Trump Jr. told DailyMail TV.
Obama said the backlash to the #MeToo movement was to be expected, and said it shouldn't serve as a deterrence.
"That's what happens with change. Change is not a direct, smooth path. There's going to be bumps and resistance. There's been a status quo in terms of the way women have been treated, what their expectations have been in this society, and that is changing," she said.
"There's going to be a little upheaval, a little discomfort, but I think it's up to the women out there to say, 'Sorry. Sorry that you feel uncomfortable, but I'm now paving the way for the next generation.'"
Speaking on the International Day of the Girl, Obama also announced a new initiative called The Global Girls Alliance, which will focus on helping adolescent girls around the world secure an education.
And she said she still sticks by the famous motto that she first used during her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention when it comes to avoiding pettiness in politics: "When they go low, we go high."
"I have to think about that as a mother, as someone who is a role model to young girls," Obama said. "We want them to grow up with promise and hope, and we can't model something different if we want them to be something better than that."