Friday, April 5, 2013

President Obama Accused of Being Sexist

President Obama apparently noticed the difference between a man and a woman, and between a woman and a very pretty woman.  Yet, Statement Analysis looks at the words chosen, rather than media's interpretation.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama said she is a "busy single mother", correcting herself shortly after.

President Obama introduced California's Attorney General Kamala Harris:

“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake.  She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here.”

His critics are calling for him to apologize and take sensitivity training because his remark is "sexist."

His supporters are saying he only noted the obvious.  

Note that the subject does not call her a "woman" but the best looking "attorney general."

Is she a good looking woman?
Is she a good looking person?
Or, is she a good looking attorney general?

Here, we find the word police show up in both political parties. 

Recently, an EMT was caught by the NY Post "twittering" (is that the right word?) all sorts of anti-semetic and anti-asian rants. When they caught him, his Hitler-idolizing Nazi tough guy image went to pieces as he cried for the camera about losing his job saying "there must be worst people than me out here..."

As stupid as his words are, I don't like the "word police" swiftly moving in to see that he loses his job. 

A major principle in our country was once freedom of speech.  It is freedom of speech that allows me to call him "stupid" without repercussion. 

There is something that I wish you to consider:

As we have lost much of our freedom to speak our minds without repercussion, you may have found yourself applauding swift retribution against those who are labeled "hate mongers", "homophobes" and so forth.  

I would rather defend someone's right to be anti-whatever they wish, they do have a word police and political correctness punishment. 

Here is what I wish you, dear reader, to consider:

You may, today, applaud such punishment upon those who use words you find offensive, but the day may come (simply read history to know that it will) where the words or ideals you hold to, go out of "vogue" and you will find your words, or your belief, condemned, with requisite repercussion.  

Think about it. 

That which you hold precious may turn in society to something condemned, and you who enjoyed the silencing of others, will then be silenced.  

Today, a reporter can ask a 21 year old athlete certain questions and if the athlete does not give the "correct" answers, he will find himself, perhaps, in the world of condemnation and even out of his career.  

This is not freedom. 

President Obama did not say anything wrong and does not need "sensitivity" training, yet had an opponent of his said this, we might see some very powerful condemning statements released. 

I look forward to the time when this folly passes from us and we return to:

"I don't defend the words he is saying but I defend his right to say them."


Tania Cadogan said...

posting on twitter is called tweeting :)

Mainah said...

Those are some marbles I wouldn't want to hear my boss say about me.

Tania Cadogan said...

You think you have it bad in the States.

You have the first amendment, the right to free speech.

over here we don't and anything you say can and will be used against you or misquoted and ued against you.

It is interesting to note the freedom of the press is being hamstrung by certain celebs all of whom have been caught in glagrante delecto, lying about involvement in ducbious behavior or suspects in serious crime.

they want the press to be limited in what they can print with severe punishment which would in effect ban all investigative journalism and printing of anything that paints the subject in a bad light.

We have injunctions which ban the media from publishing known facts about a subject.
the media will happily tell the world about the case but say they are gagged and cannot name names.

Then we have super injunctions where not only can the media say nothing about the case, they cannot even say there is an injunction meaning the subject can carry on as before safe in the knowledge no one will know about it.

Super injunctions have been used to cove affairs by footballers and all sorts.

happily for us it cannot afect the internet and said footballe got outed online and then in parliament.
He withdrew his super injunction.

Once you start to opress freedom of expression where do you stop?
You cannot apply your national laws to an international entity such as the web, the web cannot be policed per se, there will always be loopholes and get arounds such as hosting in another country and so on.

People who try and ban freedom of expression, who want to muzzle the media have a damn good reason for doing so.

GetThem said...

Yes, I get what you mean. His rights to say those words as opposed to those words are two dif things. I agree he has the right. At the same time, I don't want to hear my president making comments about people's looks (good or bad). If he had taken 2 seconds to think about it, he may have realized that those words are inappropriate professionally and disrespectful to his wife. I'm sure Michelle is cool and agrees that "the attorney general" is attractive, but unless the old man is complementing her on a daily basis, it's just a dumb comment. I'm sure his kids were freaked out hearing daddy complement another woman's beauty too. On the other hand, it was sort of an androginous (sp) complement since Obama used the word AG instead of woman, lady or even person. For realz tho, it's not like he didn't say anything ANY OF US might mistakenly say in our lives. LOL

rob said...

We so easily give up our rights, what this country was founded on. Free speech, should be for everyone, whether you like what they are saying or not. If the AG had a problem with what her boss said, then SHE should file a complaint, not everyone else.
I don't smoke, never have, but I still believe the restaurant or bar owner should be the one to decide if you smoke in their establishment. If I don't like it, then I don't go there. Put a sign by the door, 'Smoking allowed/not allowed here.'
One at a time, we give them up. We think we are making this a better country to live in, but actually, we are just giving someone else control over our lives.

Anita said...


dadgum said...

what's the past tense of 'tweet'?

I find the rush to censor speech frightening. Say the wrong thing, words, or even make an implication..and you may lose your job. If someone manages to catch it on a cellphone, and you will be toast.

Though you are the same person, saying and doing the same thing, no punishment until it's on media/youtube. All for the appearance of political correctness.

Our right to speak is fundamental..and it is being chipped away daily.

I'm A Mom said...

"I don't defend the words he is saying but I defend his right to say them." I don't support this President, but I don't feel that his remark was sexist. I have noticed this President has an odd type of sense of humor, and my opinion is that he was only trying to be 'one of the people' instead of always being on guard and proper. That being said, back to the quote "I don't defend the words he is saying but I defend his right to say them." I agree wholeheartedly, ALTHOUGH freedom of speech does not give us the right to verbally attack, degrade, or humiliate others. There is nothing wrong in stating your beliefs and fighting for them, but there is a way do go about that without de-humanizing another person or group.

Anonymous said...

Let's be realistic and not idealistic: all speech is truly not free. Freedom of Speech contains limits as with every freedom.
In most cases, yes you might have a right to say it, but I also have a right to criticize it (that would be expressing my free speech).
Expect repercussions for what you may say.

Anonymous said...

There are people who say much more sexist things about women than Obama did. At least he didn't comment on her clothing!

Anonymous said...

Or consult ancient texts to develop a dress code!

Anonymous said...

The President was not sexist in his remarks and is truthful. Attractiveness is subjective. Attorney General Kamala Harris is attractive but I haven't seen all the other AG's to know if, to me, she is the most attractive.

As to the rest of the post...
All of our freedoms are being slowly eroded and we go along silently. When will it stop? Freedom of speech is a fundamental right afforded to us by our Constitution. I despise what Westboro Baptist Church stands for but I defend their right to spew their hate. I despise white supremacy groups, but I defend their right to spout their idiocy publicly. I will speak against them but I won't work to stop them from speaking because then how long before someone disagrees with me and tries to stop me from speaking freely? We have to allow the good with the bad in order to have true freedom of speech. Only when there is a real tangible danger from a false statement should that freedom be denied (like yelling fire when there is none in a crowded theater).

I am a Democrat and the party that I belong to embraces "political correctness" to a fault. They now have had it turned against them. Do you think either party will learn anything? Not our politicians and the partisan talking heads in the media.

"I don't defend the words he is saying but I defend his right to say them."
My husband says something similar but differently...
"I served 28 years in the military to defend your right to be an idiot, so go ahead and open your mouth."

Anonymous said...

I am a femenist. I am totally fine with Obama saying she is the most attractive -- . Compliments are not sexist unto themselves.

If I were Michelle I might be a lil jealous -- or not -- .

Isn't this a nice distraction from North Korea!!!

annie said...

He just stated the obvious, in a light-hearted way. Oh wait. Stating the obvious gets one in trouble these days.

Excruciating Headache said...

It was a really stupid thing for Obama to say. He's going to be hammered for it.

I agree with Anonymous: Political correctness is out of hand. What we lack in this country is the willingness to engage in civil discourse.

Listening said...

Speaking with CNN’s Burlington, Vermont-based affiliate WCAX, Michelle Obama was describing the challenges of eating healthy for busy parents when she said, “Believe me, as a busy single mother — or I shouldn’t say single — as a busy mother, sometimes when you’ve got a husband who is president it can feel a little single. But he’s there,” the first lady said.

“As a busy working mom, and before I was in the White House, I was in that position as well. Working, driving kids to practice, not having enough time to shop or cook. Not having the energy. Resources weren’t the issue, but time and energy is key,” she said in the interview with WCAX.

Periwinkle Paisley said...

So he said she was good what? How is that sexist? How is it even inappropriate to say someone is good looking? There are way worse things to say about a person. I'm pretty sure that 'good looking' is a compliment. Is it implied that if you say someone is good looking it somehow lessens their other talents and attributes? I don't see why it should. It reminds me of that sports announcer who said the girlfriend of a football player was beautiful and people jumped all over that too. People just go looking for things to be offended about I think.

Listening said...

Michelle refers to heself as a single mom, then goes on to say "as a busy mom". Well, what mom is not busy?? Then she goes on to say "But he's there". There where? Doing what? I sense trouble in Paradise. Can we get statement analysis on her statements, please?

Sus said...

President Obama has been commenting on the looks of others quite often lately, beginning with Michelle's new haircut. Then he commented when he met with the French leader, and I believe he said something about how good-looking a male ambassador was.

President Obama said that Kamala Harris is brilliant, dedicated, and tough. She does her job well.

When he commented on her looks, he weakened that assertion. This was about work, not politics nor a cocktail party. It was the wrong place to comment on her looks.

Sus said...

It's the place and/or situation that counts. Comments on looks have no place in the work-place. I don't care if a sports announcer says a girlfriend is beautiful. That did not take away from her job of sitting in the stands.

But to say someone does their job well, then say they're also the best looking, immediately weakens the first statement. I am now looking at her rather than hearing about her brilliance and great career.

Anonymous said...

Why would commenting on one's looks weaken a statement describing someone also as brilliant, dedicated and tough? Can't someone be good-looking AND brilliant AND dedicated AND tough?
Are you suggesting you can't be pretty and do your job well?

Sus said...

Here is how the second statement weakens the first. Think to yourself...when you read how good-looking she is, what did you do? I'm willing to guess you looked at her picture and/or pictured a pretty woman in your mind. Her brilliant mind and record as an AG wasn't even on your mind, was it. The second statement weakens the first when this should be all about her career as attorney general.

ME said...

In my opinion mrs obama is a very lonely "wife".

Lis said...

People are getting so sensitive about the most miniscule, unimportant things. Everyone seems right on the verge of being "offended" all the time. The whole point of manners is to take something in the spirit it is given. He meant it as a light-hearted compliment and it should be taken as such.

Maybe the comment draws attention to the unattractiveness of a previous attorney, though - I'm thinking Janet Reno.

"Beauty is as beauty does."

The comment from Michelle Obama is hilarious, though. A busy, single mother. I guess she probably is! The president must be so busy that she has to manage as though she was alone.

Mouse74 said...

Twittering ;D


Anonymous said...

Sus--I agree with you. It's called objectifying women. And you're right it has nothing to do with her job, so why say it?

Anonymous said...

"I don't defend the words he is saying but I defend his right to say them."

Totally agree!! Also, I don't hold the same beliefs as some people but I defend their right to them. Example: the owner of Chick-fil-a doesn't believe in same-sex marriage, I disagree, but I'm not going to protest his business because he has specific beliefs. I don't have to go there if I don't want to and he has a right to spend his money where he wants, what gives me a right to tell him he doesn't have the right to support his own beliefs?

This is what I see as 'wrong with kids these days' - which makes me feel really old... they think their rights & beliefs are above everyone elses. Hey kids! that's not how it works, if you want the right to say & believe what you want you have to allow others that same right - agree to disagree but don't try to force your beliefs on others - that is the OPPOSITE of freedom, you selfish idiots!!

Anonymous said...

Sus--Dont let an idiot make you feel belittled. Yours is the only thoughtful comment I have read here on this thread. said...

Your the idiot.your rant is typical of a homosexual living at home with mom.
Go wash your small penis ugly chops.

Mouse74 said...

Per Michelle's slip on being a single mother, clearly she's in 100% charge of all planning / decisions for the girls. Their dad is the President, he doesn't have time to be a father

Doesn't mean there is trouble in paradise meccesarily, but that she has accepted her role a the single or sole decision maker and planner.

Just my opinion though.

Anonymous said...

@Amon shush your obviously "_ABC"

Anonymous said...

Chimps. said...

@anon yes ok _ABC (dork!)

Jen said...

“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake.  She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here.”

-He starts out by saying, "You have to be careful to, first of all,"...and then he lists the positive attributes that define her as "exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure everybody is getting a fair shake".

-By beginning his statement saying he has 'to be careful to first of all, say', her qualifications are X, Y & Z...he seems to reveal that in his mind, her looks may work against her being taken seriously, and overshadow her qualifications.

-I don't like Obama, but I don't see this comment as sexist. If he had said the same thing about a man we would chuckle and move on. He probably should have left her looks out of the discussion, but it seems he was trying to be complimentary and show her as the 'total package'. Or maybe he was trying to preemptively address the fact that 'she's puurdy', and place to focus back where it belongs...on her dedication and intelligence.

Lis said...

Okay, thinking about this a little more, I am finding this more interesting than I did at first.

He says "you" have to be careful to say the first things about her, which relate to her job performance. But then when he speaks of her looks, he speaks directly. Hmm.

"You" "have to be careful to" "first of all" "say" she is brilliant, etc.
"She is" brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake.

"You" - why doesn't he have to say this?

"have to be careful to" -apparently it is important, we have to 'be careful' to do this

"first of all" -this has to be said 'first' which makes me wonder, what comes second? I think he answers the question with his second sentence referring to her appearance. It's apparently okay to refer to her appearance if "you" "are careful" "first of all" to "say" the right things.

"say" -you have to "say" these things. Is this as opposed to actually believing them?

Hmmm, okay, maybe my opinion has changed on this statement, it could be a subtle put down in that he does not seem to be speaking from his own heart or mind in the first complements, regarding her job skills, but he does in his second statement, regarding her appearance.

Jen said...

Hi Lis, good catch on 'you' vs. 'I'.

His language suggests he is more committed to his opinion of her looks, than his opinion on her credentials.

Anonymous said...

He has given equal compliments to Michelle. I think he was trying to say something kind. We have become a sad country- everything one ever says is tromped on....

SALurker said...

What I think is most interesting is M.O.'s comment about being a "single mother".

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla
Hobnob, have you seen the movie "The Red Balloon"?

Upset and Questioning said...

I fail to see how this analysis is getting to the true root of the problem which is how do you think Janet Reno felt not getting a single compliment? From anyone!

Upset and Questioning said...

And Hillary Clinton, an angelic beauty in her own right, every day without a single "I notice you you are a woman and you are beautiful". This had to hurt tremendously. Where were you Obama then with your lovely lady compliments?

meow the cat said...

Men have been noticing women since the beginning of time. Why should political correctedness change this? There are hot guys in the Senate for the women to check out. Obama's not bad looking either although he can't dance. But I'd say there's plenty of eye candy to go around!

Anonymous said...

Meow the cat,

Yes, men will notice women and that is as it should be, but I really do not think that the government is setting where people should be checking each other out as you so flippantly seem to word it.

Devrie said...

It's kind of sexist in that she IS a woman, and we tend to inherently equate a woman's success with how "good looking" she is. The way a person looks has no bearing on anything at all, and considering it is a woman is a bit insensitive.

I agree with one poster that he was trying to seem "like one of us" with a sense of humor, but I'm not so sure that he had to say "woman" to imply looking good not attached to being a woman.

Of all the criticisms Obama has gotten, (perhaps aside from Benghazi), I'd say this one is one worth merit. I kind of blow most of the criticisms off, but the Democrats supposedly support equality. It comes across as somewhat hypocritical to address a woman's title with how good she looks. If I were the Attorney General, the comment would have made me feel slightly uncomfortable.

It was in poor taste.

Sus said...

I read that President Obama called to apologise to Ms. Harris. She will not be commenting on whether she was offended or whether she accepted the apology. I also read the two are long-time friends. President Obama might have felt comfortable commenting on her looks, but the comment still took away from her job performance.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Obama is ugly,has a hairy fat bulbous ass,and she has terrible bo!!! No wonder it's "husband"ignores it!!!

Anonymous said...

Chubby chops shut up.

Anonymous said...

The comment was not in poor taste, it was not a slight to Mrs. Obama or the Obama daughters or to any other woman. Mr. Obama DID give the new AG full credit for her abilities and capabilities PRIOR to referring to her attractiveness, which, she IS. I have never known of an attractive professional woman in the workplace whose beauty was not noted and appreciated.

However, their beauty is NOT the measure of how they perform nor does their job hinge on their attractiveness; the criteria is in HOW they do their job and frequently must work harder than others around them to prove they are not just eye candy but are actually capable of performing well. Beautiful women are fired all the time because they could not do the job that was expected of them.

There was nothing wrong or sexist in Mr. Obama's comments about/to Ms. Harris, nor is there anything wrong or sexist with Peter's comments in the article, including the fact that men and women are different. We are; therefore, we DO dress differently and have since the beginning of time.

Mrs. Obama is NOT ugly OR unattractive and it is very rude to say she has BO when she would have the finest in spas and fragrances; NOR is she a lonely woman or wife. She leads a very busy life from sun up til she drops into bed at night. She has her own agenda, is constantly involved in social affairs and travel, has no time to be lonely, nor is she alone. She has a husband, although busy, spends far more time with her than a business man away from home for weeks at the time or a husband in the military; she sleeps in the same bed with her husband every night and has a full staff around her at all times. Lonely? Absurd. She is more likely exhausted.

IMO, the only thing she is lacking in is having a fashion coordinator on staff who would dress her more appealingly, inasmuch as she certainly can afford too; but still, better dressed than a lot of us who don't even bother to get dressed at all (me) some days.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

She is rumoured to bathe less than once a week (M.O)and "masks"her body odour withcheap perfumery.I'm repulsed by her also.

Trigger said...

When I think about what the president said, I would have been more flattered, if I were in that position, if he would have said something positive about my integrity and intelligence rather than a comment about how good looking I was.

I think that it degrades the cabinet that it represents because it would not be proper to say something like that about a man in that job from the president.

Anonymous said...

Peter, I see you removed my post where I asked the two anonys above if they had been up close and personal with Mrs. Obama and had smelled her, yet you left their posts.

So that means you agree with their posts, but not mine; where they call her ugly, stinking like an egg, using cheap perfumery and the ugliest animal in the zoo.

This you agree with? I'm disappointed in you, Peter.

Anonymous said...

Trigger, go back and reread the article? Mr. Obama DID mention Ms. Harris' qualities and fine attributes before he mentioned her attractiveness.

I doubt Ms. Harris was offended at all. I know I wouldn't have been.

Anonymous said...

To the person with bathroom humor--for real? Do you know the meaning of the word "unfunny"?

brosnanfan said...

As stupid as his words are, I don't like the "word police" swiftly moving in to see that he loses his job.

A major principle in our country was once freedom of speech. It is freedom of speech that allows me to call him "stupid" without repercussion.

You didn't call the EMT stupid, you called his words stupid.

I'm wondering if you threw that in there to see if anyone would find it. :)

Does anyone remember the dust-up several years ago when the word "niggardly" hit the news?

Norway said...

I have never believed their marriage was a loving one. They are both over the top with their desperation to be seen as a loving couple, and I don't believe it.

Other than that, I have no shade to throw at Obama here. He doesn't know better.

Hobnob said...

(sorry for my typo's guys,I'm eating a biscuit)

Anonymous said...

Both of them are cunning egotistical manipulators.

Anonymous said...

Who cares, Anon @ 7:53 and Norway @ 4:57? I do agree with you Norway, that Obama doesn't know any better (after all, he is just a man,also in a white mans' world where both carry the burden of being black and where their scrutiny never ends); BUT does it really matter whether the Obamas have a good marriage or are putting on a front, or if they are tighter than two bugs in a rug? Regardless, the fact remains that he married the right one and so did she, otherwise, they would not be where they are.

Go back and reread some of the history of former presidents and their wives. Start with G.Duyba; Laura painted on a fake smile, but moved into a separate bedrm because she would not tolerate Duybas' drinking, then bought a separate mansion for herself and refused to live with him after they left the white house.

Skip and go back to Pat Nixon, she landed up in rehab, as did Babs Bush, and on it goes. Nancy? She, ever so lovingly and cunningly, ran the country through her psychic Jean Dixon, and deceived us all. Poor humiliated Hillary had to resort to whipping up on Bill, however, DID try to accomplish something worthwhile on her own. Lordy,lordy, take a look at that silly Lady Bird Johnson, always hand in hand with her disgusting vulgar hubby who also had another woman on the side; hard to believe that one,'eh?

Egotistical manipulators? They all are. That's the position they have been put in and do it quite well.

Anonymous said...

Brosnanfan, I vaguely remember the big to-do about the use of the word "niggardly" but don't recall where it got it's start; however, very rude and uncalled for.

REcently, I heard a new one, the use of the words "little nigletts" referring to black children, while this individual laughed about how cute he thought this was.

All cultures have their differences in speech and mannerisms, why belittle and pick on certain ones? It can only be attributed to small minds who value no one but themelves and their own 'kind'. Caught up in spiteful prejudices, they are losers who can't figure out why they never get anywhere with their own lives.

Norway said...

Oh SHUT RASCIST anti nigglet!

Neil sythe said...

Rip Tony Blair.

Anonymous said...

Are you calling me anti-racist Norway? Right on! I sure am and proud of it.

Anonymous said...

Neil, there is nothing on a google search that indicates Tony Blair is deceased. There was a "tony blair rat" who died sometime ago, and an 'anticipated obituary' for Tony Blair which the media claims is not unusual; but another article that declares "Tony Blair is very much alive".

Maybe you know something that has not been made public?

Tony Blair evil zombie said...

He's "spiritually"dead.
A zombie who has no soul.

Anonymous said...

How do you know? Are you God?

Don't think so.