President Obama, the most powerful man in the country, has apologized to California Attorney General Kamala Harris for remarking on her appearance at a fundraising event on Thursday. During his speech, the president described Harris as, “brilliant, dedicated, and tough. She is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake.” He then went on to say that Harris is “by far, the best-looking Attorney General in the country.” It is this seemingly innocent comment that received backlash from critics. The remark has been cited as an example of ongoing hurdles that women face in the workplace.
The White House issued a statement the following day stating that the president had spoken to the attorney general to apologize for the “distraction” created by his comments. Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities. The president fully recognizes the challenge women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance.”
After reading this article I could not believe that Obama had to apologize for this. Of all the things that the president has done, he is being criticized for a compliment? I could not wrap my head around the reasoning behind this article even being printed. As I scrolled through the comments that other people had posted on the issue, I found that many people agreed with me. One comment stuck out to me in particular: “In what way is the remark “best-looking attorney general in the country” at all offensive? In what way can it be construed sexist? The comment could equally be made in respect of a man. This is utterly, utterly ridiculous. He should not have apologized, given that he has nothing to apologize for. Nonsense like this is what gives feminism a bad name.” This comment has 97 likes.
Honestly, I can’t help but agree with the person who left this comment. I feel like this whole situation was blown way out of proportion. In the same comment, Obama called her brilliant, dedicated, and tough. He stated that she is exactly what the country needs, obviously rating her very highly. The fact that this turned into a male vs. female issue is ridiculous to me. Since when is complementing a woman’s appearance a bad thing? If Kamala Harris had gotten up and said that President Obama was the best looking president we’ve ever had, I guarantee he would’ve laughed and thanked her for her kindness. She would not have been forced to apologize and there would not have been an article posted about the issue. Stories like this are what give in to the false stereotypes that women are stuck up and hate men. In my opinion, it is very unfortunate that Obama was forced to apologize for this innocent compliment. He obviously meant no harm by it and it is clear that he thinks very highly of her. Sometimes, issues need to approached without an agenda. Comments like this should not turn political.