• Mon, Feb 20 2012

Poll: Grabbing The President’s Ass — Hilarious Or Offensive?

During a visit to San Fransisco last week, President Obama had a particularly intimate interaction with a fan. He showed up unannounced to the Great Eastern restaurant in Chinatown, and as he walked through the restaurant, one overzealous lady reached down and patted his ass.

I kind of can’t help but laugh, but at the same time, it’s probably not the most respectful way to greet the leader of the free world. Also, I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that if Obama were the first female president instead of the first black president, this ass grab would provide fodder for outrage across the lady blogosphere for weeks, inspiring Op-Eds in newspapers across the country and probably some sort of meme (it still might do the latter).

The basis for that outrage would likely be because sexualizing powerful women is a way to demean and objectify them, thereby taking away some of their power (or so the ass-grabber may consciously or sub-consciously believe). The question then arises as to whether the same dynamic is at play with Obama, only in regards to race instead of gender.

I also feel like it bears mentioning that during the George W. Bush years, I would not have been the slightest bit surprised to see someone grab the then-president’s ass, and it would have been laughed off as a frat-y prank with no discussion of undercurrent or tone, because of the whole “old white men have been in power in America since the founding of the country” thing.

All that said, the only conclusion I can come to is that some people are going to feel like this ass grab is tinged with racism and totally disrespectful, and others are going to say that it’s just a little love pat from a fan.

Where do you fall?

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

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  • claire

    Ha! My coworkers were looking through the gallery of these pics the other day when Obama was here and wondering if the world at large would ever take notice of this picture.

    I think it looks like it might have been an accident- just a function of their heights.

    • Laura

      yeah that was my thought too, she’s pretty short compared to Obama

      and it doesn’t so much look like an ass grab as a pat? which i guess is a bit less obscene

  • Kelly Stevens

    You’re kidding, aren’t you, with the question. What if he grabbed hers?

  • MARIANNE723

    Well, he certainly didn’t seem to mind it.