Obama Called Kamala Harris Beautiful. So What?

Recently at a fund raising lunch while introducing the US Attorney general, President Obama called her by far the best looking law-maker of the country. The remark resulted in a huge outcry in the social blogging site, Twitter. And following that Obama called up Kamala Harris to apologise for his sexist remark. Sexist remark? really? Yes, commenting on a woman's personal appearance in a professional environment is a big no-no. But then, it is not like he made a derogatory remark. Apparently, the same day, in an interview, Mrs O made a slip-up and called herself a single mother. Apart from the can of worms that might open about their personal life, I feel that there is nothing wrong in noticing that your female colleague is well-dressed or good looking.

It is not cocky when a Shah Rukh Khan or Saif Ali Khan does it while introducing their co-stars on stage at the many award shows they host! Nor is it considered to be sexist when TV show hosts use similar adjectives to introduce their guests. Then why was Obama attacked? Because he is the President of the nation and because there's been criticism about him returning to a second term? Why did he have to apologise, especially after he had just said that she is a great friend. Are we so close minded that we can't accept a male friend compliment his female friend?

Sadly, that's always has been the case hasn't it. Even in school and colleges, we've seen how men who have many female friends are considered to be studs and on the other hand, women with many make friends are considered to be sluts. Is it so easy to categorise people so? Yes, yes, interpreting the remark is very subjective indeed. No woman would take it as a compliment, if similar remarks were made by roadside romeo and no woman should, either. But, if made by a male colleague or a boss in a non-creepy way (and as long as it is not done everyday) needn't be taken to be cocky or sexist, should it? Moreover, if Kamala Harris didn't seem to mind the comment. An intelligent woman like her would've surely said something if it bothered her. Then why should we scratch our heads about it? At least Obama gracefully apologised for making such a remark, Closer home, could you even imagine a Sanjay Nirupam or a Mohan Bhagwat publicly apologising for making outright derogatory remarks against women? Forget that, will a public figure as big Modi ever apologise for equating the value of a woman to an amount in money? Such statements are what leaders and public figures should be made to apologise for and not for calling someone beautiful.

Let me know your thoughts.


  1. well, the man who said it happened to be American president, maybe that made all the difference...

  2. exactly, @deeps, why arent the other leaders being made to apologise too?


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