7 Ways Not To Talk About Barack Obama, Race And SexFormer Editor in Chief of Playgirl Nicole Caldwell, who notably steered the magazine through the end of its decline, takes on the heady issues of race and sex in play in this election season in a New York Press article today. At this point in my introduction, I would normally attempt to summarize it, but it's so all over the place that I'm afraid it doesn't exactly lend itself to summary. In short: women want to have sex with Barack Obama; Obama is hot; people think he has a large penis; thinking black men have large penises is racist; racists might not vote for Obama; so stop saying he's hot. A list of the most cringe-worthy items of which Barack Obama would not approve are after the jump.
  1. The young Democrat was a bottom; and as Mike mounted him, the younger man grew animated. “Ohhhh, ohhhhh,” Mike says the man cried. “Obaaaama!” Although Mike is white, it seems that the young blond had his own fantasies about who was fucking him.
    This is probably the most cringe-inducing paragraph of political writing this season. Worse yet, I have a blonde, gay friend whose face my sick brain immediate put into this particular scenario and it was all I could do not to call him and yell, "Why would you fuck a 52-year-old Republican!!"
  2. As we move into the final days until the election, it’s become more apparent, however, that people are not making rational decisions based on voting records or even debating skills. They are voting with their emotions, their passions, even their fantasies about who they would rather kiss, fondle or fuck.
    Really? Um, I really, really, really doubt that McCain voters want to boink McCain, and I take personal exception to the idea that I'm voting for Barack because I have a physical interest in him. Way to play into stereotypes about emotional women and gay men.
  3. The fact is, many people are so busy wondering whether they could date or screw Obama, they seem to forget the polls show he’s ahead of John McCain.
    Actually, I think about this every single day. Usually two or three times. I'm not going to pretend that his poll numbers don't get me excited, but not in my pants.
  4. The man transcends the intersection of several stereotypes: With the cool looks of JFK, the oratory mastery of Martin Luther King Jr. and the imagined giant penis of Lex Steele, he’s been pushed further into the celebrity spotlight as academic-black-man-turned-super-hero.
    This is the first time that I've ever considered Barack Obama's penis.
  5. Throw in a race card, and watch the exoticism grow.
    I hate this stereotype about interracial dating or interracial attraction. Can't a guy just be hot? Or not?
  6. Whether the idea of that big black dick is a turn-on or a turn-off is up to the individual. No matter how much we try to take race off the table and focus on the issues, this campaign has literally become a dick-waving contest.
    This is the first time that I've thought about John McCain's penis, and the second I've thought about Obama's. Also, it can't "literally" have become a dick-waving contest because NO ONE has whipped it out. Thankfully.
  7. The assumption that black men have the largest penises was disproved decades ago by Dr. Alfred Kinsey, who performed the most comprehensive study to date of penis size. He found that black men generally enjoy a mere .1 inch more length and girth than white men. Hardly enough, it seems, to warrant so much intrigue. The mythology surrounding the size of a black man’s penis is steeped in racism, says Rashawn Ray, a PhD candidate and National Science Foundation Fellow in the department of sociology at Indiana University-Bloomington.
    Something true and not offensive. However, um, the transition between this and the last statement was non-existent. Also, why are we still talking about Obama's penis?
The few interesting paragraphs of the entire article are, sadly, shunted to the end, and mostly involve quotes from Ray, Racialicious' Carmen Van Kerckhove and author George Farah (No Debate) who talk about how some of the sexualized parodies of Obama could be damaging to his candidacy because they play off of stereotypes about the sexuality of African-American men and the fetishization of the exotic. Ray says perhaps the most prescient thing in the whole piece:
"Although most believe that Obama is single-handedly at the forefront of changing perceptions of black men, sociological research does not support this claim," adds Rashawn Ray. "While interactions with upwardly mobile Latinos and Asians changes the perception whites have of all Latinos and Asians," he says, referring to extensive research he’s studied and performed, "social interactions between blacks and whites only change the perception whites have of that one black person. So in this regard, Obama is simply seen as an exception to the rule, and thus a token."
How is that not food for thought more interesting than any discussion of Obama's penis? Sexbama For Prez: Vote With Your Head, Not Your Hormones [New York Press] Related: Free Speech: Hadley Freeman Gives Barack Obama A New Kind Of Approval Rating [Style.com]