Thursday, December 05, 2013

Diplomatic not-niceties

From Jammmie Wearing Fool

Creepy Joe Biden Now Asking Random Japanese Women If They’re Married

Please tell us there’s some video of these baffled Japanese women asking who this strange man is. It’s almost a wonder that he didn’t ask where their geisha outfits were.

During a tour of a Japanese Internet company Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden asked a group of women, “Do your husbands like you working full-time?”

According to the White House pool report, Biden asked the question of five women while sitting with them in the cafeteria at the company called DeNA. It’s located in Tokyo’s Shibuya section, which has been regarded as the Japan’s IT hub.

Biden asked if they were married, and three said they are, the report said. He also asked if they had kids.

“Can anyone work from home?” Biden asked. “Yes, under certain conditions,” one woman replied.

Biden made the visit in an attempt to promote the company’s embrace of women in the workforce. Japan has lagged behind in integrating more women because of problems with its aging population, the report noted.

I like Jammie. But nothing about his characterization of Biden's visit is fair or trenchant. First of all, the women were certainly briefed on who Joe Biden was. They probably volunteered to eat lunch with him in response to a DeNA mass email: "Who wants to have lunch with the American vice-president?" (When I was at ISAF, we got those emails all the time, although they usually specified citizens of particular states.) And on what basis are we to assume that the women were creeped out? (I will concede that the question might be perceived as . . . advancing in other contexts.)

That said, the issue of "integrating more women" is one that leaves be particularly demotivated. And even that aside, the article is pretty stoopid -- shouldn't it read, "in spite of problems with its aging population"? But I kind of like having a vice-president willing to go off script and actually try to learn something about other people. It's what I would do . . . until the bad press beat it out of me.

But I will concede this much: substitute "Joe Biden" in the story with "Sarah Palin" and I guarantee I wouldn't have found out about it fom Jammie! We'd all have heard about it from CNN or NYT.

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