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Muslim Leader Embarrassed Over Handshake with Michelle Obama

November 12, 2010

While I first found this on Salon, I did think that this story is another case of Tracy Clark-Flory’s youth and inexperience coming out as a writer.  In fact, I really wish someone on Salon would put a few more “seasoned” voices out for their tops posts, because Tracy Clark-Flory in the full witness of her 26-year old self (started writing but a mere 4 years ago about women’s issues) often sounds like a rather ignorant 12-year old when discussing the flaws of modern society and women’s journeys through them.  You can read about her own definition of rape, which is negligent and ignorant to say the least, injurious according to older women. You can read about her ideas of never having heard that women who don’t menstruate can still get pregnant: “You see, just because a woman isn’t menstruating doesn’t mean she can’t get pregnant. The more you know! Somehow that hugely important fact never made it into my high school sex-ed curriculum. In fact, I’m embarrassed to admit that at the age of 26 — having written about women’s issues five days a week for the past four years — this is the first time I’ve heard it.”  Or, you can read her latest gaffe about how she thinks the Muslim leader’s embarrassment over shaking hands with Michelle Obama and then saying that she forced him to do is “cute,” when in fact it’s the same logic that has been used by impotent men to kill women for lesser crimes:

“I tried to prevent (being touched) with my hands but Mrs. Michelle held her hands too far toward me (so) we touched,” he said, according to the Associated Press. Only, the entire incident was caught on camera and now a YouTube clip is making the rounds that shows him vigorously shaking her hand — with both hands — and grinning broadly, and who can blame him! I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that this is the cutest political sex scandal ever.

“Cutest political sex scandal ever?”  This is exactly what I am talking about with regards to Tracy Clark-Flory’s confusion about what is rape, what is a “sex scandal,” and perhaps what is her concept of sex.  She seems not to grasp the concept that by stating that Michelle Obama “forced him” to shake hands, the Muslim leader makes a comment similar to what rapist use: “she asked for it…she made me do it… ”

At first I thought that Clark-Flory’s demented point of view was a result of her youth and inexperience, and I didn’t deny Salon the position of allowing this young woman to speak even if what she says is stupid or injurious.  But what bothers me more is that Salon offers no counter to this sort of misstep, and instead trumpets this sort of naivety or ignorance as commonplace, as accepted for women of all ages.  It’s one thing to write about women’s issues, but it’s a whole new story to write about women’s issues as if you speak for all women, and yet you undercut other women every time you do, under the guise of a nationally published “Broadsheet.”

I have trouble with the name “Broadsheet” anyway; it’s not cute, it’s offensive, even if women are using it.  I have trouble with the concept that stating that a Muslim man blames the highest-ranking female power figure in our country for “forcing him to touch her” is labelled as “cute,” and really so much more.  You can watch the video here:

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