About Me

My photo
My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Handshake

Apparently a hullabaloo has ensued over a handshake. Michelle Obama extended her hand to a Muslim leader in Indonesia (a moderate Muslim country, but the leader in question practices a VERY conservative type of Islam which theoretically prevents him from having ANY contact with women not related to him).   He claims he didn't want to shake her hand but was "forced to".

There are times when my usual live-and-let-live, quite tolerant attitude toward religions is severely tested.

This is one of them.

What BULLSHIT.  So WHAT if she's female!  What century -- no, what millennium -- are we in?!  As far as I'm concerned, there is NO justification whatsoever to not shaking hands with a woman because she's a woman.  NONE.  I don't care what "beliefs" are involved; if they are that ridiculous and antiquated, they MUST be challenged.  They are simply intolerable.  

And to top that off, Michelle Obama is one of the most influential people -- not just among women but among men and women -- in the world.

But really, her status as the President's wife or as a representative of our country, or simply as a highly educated, very worldly woman shouldn't be what gets her past this guy's usual behavior.  This guy's behavior (and all others like him) has to be critiqued and called for what it is:  senseless, useless, ancient, repressive, sexist, abhorrent.

Am I too harsh?  Or not harsh enough?


  1. You are completely in the right!

  2. Piffle. No one MADE him shake hands. For crying out loud, if you're in politics then you know how to get around those situations. Like you clasp your own hands and give a little half bow, so the other person goes "right! No hands!". But there are always ways around that!


Politeness is always appreciated.