The sexualized racism of New York Times women

I have been trying my darndest to ignore Judith Warner’s sleazy New York Times piece detailing the sexual fantasies liberal women are having about Obama.  On the list of things I really don’t want to know, this ranks right up there with the nature of Bill Clinton’s underwear.  These are presidents, for goodness sakes — statesmen!  world leaders!  Not Chippendale dancers.  Ick.

But aside from the ick factor, there’s something profoundly wrong about the whole article, and that is the way in which Warner and her cronies sexualize Obama and Michelle.  This goes beyond the ick-factor I mentioned in the previous paragraph, and moves into the very sick sexual ideas Americans traditionally had about blacks.

Anyone familiar with Southern history knows that black men were viewed as ravenously uncontrolled sexual beings who posed a threat to the purity of all white women with whom they came into contact.  Black men were attacked and even killed for the sin of looking at a white woman, as if their powerful black sexuality could float through the air and cause harm without even the necessity of contact.

Black women, too, were perceived in sexual terms.  The fact that all American blacks who trace their roots to the slave ships also have white forebears is itself a testament to the fact that white men saw black women as freely available to serve their needs.  And to get past the fact that they were raping these women, the white men came up with a story line of the lusty “negress,” hungering for sex at all times.  “I didn’t force her.  The mere fact that she is black meant that she was (and always is) asking for it.”

With those horrible images in mind, let’s revisit one of the nastier passages in Warner’s little opus:

There was some daydreaming too, much of it a collective fantasy about the still-hot Obama marriage. “Barack and Michelle Obama look like they have sex. They look like they like having sex,” a Los Angeles woman wrote to me, summing up the comments of many. “Often. With each other. These days when the sexless marriage is such a big celebrity in America (and when first couples are icons of rigid propriety), that’s one interesting mental drama.”

It may be rarified and envious, but the above passage is nothing more than a reprise of the old American theme about the sexual ravenous black “stud” and his lusty “negress” partner.  That this is true is evidenced by the fact that no other presidential couple — heck, no other political couple or even Hollywood couple — has ever been described in the same way.

In other words, I find this whole article offensive not just because I don’t like Obama, which renders him unattractive to me; and not just because I think it’s inappropriate to the self-proclaimed “paper of record” to chip away at the dignity of the presidency, but also because, no matter how one dresses it up, this whole line of thinking reverts to ugly stereotypical racial ideas about black people’s sexuality.

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  • Charles Martel

    Spot on, Book. There is such an incredible racism at work here, from the Helen-like declaration that one will vote for Obama simply because he’s the correct skin color to the idea that a president can become the public object of immature sexual fantasies.

    The woman who wrote this, a white, is trying so hard to show us how liberated she is, from both racism and traditional sexual mores, that she can declare shamelessly on the pages of America’s “newspaper of record” that she wants to f*ck the dark-skinned Commander-in-Chief.

    I am soooooo impressed! Whatta fearless, freewheeling woman!


  • lookingforlissa

    I agree the article is disgusting. However, I’m not sure that racism plays a big role here; it’s just liberal fetish-ism and oversexualization as usual. Wasn’t there an op-ed published in the New York Times, long ago, in which some feminist paragon said she’d be glad to give Bill Clinton oral sex as thanks for keeping abortion legal?

  • Bookworm

    Certainly liberals are obsessed with sex, and you’re right, Lissa, about the Clinton thing, but that was a “quid pro quo” offer. The president’s “sexiness” wasn’t a part of the generosity of that offer.

    Nobody has ever commented on the lustiness of a presidential marriage. It’s creepy, inappropriate, and seems very much part of the package of the obsession with Obama’s race.

  • David Foster

    Interesting hypothesis, but I question whether this is really mostly about race. These’s probably always been a fair amount of sexual fantasizing about celebrities…surely there were more than a few women having vivid daydreams/nightdreams about JFK, for example. And celebrity-obsession in general seems to be very strong, judging from the magazines at the supermarket check-out.

    What strikes me about this article is the assumption that the media image of anything (the Obama marriage, in this case) is necessarily an accurate one. There seem to be an awful lot of people who confuse TV with reality.

    And if one stipulates that the Obamas *do* have a great relationship, wouldn’t a better reaction to that fact to be to try and learn from it & improve one’s own, rather than using it to justify further fury at one’s own spouse?

  • Gringo

    When one Democrat informed me that a certain percentage of racists who would vote AGAINST Obama because of his skin color, I pointed out that there were some whites who would vote FOR Obama because of his skin color. The Democrat disagreed with me.

    I had my reasons. I knew two women, one a relative and the other the mother of a childhood friend, who had lived with a black man. The women were bright and well educated. The men were not well educated and not bright. Both men had substance abuse problems. Had the men been white, those women would never have considered entering into a relationship with those men, IMHO.

    All those women fainting during the Obama speeches. More of the same.

    Unfortunately, it appears that Obama will also satisfy the fantasies of some men, such as Putin, Iran’s DinnerJacket, Assad Junior, and Osama. Unfortunately, these fantasies are not sexual, but political.

  • David Foster

    A man who lived in Nazi Germany, and kept a secret diary, reported that some women were so entranced with Hitler that they *at the gravel upon which he had walked.* I don’t think things have reached anywhere near that level here (that would be reserved for actual rock stars), but some of the emotional reactions are kind of disturbing.

  • David Foster

    …was supposed to be *ate the gravel upo which he had walked*, not “at the gravel”…

  • Tiresias

    I don’t know, I suspect you may be going a touch overboard. Idiot liberal women have always had this problem, and I’m not sure the black component plays much of a part. It wasn’t so long ago that it was said of Eleanor Clift that you could hear her ovaries rattle every time Clinton walked into the room for a press conference. The only reason she was so scathing about Monica Lewinsky is that she was mad Clinton never took a run at her.

    By the way, don’t you love the way these highly educated, enlightened, sophisticated, liberated liberal women fall right into the most ancient of stereotypes? The “man of power” walks in the room and their eyes cross, they lie back and put their heels in the air. Your highly educated and liberated liberal woman is, basically, just like a beetle flipped onto its back.

    I find it funny as hell, personally – but I don’t especially get the black connection. I mean, unless there’s more of ’em this time around than there was for Kennedy and Clinton. Don’t know, haven’t seen any statistics. But I do recall we had to put up with the sexual fantasies of idiots during the JFK and Clinton years, too; this is hardly new.

    And as for that “still hot marriage,” and “they look like they enjoy having sex” stuff, I wonder what someone who looks like they enjoy it looks like. (Even more, I wonder what someone who doesn’t enjoy sex looks like.) I got my doctorate in clinical psychology thirty years ago; I have no idea how one can tell either of these conditions just by looking. (And I’ll tell you what: Judith Warner, whoever the hell she is, doesn’t know either.)

    I also kind of wonder about when the “sexless marriage” attained to any level of celebrity. Apparently a whole lot goes on in the minds of liberals to which the rest of us just aren’t privy.

    But, to me at least, this is no more revolting than what these dames were telling us (couldn’t seem to keep from telling us!) about their thoughts regarding JFK or Clinton. I think it’s more about what stereotypes liberal females make of themselves than it is about the stereotypes they make of black men.

  • Deana

    It is an interesting thought but I also do not see racism as a factor in this fantasizing . . . yet.

    I think Lissa is right – this is just the latest example of the leftists’ tendency to make everything about sex.

    Tiresias – I love your post!

    Isn’t it funny how when a powerful, liberal man shows up, all of these hard-core feminists who scorn all things male start panting and generally embarrassing themselves?

    We have NO idea what presidents and their first ladies have felt for each other. I have suspected that George and Laura Bush have great affection for each other, as did the Reagans. But I am confident others did too and simply were private about it. And that is ok.

    Some things are meant to stay private and between two people.

  • suek

    >>But I am confident others did too and simply were private about it. And that is ok.>>

    Besides – there’s been an age difference that should be taken into account. It stands to reason that a couple in their early 40s are going to be “hotter” than a couple in their late 50s or early 60s…

    Has anyone besides me noted that in the “male enhancement” ads that the men just aren’t all that old usually (which makes me wonder why they have a problem), and the ones that _are_ apparently older all have wives that appear to be about 20 years younger? Of course, then there are all those stories about the military getting total cooperation from the muslim tribal leaders by providing them with “the little blue pills”…

  • suek
  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Nobody has ever commented on the lustiness of a presidential marriage

    You’re just demonstrating that you’re a good bit younger than me, there, Books. I remember clearly reading a story about how Jack and Jackie Kennedy had separate bedrooms — which was apparently how It Was Done back in those days — but the WH butler would often go to Jackie’s bedroom to wake the President because he would be in Jackie’s bed. It struck me, even in those days, because I hadn’t ever thought about married people not sleeping together.

    What I find most puzzling about these is the regular assumption that the Bush’s marriage is “sexless”. They’re clearly in love, they’re both healthy, and Laura ain’t bad lookin’. We know certainly Did It at least once, because of the twins. The assumption that the Bush’s marriage is “sexless” appears to be based completely on projection and innuendo.

    Which, to be fair, has been pretty common in any of the liberal media’s discussions of politics in the last eight years.

  • kali

    I wouldn’t dig too deep for racism, or even real sexuality, in this article. It has all the signs of one of those fake articles ginned up after some comment at a Manhattan cocktail party, and somehow spun to be a widespread cultural artefact.

    To my eyes, it’s really designed to bolster Obama’s liberal creds. Their hero is a hollow man, it’s getting harder and harder to argue that he’s somehow different than everything that’s gone before. So they’ll push forward the Obamas’ sexuality by proxy, because it sustains one of the core beliefs they have about themselves: Liberals like sex, conservatives don’t.

    And those of us who’ve had kids, well, we probably stole them from some working-class woman we kept in the basement–I certainly know I did :)

  • Charles Martel

    kali, speaking as a conservative, I detest sex because it. . . . . . .

    What? I’ll be in bed in a second, Pumpkin. Let me finish this diatribe. . . . . . .

    Sheesh! Not there! I told you not to run your hands over my. . . . . . .

    OH! OH! OH! If I didn’t hate moofkie poofkie so much I’d. . . . . . . .

    Yooooooooooooooooh! Yeooooooooooow! You reactionary slut! Stop! Don’t stop! Stop! Don’t stop!!!

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR! Take that, Harry! Take that, Nancy! Take that Michelle and Nancy Boy!

  • Ymarsakar

    Book, they are racist but race is just like sex (and gender) to them. So it is not like it has to be one or the other. It’s all bundled up in small packages called “neuroses” for the Left here.

  • Ymarsakar

    Isn’t it funny how when a powerful, liberal man shows up, all of these hard-core feminists who scorn all things male start panting and generally embarrassing themselves?

    It’s also why they hated Sarah Palin. She had everything they said they wanted, but the only way the Left can get to her position was by the help of a powerful husband.

    The reason why the Leftists talk about equality is because they know it is a con game, that you can’t get a leg up on your own merits. To actually see someone, like Sarah Palin, doing it, makes a mockery of their entire world view, of their entire lives. She must be destroyed for that crime, Deana. It has to be done to preserve their fragile little egos.