Once upon a time, a gentleman complimenting a lady on her appearance was not considered anything of importance. Indeed, such was seen as good manners. However, this point of view is no longer the case, to judge the reaction of the English speaking media to President Donald Trump telling Madam Brigitte Macron, that she was in “good shape.” One would have thought that he had scribbled his hotel room number and handed it to her, considering the shock and #Outrage.

What was Trump thinking with such a 'sexist remark?'

Trevor Noah, the host of “The Daily Show,” openly wondered why President Macron did not put Trump on the deck then and there.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The UK Independent called the gesture “patronizing” and suggested that Trump sees women as no better than accessories. The firestorm on social media has become what one might expect.

The problem is clearly sexual harassment culture

Way back in ancient times, a man could compliment a woman on her appearance and not have it taken the wrong way, even in the work place. “You’re looking beautiful today, Joan.” “Thank you, Mr. Draper. Here are your messages,” Unfortunately, some men took things too far and either engaged in boorish, locker room behavior in front of their lady coworkers or actually used their position to pressure them into sex.

Then, around the time Anita Hill falsely accused Clarence Thomas of being a bounder, the pendulum began to swing. Companies, so as to avoid lawsuits, set up sensitivity training programs in which male, female relations were micro managed to the nth degree.

Advertisements

To be sure, some of the required behavior just consisted of good manners. One really should not tell filthy jokes in front of people who might be offended. And seeking a romantic relationship with a co-worker, especially an underlying, should be undertaken with caution or not at all. However, in many cases, complimenting a woman on her appearance, no matter how innocent, will buy one a trip to Human Resources. People have internalized the new standard and have reacted accordingly when Trump acts the alpha male.

What did the Macrons think of all of this?

No one, so far as can be determined, has asked Madam and President Macron what they think of the exchange. One would like to think that French culture, which has traditionally had a more benign attitude for such things, has not yet been corrupted by the puritanism of American sexual harassment attitudes. One would like to think that Madam Macron took the compliment for what it was and was appropriately charmed by it. #First Lady #Donald Trump