Unethical Quote of the Month: Michelle Obama

“Time is short. Change is needed. And women are smarter than men. And the men can’t complain because they are outnumbered today.”

—Michelle Obama, during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit “to a laughing audience,” according to White House press pool reports.









Abuse of position.

No justification or excuse possible or acceptable.

There’s not much else that needs to be said, is there? It’s just about the perfect res ipsa loquitur. Obviously, the equivalent statement by a prominent male in any field would set off a firestorm of indignation: Larry Summers had to step down as  president of Harvard for  suggesting that women didn’t seem to be as adept at the sciences as men. Imagine the “war on women” drumbeats if a Republican, like Ted Cruz or Chris Christie, said that men are smarter than women. Of course, they are smart enough not to say anything like that, which is why Madam Obama’s statement is a self-rebutting assertion. What an idiotic thing to say in public, in her position.

I am eagerly anticipating the excuses, rationalizations and dishonest justifications.


Facts: Politico

37 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Month: Michelle Obama

    • Worse than pandering. By using the language and logic of bigotry, she endorses and validates all bigotry. Saying that any group is “better” than any other group as a generalization is unfair to each individual in that group by definition…the statement is as meaningless as it is offensive. But she said it.

      • Sarcasm alert.
        She cant be a bigot!
        She’s a black woman liberal!
        By definition unable to be a bigot.
        Throwing down against men in general and especially white men is justice for all the wrongs done by men especially white men.
        You can’t know her life. Only a black woman can speak authentically about her.
        Serious now.
        I agree she’s the worst kind of bigot. A bigot belonging to more than one protected class by virtue of being a victim and thus unaccountable for the damage to civility. That’s what I meant by doing it badly.

        • Also, if you notice both Obama’s joke about things they are in deadly earnest about. Plausible deniability to the American people, ie “No fear, don’t get your panties in a knot, it’s just a joke. Sheesh you conservatives are so sensitive.”

  1. I’m cool with her saying that as long as it was right after she vacuumed the living room, finished up dinner, and brought Barack a cold one to enjoy while watching the game.

  2. I consider myself a feminist, but preaching to the choir doesn’t accomplish anything. It’s just noise because talk is cheap, and rah-rahs won’t address real issues. Photo-ops and speeches don’t help the areas where women still have problems, and many of the worst problems like safety, jobs and training hit everyone, even if single mothers in the lower income brackets are hit harder.

  3. Politicians need to stop trying to be comedians. They really suck at it. This was stupid. Maybe she has “short-timer syndrome,” but that’s no excuse.

    • Definitely not short-timer syndrome. Remember who it was before he was elected the first time that said “For the first time, I am proud of my country”?

  4. This is nothing new…just more divisive talk coming out of the White House.

    We have a problem in our culture with respect. Those under 30 don’t believe that anyone over 30 has a brain; democrats demonize Republicans; women think they are superior to men; liberals are more enlightened than conservatives; and God forbid you take a stand to protect human life.

    I consider myself to be a smart, successful, independent woman. I also recognize that I have a lot to learn…guess what, Michelle…I am a woman and I don’t know it all! When women consder themselves smarter than men, they miss out on the opportunity to glean wisdom and perspective. Sometimes I am smarter than my husband, but there are times when he is definitely smarter than me! That is what makes us a good team. We learn from each other.

    The black community in particular has an issue with absentee fathers and is in desperate need of strong male role models to stem the tide of crime, poverty, and child abandonment. I can’t see how Michelle’s comments could be helpful to those young black males who are trying to beat the odds by being role models in their communities. Is Michelle going to tell that young black male that she is smarter than him? What a slap in the face!

    And by the way…I am happy to bring my husband a cold one after we BOTH have had a long day at the office…even in a pair of heels. 🙂

  5. Yep. That was a dumb, obnoxious comment. However, this comment was more frightening: “‘So often what we find in our positions is you have to change attitudes before you can change behaviors,’ Obama said after moderator Cokie Roberts asked about the imbalance in how women and girls are viewed compared to men.” Isn’t that advocating thought control?


  6. It was obviously (as seen on the video) a joke. Not a particularly funny one, but a joke, and, frankly, an inoffensive one. Breathe, everyone.

    • Calling it a joke typically doesn’t excuse bigotry. Getting away with calling a joke, when that excuse would never be accepted coming from the other side of the isle, is hypocrisy.

    • Ah. So if Sarah Palin says “Blacks aren’t as smart as whites, and we outnumber them,”…with an eyeroll…that’s going to get a pass? And no, there is no difference whatsoever. Either bigotry is funny, or it’s not. (It’s not.) I don’t accept that your bigotry against me is funny but you can find mine offensive. I wrote about a whole ABC segment with women in a roundtable assuming male inferiority in leadership as a given, and nobody but me appeared to object to it. It’s no joke, and if the Democrats are going to claim it’s a “war on women” for Romney to make an awkward remark about binders, Michelle has to be hit twice as hard when she says men are intellectually inferior.

      It’s a double standard, unless the passes are handed out equally, and you know they are not.

  7. I watched the clip. She did an eye roll after making the comment — I think it was intended to be a joke … I don’t think she has a future as a comedian.

    • Ah. So if Sarah Palin says “Blacks aren’t as smart as whites, and we outnumber them,”…with an eyeroll…that’s going to get a pass? And no, there is no difference whatsoever.

      • Of course there is a difference. “Men being stupid” is the running joke of all comediennes and the theme of virtually all sitcoms. No one thinks it’s true, but the running joke is accepted as being pretty benign. And given that we have no era in history (the ancient Celts perhaps being one exception) of women being in power and oppressing men, there is no concern of those words actually causing harm. These jokes are in poor taste and, in my opinion, not funny — but most Americans love this comedy genre. There is rampant evidence of white oppressing blacks, so that joke is never acceptable.

        Mrs. Obama clearly needs a new PR team though, because I don’t think a First Lady should be trying out Roseanne Barr sketches at formal gatherings.

        • I disagree. Whilst the “harm” caused might not be the same, if the shoe were on the other foot, jokes like this cause men like me to be slightly less sympathetic towards real issues that women face, because regardless of the history of the issues faced by each gender, this is a double standard, point blank. And the more it isn’t called out for what it is by those whom aren’t the butt of the joke, the more it reinforces that it’s ok to laugh at men, and the more men who might otherwise be sympathetic to situations when women are slighted, aren’t. No one like to be laughed at, regardless of how entrained it might be in our culture.

        • You appear to be approaching the redefinition of various forms of bigotry to exclude acts that aren’t perpetrated by the current strong group, like the claims that blacks can’t be racists by redefining the term racism. Misandry and misogyny may be different in scale, but they are not different in kind.

  8. I just realized, and then chuckled that Barack had the unethical quote of the month until Michelle opened her mouth in public.

  9. I sometimes think Mr. Obama has the same problem with behaving ethically that he has getting through a narrow arch with a wide umbrella. He hasn’t met up with a problem as complex as that and he’s just unequipped to deal with it.

  10. Obviously, the equivalent statement by a prominent male in any field would set off a firestorm of indignation

    I’m curious if it’s your position that context doesn’t ever matter when it comes to whether a joke or type of remark is bigoted, or if possibly it’s your position that the person doing the talking is not to be taken into account as part of the context.

    It seems that you at least imply that a woman making a claim about men is doing exactly the same thing as a man making a comparable claim about women. On the one hand, it seems logical if you’re looking at statements as actions to say that the same action is equally unethical no matter who engages in it. But that stance requires one to assume that the context of the statement doesn’t change the meaning of the statement, and thus change the nature of the action.

    • All you are doing is posing an argument for double standards regarding bigoted statements. “Context” in this case, means “They get to denigrate me, but I dare not denigrate them.” This is NEVER ethical, never fair, and always divisive. Could any public figure, a male, joking or not, survive the equivalent statement about male superiority? No. That’s the context.

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