Friday, May 16, 2008

Steve Corbett, Scranton DJ, on Obama's "Sweetie" Moments

Does America Deserve A Chauvinist-In-Chief?

Steve Corbett Reporting

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Men call women “sweetie” at their own risk.

Try it at work if you doubt my advice. Step to your female supervisor and ask about a raise or maybe a promotion. No matter what her answer, respond with, “Thanks, sweetie.”

After returning from a talk with the human resources officer, try it again, only this time with a female co-worker. Step to your colleague and ask her a question about the company vacation policy.

No matter what her response, smile and say, “Thanks, sweetie.”

After returning from another talk with the human resources officer, and maybe a vacation that you didn’t anticipate, go home and try out your male moves on your wife or the woman you live with or the woman you’re dating.


Those women might allow the word and even take it as a compliment. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, fellows. This term of endearment is not supposed to be wielded as a weapon of denigration and power.

The women at work, maybe even your boss, might let you slide. But if they’re confident, aware and professional, they’ll make you understand whether you like it or not that smart men respect the women they encounter in a slowly changing world.

Women have indeed come a long way, baby, as the Virginia Slims cigarette commercial suggested. But in 2008, even that landmark ad is dated and inappropriate. Smart women now don’t smoke.

And smart men treat them with respect for making their own decision and more than their share of decisions made by men who need their help.

When you come to in the recovery room after your heart attack will you wink at the female surgeon and say, “Thanks, sweetie.”

I hope not because unless you change your habits, you might one day need to count on her again to save your life. And there’s nothing worse that a surgeon carrying a grudge and a scalpel at the same time.

Actually, good surgeons of either gender do not carry grudges and don’t hold stupidity against patients.

But bad habits show bad judgment and nobody wants to be treated poorly by a doctor or by a president.

Barack Obama yesterday called a young woman reporter “sweetie” during a campaign stop at a Michigan auto plant. The reporter seemed offended as much by the inappropriate crack as by his refusal to answer her question.

This was the second time in as many months that Obama publicly called a woman “sweetie.” He used the demeaning term last month during a campaign stop at a factory in Allentown, calling a woman worker “sweetie” as he made his way through the plant.

Obama has apologized to the young woman reporter. And most Americans seem willing to accept his apology. Most callers to “Corbett” yesterday termed the incident a “non-issue.”

Most of those callers were men although some women also defended Obama and reprimanded me for calling attention to the matter.

My mother would be proud of me, though.

She struggled, worked and sacrificed all her life in a man’s world. She didn’t even learn how to drive a car because her children came first, as did her loyalty to her husband.

And when she took a part-time job in a nursing home, every penny she earned went for new furniture for my bedroom and school clothes for her boys. She never owned her own home and never took a vacation, even to the Jersey shore.

My mother asked for little for herself. And that’s pretty much what she received.

My mother deserved better.

Obama’s late mother would likely understand the struggle of my mother and other working-class women of her generation.

Too bad her son forgot where he came from. Too bad he thinks he’s better than the working women he disrespected twice with words that dismiss them. Too bad he’s a man
with a bad habit that’s admittedly hard to break.

But unless he overcomes his male chauvinism, he will always be a weaker person for it.

America’s ongoing civil rights movement deserves better. (

If you click on the link above at 3:00pm, you can click another link to listen live to Mr. Corbett. I highly recommend you give him a listen, and support him as he says what SO many of us are saying - We Will Not Vote For Obama. Period.

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