Barack Obama

Wash Post Writer Gushes: 'Obama photo is a snapshot of a modern, equal marriage'


"an ideal of mutuality in marriage"

Does the photo to your right, which this week became the most re-tweeted image in history, leave you indifferent, or irritated, or even mildly happy for the couple hugging it out? Then you definitely will not be wanting to read this Washington Post essay by Philip Kennicott. Excerpt:

The photograph strongly suggests an ideal of mutuality in marriage, unencumbered by older ideas of possession and obedience that still hold sway in some deeply traditionalist religions. […]

The Obama photograph shows another reality, what might be called the limitless possibilities of true mutuality, of marriage beyond strict definitions. The Obama marriage appeals to many people, because it seems so comfortable, as if no one is worried about who wears the pants in the house, which is the reality of many healthy marriages today. In a healthy marriage, the partners don't simply step into ancient gender roles and enact a drama of fidelity and obedience, they invent their own roles in the manner that serves both people best. Marriage is improvisatory, and every marriage is unique. Variation flourishes, and people work it out.

Or maybe, you know, it's just a picture of a politician hugging his wife?

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  1. Four more years of state run media. They will never get enough of covering up and worshiping this guy. The last four years leaves no doubt that when the American dictator comes, he will be bi-racial and from Harvard. The media will cheer him on.

    1. ^This, Most American media outlets have become Pravda for the Democrats.

  2. OK, so some people will wax poetic about anything if they think it will advance their cause. This is new?

  3. I’m impressed; Philip Kennicott has clearly mastered the art of suppressing the gag reflex while deep-throating.

    1. Well, perhaps BHO just has a ‘small’.

    2. I’m impressed; Philip Kennicott has clearly mastered the art of suppressing the gag reflex while deep-throating.

      Like sizing up their Johns’ wallets, it’s a job skill for whores.

  4. “In a healthy marriage, the partners don’t simply step into ancient gender roles and enact a drama of fidelity and obedience, they invent their own roles in the manner that serves both people best. Marriage is improvisatory”

    Correct. For example, in this picture, the President’s right hand is slyly slipping under the back strap of his wife’s bra so as to invent his own role in a manner that serves both people best…

  5. What the actual fuck.

    1. Let me explain this… Reverend Wright runs a church whose clientele is mostly gay, black professionals. While being gay is generally no big deal in professional communities, it’s still a huge bad thing in most black circles. So he sets them up with highly educated black women who are undesirable to most black men not because they are highly educated, but because they’re frigging neurotic as hell. These women would otherwise become old maids. So the good Reverend can offer these women the traditional family they’ve always wanted without the over-abundance of sex they really don’t want in exchange for a little tolerance and cover for the gay, black professionals.

      And with that as a background, you should be able to understand why a warm partnership hug is how they would celebrate being reelected to the most powerful job on the planet.

      1. So what you’re telling me is, Rev. Wright’s church basically does for Obama what the Church of Scientology does for Tom Cruise?

        (Yes, I’ve probably used that joke here before, fuck you very much.)

        1. Pretty much. It turns out that most churches do this. When I figured this out about the Methodists as a 10 year old, I went atheist and never looked back.

      2. Reverend Wright runs a church whose clientele is mostly gay, black professionals.

        Really? Where are you getting this from? I’m not doubting you, but I’ve never really heard this, so I’d like to know more.

        1. Yeah, I’ve never heard this either, and I would be quite surprised if this were true. Quite surprised.

          1. Well, it is on the internet, so it must be true.

        2. This came from a GOP state delegate in Nevada. I’m skeptical, but it’s the story making the rounds.

  6. Lionizing a politician for his personal, apolitical traits? Where have we seen this before?

    I’m really happy for Hussein I and his wife. Seriously. If your marriage is good, great, but please, fuck off and enjoy it somewhere you won’t be responsible for the evisceration of American liberty.

    1. It’s worse than that, RPA. You can’t even call a hug a “trait” at all. An action that millions of couples engage in ALL. THE. TIME. is somehow magically indicative of equality when done by the King and his Queen. Bleh.

  7. I mean, it’s a perfectly cute picture. They look happy and it looks like a genuine hug. But is it seriously supposed to inspire essays on modern marriage? We are so doomed.

    1. Hey, don’t bash it, girl. One of my fondest childhood memories is being hugged tightly and excitedly by a certain girl with enormous boobs and trying to remain unstimulated to avoid humiliation.

      Just because you’re heartless doesn’t mean WaPo has to be, too!

      1. Essays on the joys of hugging/smothering would be fine.

        1. I don’t have boobs like you do. I can’t smother. Stop bringing up how disadvantaged men are in this boob-controlled world of ours.

          1. Stop bringing up how disadvantaged men are in this boob-controlled world of ours.

            As the saying goes: It took me 18 years to turn that child into a man; and 10 seconds for some women to turn him into a fool.

      2. My fondest memory when I was four was being taught to roller skate by two teenage girls who showered me with attention the entire afternoon.

        1. If that happened now probably all three of you would be sex offenders.

          1. It is incredibly sad that that is even a joke that people will get.

    2. My thought was: Hell, if the guy can tell all this from a picture of a couple hugging, we oughta turn him loose on the financial section of the paper and some chicken entrails; he’d make millions.

    3. To me, it looks like a father hugging his daughter. I don’t get a marriage vibe at all from that photo.

  8. So let me get this straight: a couple that includes a man who is the most powerful man on the planet, able to destroy all complex life on the surface in a matter of minutes, making $400k + room, board and endorsements, and a woman who is unemployed, is an ideal of equal marriages?

    1. Maybe he thinks that Obama is married to Valerie Jarrett.

    2. There you go, thinking too much. Ruins the moment.

    3. I’m calling it — A.D. wins the thread!

  9. A picture of man hugging a Wookie is fucking bestiality, and this guy is praising it? What has the world come to?!?

    “Sex with animals?!? There’s no time, man!”

    1. If we can have gay marriage, why can’t we have inter-species marriage? Why do you hate marriage equality? You monster.

      1. I’m not saying it should be illegal, I’m just questioning the morality of a human-Wookie pairing. If that makes me an old fuddy-duddy, so be it! Think of the children!

        1. Santorum warned us about this.
          He’s like somekind of gooey prophet.

      2. I have no problem with inter-species marriage as long as the non-human party can actually give consent. I think Wookies fall into that category.

    2. Can you focus on the important things, like hating the fact that they have to be dressed in fucking red, white and blue for the shot?

      1. Oh nicole, you’re so cynical. Do you really think that the Obama campaign would do anything so calculated? I mean, this is the most open administration in history…that murderdrones people. Do you really think they’d stoop to that?

        (shakes head ruefully)

        1. Part cynicism, part me hating the print of her dress.

          1. Women and their petty fashion issues. No wonder you can’t be trusted to judge policy other than that involving ladyparts.

          2. What’s up with the “just can’t even!” thing? Did I miss something, like the thread where I went from “prolefeed” to “protefeed”?

            1. Well, I’m not sure you really “missed” it, but yes. I can’t find the thread now, we were making fun of the Jezzies and the ulcers they were developing over voter suppression. It’s something ladies say now when they’re upset–“I just can’t even!” or “I just can’t!” or “I can’t even!”

              I was saying I had showed such a tweet to my BF recently, not thinking much of it, and he was like “can’t even what?” I realized I spoke a terrible language. Anyway, this is my response, or something, to how we womenz have won the war against rape. Or something.

                1. Followed Heroic High Yaller’s link and got this gruesomely awesome thread on the second click (WARNING: totally NSFW cartoon pic on top):


                2. OK … modern pearl clutching.

              1. Ahh … now it makes sense.

                Re: the “war against rape” — my GF and I have a standing joke where we refer to our consensual sex as “rape”, as in, “Jim, can you please come rape me now? I’m horny!”

                1. My wife calls me “sir” frequently. I am not sure why.

                  However, I’m sure some internet pundits who don’t know either of us would be happy to explain that it’s because OMGZ PATRIARCHY.

        2. The fuck, Epi? You can’t admit that Obama might have an unscripted, candid moment carefully posed in front of cameras that have been called in and asked to capture this miracle of spontaneity?

          you sick, cynical fuck =)

          1. You know how the press loves them some motherfucking Camelot. It’s like it got a second chance after being destroyed by right wingers in Dallas. Like starting over.

    3. I was going to make a Wookie-hug comment, but as that might cause me to be accused of being a “redneck in blackface” because Kendall Shultz is under the impression that he can divine someone’s ethnic heritage purely through textual analysis, I’ll merely say that Lord and Lady Macbeth had a good marriage as well.

      By the way, Epi, your use of punctuation leads me to believe that you are not really of Italian heritage. I believe you are actually a filthy Styrian masquerading as a brave and noble son of Garibaldi. Despite, your championing of thin crust, I demand you address this accusation immediately.

      In short, Wookie and fried chicken.

      Fried wookie chicken.

    4. was going to say that in the Klingon v. Wookie argument, that back is all Wookie.

  10. Is this beyond parody or a self-parody? I’m very confused.

    1. They write on their hands and compare voting to losing their virginity. I’m going with beyond parody. We’ve already gone beyond satire.

  11. It’s well known that Republicans don’t hug their wives. If Romney had won, he’d have raped his wife right there and then prevented her from getting abortion by keeping her locked in the kitchen making pot roasts.

    1. And he would have done it publicly, after which he would have paraded her in all her degrading nakedness in front of the world.

      After sending her back to her cell, he then would have proceeded to thermonuclearobliteratedestroymuderannihilate all of Asia and most of Africa.

      1. and that’s just the beginning!

        1. Oh, I forgot the part where he mutilates an innocent gerbil with a teaspoon.

      2. Like the scene from McClintock!

    2. Actually, would you like to see an attempt at humor along the Mitt & Ann lines?

      Click at your own risk. It’s sort of funny.

      1. 404 error. I think you SF’d it.

        1. I didn’t, actually, but I may as well have. here.

    3. Dude… you can’t win the thread twice. Take a break.

  12. Michelle Obama’s face is obscured in this photograph. This suggests a quasi-cyclical return to stratified gender roles of antiquity, in which the female’s id is subordinated to the domineering social psyche of male oppression. The collective unconsciousness of a post-feminist public will surely recognize this hegemonic, misogynist narrative for what it truly is.

    I grant full permission for anyone to use this in their Women’s Studies term paper.

    1. Also, not only is his job being The Most Powerful Man In the Universe, it also requires that his entire family submit to having their own lives destroyed via lack of privacy, etc. So he can have power. Sounds super equal.

    2. Nah, just showing her better side.

  13. Wait, mutuality in marriage? As unaccomplished as Barack is in a grander sense, my understanding was that he is the FUCKING PRESIDENT and therefore has achieved a bit beyond mutuality in terms of who’s bringing in the bacon. Not to mention, Michelle’s previous job as a $300k/year “diversity coordinator” was a sham of a job set up by a hospital in order to cull favor with a corrupt politician she happened to married to.

    Any success in her life is a consequence of riding her worthless hubby’s coattails, and that is somehow evidence of mutuality? Spare me the bootlicking, power-worshipping bullshit.

  14. A strange little bit of writing, sure, but if you read the whole thing it contains at least two observations you wouldn’t expect from a pro-Obama puff piece:

    [The photo] also appealed to the almost cultlike sense of affection many Americans feel for the couple.

    Good of him to notice that.

    Also this:

    The first lady is, among many other things, a big woman, famed for her well-toned arms, and in this image of hugging, she’s giving as good as she gets.


    1. Almost cultlike. It is a fun nice cult.

      1. I was honestly shocked he used the c-word.

        It kind of goes against the liberal line that “This whole Obama-as-religious-figure idea was always just a right wing myth.”

    2. When I was a kid, my dad taught me that there was a big difference between a woman with a big ass and a big-ass woman.

    1. STAGED!

    2. It clearly shows that by choosing to marry a woman shorter than himself, Mitt Romney strives to domineer over, even enslave, women to his patriarchal, injudicious tendencies, thereby rendering him unsuitable for the Presidency.

      Unlike Hussein I, PBUH, who is wise and merciful.

    3. It shows that Ann Romney knows how to accessorize with a wall for a photo op.

    4. It seems to show that they are now coaching presidential candidates on how to properly hug their wives.

  15. Mitt would have given Ann the back of his hand.

  16. Good fucking God. It’s just a picture of a man and a woman hugging. Four more years of this fawning bullshit and I think I’m going to snap.

  17. Al and Tipper demand equal time! He did win the popular vote once…

  18. “Or maybe, you know, it’s just a picture of a politician hugging his wife?”

    Welch, you infidel!

    Get with the personality cult.

  19. How is it mutual? Michelle has her back to us.

    Squint differently, and it’s narcissistic.

  20. A picture is worth 1,000 words. More if you’re a WaPo hack.

    1. A lot more, if you get paid by the word.

  21. Sounds like a solid plan to me dude.

    1. You had been getting better recently, you non-person, but this comment doesn’t work at all.

  22. Shorter Kennicott:

    “Michelle is really tall, and that makes her look ‘equal’ to her husband in photographs. And if you point out that my article effectively says that any photo of a married couple where the woman is short represents ‘patriarchy’, I’ll deny it. Because I’m a heightist, but no one is allowed to say I’m a heightist.”

  23. Wow, talk about projecting. To me it looks like a traditional marriage all the way, with the man wearing business clothes and the wife wearing a house dress, and hugging him because his job is safe for the next four years and his pension is going to be big time.

  24. Just looks like two giant asses to me.

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