The Women Have Spoken

by Marvin Adams

Marvin Adams

Marvin Adams is a parishioner of St. Anthony’s Parish in Washington D.C. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Franciscan Action Network.

A very interesting thing transpired during the course of President Obama’s last press conference of the year. He did not take any questions from men! The historic significance of this occurrence was not lost upon the many viewers, fellow journalists, and in particular, to the male reporters in attendance. Was this by happenstance or by design? Succinctly, safe money would be on the latter as opposed to the former.

The press conference, itself, was not very much different from others, suffice to say, of course, the eight questions posed to the president all emanated from the mouths of only women. To say this was significant would be an understatement of herculean proportions. And this occurred within the same week in which the president announced he was moving toward reestablishing relations with Cuba!

There will obviously be debates concerning his decision, with regard to Cuba. As a matter of fact, even before all of the details emerged, the usual cast of characters had already begun circling the wagons and pronouncing their disagreement. But this is fodder for a different time and space. So let’s return back to the aforementioned press conference. As a political wonk, I can’t enumerate the number of press conferences I have seen, beginning from a relatively young age to present. Retrospectively, it seems the only female invited to present questions was the late, iconic Helen Thomas. The legion of White House reporters heretofore constituted the quintessential good old boys club (see white).

There was no subliminal message in the president’s actions. He was sending a direct message to the Carl Tappers and Ed Henrys of the press corps. Throughout his presidency, he, and, by extension, the office to which he occupies, has been consistently disrespected by journalist, in both manner and in tone, especially by those of the male persuasion. Thusly, his message seemed twofold.

First and foremost, he wanted to convey to the women journalist their questions and opinions are just as relevant as those of their male counterparts. Simultaneously, he reminded everyone, especially the men of the press corps, that he is the President of the United States. That being said, as such, he is unquestionably one of the most influential and important individuals on the planet, and should be treated accordingly. And that was on full display at this presser, because the women, even though some of them posed a few poignant questions, asked them with civility and a degree of professionalism, which has often been lacking, especially when presented by men. Essentially, the president conveyed to all women, not just the female reporters, they are indeed important and should be heard. Granted, it wasn’t a shot heard around the world, but the significance of it is still reverberating and will continue to do so from here to time immortal.

Marvin E. Adams is a political strategist and a freelance writer. Follow him on twitter @MarvinEAdams

Published in: on January 5, 2015 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

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