You know, if the Romney campaign (hell, the McCain campaign, even!) had just posted this ad out on the internet, Obama would never have been elected.
1.) Jokes like this are tempting but are a cheap shot. If these continue it won't be long before people are using them in their anti-surveillance state repertoire. So let's just say it now: OBAMA IS NOT LISTENING TO YOUR PHONE SEX. 2.) I am annoyed at the visual rhetoric of the "joke." Note male in the dominant body position, upright--female in the submissive position, visually placed below the man. Note also the patronizing use of "baby." Note the man in professional business attire and woman in home-appropriate lingerie. Note he just assumes she is at home waiting for him; it's not like she has a job where she may have to work late. Note even the woman does not have a cell phone, which puts her in a financially inferior position as well. Note male in dark clothing, woman in white clothing; this parallels infantilizing "baby" by suggesting similarly delicate terms like "angel" (and don't get me started on the long history of white associated with purity, dark associated with immorality/corrupting influence... suffice it to say this registers on us subconsciously). Note finally the woman will not assert her own desires, but instead defers to the man with "You know what I want to do." She cannot even articulate her own opinion or make a demand. At best what the "joke" says about male-female relations is the man goes out into the world to support the baby who stays at home ready to please him sexually when he enters the front door. At worst it removes female agency and gives all power to the male which suggests relationships are little more than polite, smiling rape. I will also add this is a troubling joke because it puts our president in a chauvinistic, sexist position the same as the man--perhaps worse because he is not even emotionally connected (assuming these two are in a relationship) to the woman but instead views her as a voyeuristic plaything. Obama is a good ally to women. He is in many ways our most powerful ally. To make him a chauvinist here is so perverted it is almost sadistic. Here's why: it says even when men commit to being allies they are not sincere; it says sexism is condoned at the highest level of power and therefore makes a mockery of attempts to de-institutionalize discrimination. It also inescapably has all sorts of political implications related to recent news surrounding gender issues like the breadwinner survey and, what immediately came to my mind, the sexual assault charges in the military. These political implications are worth another paragraph. I could continue, but I'll stop here. Jokes like this are insidious because there is nothing overtly offensive about it (for most people), so we just internalize everything I just articulated. Don't tell me I am over thinking this; believe me, I am right.3.) It was kinda funny.
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