Barack Obama probably didn’t mean to imply that Sarah Palin is a pig with his lipstick comment yesterday. It’s just a really big coincidence that when he’s facing a woman opponent, the most eloquent and gifted orator in the Democratic Party in recent memory just happens to pick really awkward metaphors that have secondary meanings that many women would find demeaning.
For example, during the primary, he said, “You know, over the last several weeks since [Hillary] fell behind, she’s resorted to what’s called ‘kitchen sink’ strategies. . . . She’s got the kitchen sink flying, and the china flying, and the, you know, the buffet is coming at me.” It’s simply coincidental that he’s never accused a male opponent of throwing china at him.
When he said, after a particularly tough exchange with Hillary, told a crowd, “You challenge the status quo and suddenly the claws come out.” It’s an apt and completely non-sexist metaphor… if he had he been running against Wolverine from the X-Men.
When he said, “I understand that Senator Clinton, periodically when she’s feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal.” Sure, to the untrained ear, “periodically” and “feeling down” sure do sound like references to the menstrual cycle and PMS, and yes, he’s never used that line to describe a male opponent. But I’m sure “moodiness” is close enough the “temper” issue that Democrats have thrown at McCain.
As he assured us after the whole “sweetie” incident, calling women around him “sweetie” is a bad habit he’s trying to break. And as we all know, it’s quite common for Harvard-educated law school lecturers to call women they don’t know “sweetie.” It happens in big city law firms all across the country, and women generally appreciate that cute little nickname instead of being called by their names or “ma’am.”
Finally, it’s just unthinkable that a guy who punctuates his speeches with gestures from Jay-Z videos could ever exhibit a less than appropriate level of respect for women opponents.
(The post title on the homepage is modifying a line from Ace.)