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?