Friday, July 11, 2014

US First Ladies -- then and now

What a difference fifty years can make, in the life of a once-great nation. Two First Ladies, both the wives of Democratic residents, representing the American ideal of femininity and class. My, how the ideal has changed.

Human Events posted this image to its Facebook page on June 18th. Since then, it has received almost 26,000 shares and over 7,000 likes.

"What happened, America?" Nothing good, according to thousands of commenters. The phrase "mongrelization of America" hasn't appeared yet [unless it's been censored by the PC police. Ed.] but remarks about Mrs Obama have ranged from adoring through catty all the way to downright scathing. Here are a few samples.

- Even if you took a normal pick [sic] of Michelle, she always has a scowl. The difference. One loved the US, the other, was proud of it for the first time when her scumbag liar husband got the nomination. (Brent Strenski)

- Jackie had a grace, elegance and humility that our current first lady doesn't have. (Niki Tshibaka)

- What happened is that we quit covering up for frauds. The Kennedys were both sleeping around on each other and doing all kinds of illicit things (that the press covered up) while blacks in the south were getting lynched! How racist and psychopathic do you have to be to want to go back to Camelot? (Julienne St. Solange)
- Aha, the racism card appears! Walt likes this one though.

- No class, doesn't know how to dress even though we're paying someone to dress her, can't shave under her arms, thinks she's a TV star. (Brenda Bennett)

- Well I have heard Jackie Kennedy speak and she was not a very intelligent woman and she was also a closet racist so a picture tells nothing about a person. (Carol Bridges-Stjohn)

Ah yes. This comparison is obviously the brainchild of rotten racist Republican scumbags. That phrase was actually used. Well, caustic and very personal political "debates" are nothing new in American politics, according to Katherine Jellison, a professor of "women's history" [wat dat? Ed.] at Ohio University.

The difference between then and now, according to Dr Jellison, is that Mrs Kennedy was more insulated from the fray. "The kind of image control that the Kennedy family was able to exercise just isn't possible anymore."

The good doctor adds that the real revelation from the Facebook image is how white and black women are portrayed in US society. [Haven't we seen this movie before? Ed.] Mrs Kennedy is "demure and deferential", while Ms Obama is "boisterous".

"Ideas about African-American women being more assertive, speaking louder," she says. "All of those stereotypes are very much coming into play here." And of course there's no underlying truth to the stereotype. None at all. Just ask Oprah Winfrey.

Footnote: Since the wimmin of America won't be satisfied until one of them is elected President [and maybe not even then. Ed.], how about Oprah Winfrey vs Hellery Clinton for the Democratic nomination?!

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