Barack Obama — closet misogynist?

Obama’s Cairo speech first tipped me off to the fact that he’s probably a misogynist.  He may have a couple of powerful women upon whom he relies (Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama), but his instinct is to avoid women and hide them away.  The Cairo speech got my antenna up because I thought it was peculiar that Obama twice boasted that one of the hallmarks of his presidency would be ensuring that women could continue to wear the hijab:

Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That’s why the United States government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab and to punish those who would deny it. (Applause.)  [This makes me uncomfortable.  It's good to trumpet America's religious freedom, but I find it icky that he would boast about the fact that America (rightly, I guess) allows its Muslim citizens to enshroud their women -- and please note that this last is an applause line.]

[snip]

The sixth issue — the sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights. (Applause.) I know –- I know — and you can tell from this audience, that there is a healthy debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. (Applause.) And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous. [There he goes again with the hijab. Maybe it's freudian, and he wishes he could shut Michelle down.]

Three months later, Obama was at it again, applauding the hijab:

The president paid special tribute to Kareem Khan, who “made the ultimate sacrifice” when he died serving in Iraq, Nashala Hearn, who won the right to wear a hijab in school, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, who holds the record for the most points scored by a high school basketball player in Massachusetts, and Muhammad Ali, who – though he couldn’t attend – is “a man of quiet dignity and grace and continues to fight for what he believes.”

We are a pluralist society, with First Amendment for freedom of religion, so I’m no going to quarrel with women who voluntarily chose to wear the hijab.  Nevertheless, to the extent that it represents the first step in de-sexualizing and even de-humanizing women, and I am no fan of the garment and could not understand why Obama gave two speeches lauding the garment.  My snarky guess at the time was that Obama doesn’t like women and that his admiration for the hijab represented a Freudian desire to see women subordinated.

With these thoughts in my mind, it came as no surprise to be that Obama’s White House discriminates ferociously against the women who work for him.  Aside from a few high profile female staffers, women who work for Obama are paid less than men across the board.  Obama’s cabinet also boasts only eight women out of a total of twenty-three positions, something ardent feminists demand he remedy by applying a 50% quota (showing that, while Obama may not like women, modern feminists are fools).

I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that, in a couple of speeches, Obama almost randomly targeted his grandmother as a racist.  In his Rev. Wright speech, he spoke of her inherent racism:

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

Having said that, he helpfully clarified that his grandmother was “typical”:

The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know (pause) there’s a reaction in her that doesn’t go away and it comes out in the wrong way.

So, Obama started off by insulting his grandmother — a female target — and then extended that insult to all white Americans.

I’d be lying if I tried to pretend that those four disparate pieces of evidence — two speeches referencing hijabs; lower wages; and a small, but not insignificant, number of women in his cabinet — prove that Obama doesn’t like women.  They prove nothing, although they hint at a trend.

Today, I learned another factoid that hints at this same trend — Obama, the great golfer, has golfed with women partners only two times, despite playing the game 107 times during his presidency:

President Obama, who ran a campaign that alleged Republicans were waging a “war on women,” refuses to bring women along on his favorite recreational pastime, golf.

Obama has not included a woman in his golf outings in more than two years, choosing instead to bring along male staffers, male politicians and, while vacationing, a regular group of old friends, all of them men.

The last time he brought a woman out onto the golf course was October 17, 2010, when he played with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Since then, he’s been golfing 54 times, but has never brought along a woman.

I’m only aware of one other golf outing Obama has had with a woman during his presidency, a round with chief domestic policy advisor Melody Barnes on October 25, 2009. The White House acknowledged at the time that this was the first time he had golfed with a woman as president.

That makes, as of today, two out of 107 total outings during his presidency.

Keith Koffler, who noticed this interesting phenomenon, also points out that women have been railing for years against men only golf courses and clubs because so many deals are brokered in those segregated preserves.

One can draw two reasonable conclusions from Obama’s golfing patterns, neither of which is mutually exclusive:  (a) When in relaxation mode, Obama does not enjoy women’s company; and/or (b) Obama does not believe in making deals with women. Both of those conclusions provide further corroboration that Obama, if not actually a misogynist, has misogynistic tendencies.