May 16, 2008
Hey There, Sweetie
Obama called a reporter sweetie. Gasp. The pundits are divided on whether he should attend sensitivity training to correct his thinking or whether his coerced apology will suffice. The debate swirls, the opinions proliferate. The lesser pundits anxiously await the position paper from the National Organization of Women before commiting themselves to a firm stance on this vital issue. The rest of the world news takes a back seat.
Welcome to another national conversation. Non-stop news coverage of experts, pundits and elites opining on someone else's opining. As in, "What he really meant to say was...", and "He said that but what he really meant was..."
I'm one of those dull people in flyover country that accepts what a person says at face value. I know this is outdated thinking, but there's something stubborn in me that just refuses to accept group think as opposed to forming my own opinion. Especially when the majority of group opinions invariably prove faulty or agenda driven. Color me old fashioned.
Obama has been suitably chastened for speaking naturally. Yeah baby! Never again will he risk insulting and offending females with such a spontaneous, cavalier phrase. He's leaned his lesson. You bet. Thank you, feminists for shielding me from this sexist insult.
Obama has now earned his inclusion in the ranks of Stepford politicians. Saying only what people want to hear, carefully couching his language to conform to the latest politically correct thinking. Pretty soon when you scratch Obama's surface, you'll find the same thing you'll find under the surface of other elected elites: the politically correct talking points of the day wrapped around the latest poll numbers. The masters of this game have learned to mask their desperation and uncertainty under a veneer of being above it all. A look of sneering condescension usually does the trick.
The 5% of elites in this country have succeeded in setting the agenda for the rest of the country. Their take on any issue is the only acceptable interpretation allowed in polite society and they have carte blanche to define and analyze what lies in another person's heart. Thank God I had the courage to leave polite society 5 years ago and settle in flyover country.
Here in flyover country, when someone addresses me as sweetie, I don't have to wrestle for days to know what he means. Elites would be surprised to know that the little people also know how to evaluate...well, context.
In a business situation, being addressed as sweetie gives me valuable insight into the person I'm dealing with. Advantage: mine. In a social situation, being addressed as sweetie can mean any number of things. The person wants to flirt or is unsophisticated or is intimidated or naive...whatever. I form my own interpretation and react accordingly.
For the record, I like being called sweetie. Usually it is a term of affection and familiarity. I don't need legions of pundits to tell me its sexist. If I wasn't so busy living my life, I would ask these pundits two questions: How do they know?, and, According to who? Followed by a big so what.
Most people in my neck of the woods aren't so insecure that they spend precious time probing the inner meaning of words. Unlike polite society, words in flyover country are usually taken at face value. Unlike polite society, what you see is what you get. I wouldn't trade that for money, power or fifteen minutes of fame.
Sexism will always be with us. As will racism, homophobia and a long list of traits Mother Nature and upbringing have instilled in us. These are the traits that make us who and what we are. Its called character, worms and all. And instead of spending a lifetime trying to modify or legislate these traits to conform to someone else's expectations, I accept them. I don't have to be perfect. Nor do my friends. What a load off.
Here in flyover country, we're all allowed to be who we are. There is no uniform standard of behavior. I believe this is called individuality. Which is probably why the self-anointed and political elites look down their politically correct noses and curl their lips in what polite society has deemed acceptable as a non-verbal indication of superiority.
My reaction to this elitist behavior is usually pity. Pity for the individual who is so insecure that he must spend his lifetime trying to be someone he is not - ever looking outward instead of inward for direction. And pity mixed with contempt for those who sacrifice their principles while doing so.
Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for RightBias.com. She lives in South Carolina.