Recently, a male “news” commentator on a national “news” network was referencing Michelle Obama’s cause about better childhood nutrition and made a rather insulting remark — while sitting on a couch surrounded by four women no less. One of the female panelists berated Mrs. Obama’s initiative saying, we don’t need “the federal government projecting these standards upon us.”
The man augmented her opinion with,
“How well could she be eating? She needs to drop a few.” After a shocked reaction from the women, he went on, “No, let’s be honest…who are we taking nutrition advice from? There’s no french fries happening? That’s all kale and carrots? I don’t buy it.”
Okay, where to begin? Step one; reassemble my exploded head.
I’ve said before, and will most likely have opportunity to say again, that I don’t get the thing about putting down the First Lady’s attempt to make our next generation healthier. Sugar is still as aplenty as sand in the desert and shadowy men wearing trench coats do not yet sell chocolate candy in dark alleys. Can we have a reality check? Our kids are getting fatter; it’s undeniable. Something has to be done and whether your like her or not, the First Lady has propelled the conversation into the spotlight so that unto its own is already a success. You don’t like her ideas? That’s fine. Step to the plate and come up with something else, but we need to adjust the vector of this country’s future health, and we need to do it yesterday. All hands on deck.
Additionally, if hypocrisy were water, he’d drown.
Not trying to be catty, but his own waistline “was obviously not the product of kale and carrots; there had to be a few french fries happening.” And hello?!? Who was he looking at? Mrs. Obama is amazingly fit. She might not be perfect but she’s a heck of a lot closer to it than most of us when it comes to being in shape.
Yet the greater question is why is acceptable in this day and age to still judge the value of a woman’s idea based on how she looks or what she weighs?
Why are so many men given a pass when they possess a large belly overhanging their jeans, while if a woman isn’t spot-on faultless, people wag their fingers and whisper how she’s “let herself go?”
Lest you think I’m a self-hating male, I want to point out that not all men think that way and not all women share my analysis. On the same day as the previously referenced comment, a female columnist in the New York Post wrote a piece entitled, “Hey Ladies – catcalls are flattering! Deal with it.” Her premise is that when men call out or whistle at a woman as she walks by, it’s a high compliment and the receiver of such attention should feel appreciated.
Granted, I am not – nor have I ever been – a female, but some of my very best friends are. Not every “cat call” is as benign as “Wow, you’re an attractive woman who appears to be intelligent while possessing high-self esteem. Do you think we could take some time to know each other a little better on a deeper more intimate level?” I believe most women can relay stories of degrading, insulting, even frightening attention being directed at them while going innocently about their business. Why? Because they possessed the necessary “parts” and they were in the “correct” proportions to elicit the vocal reaction from the observer.
Maybe I’ve been “feminized,” or I’m not macho enough, but I don’t get it.
Could it be that, instead of trying to put down women for whatever real or perceived flaws they possess, we “real men” could emulate their self-care and focus on improving ourselves?
For a link to an audio podcast explaining why I wrote this piece, follow this link.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a nationally known weight loss expert for baby boomers and the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com Check out his new program to help combat yo-yo dieting in conjunction with The Placebo Effect. Find out more at scottq.placeboeffect.com or visit his website.