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Men-only POTUSball -- not just another pick-up game

I'm not one of those women who've taken to the streets to denounce the president's penchant for shooting hoops with the guys. But let's not kid ourselves: This isn't just some pick-up game with a bunch of neighborhood buddies; it's valuable face time with the Shooter in Chief while dressed out in gym shorts and saggy socks. It doesn't take a PhD sports statistician to figure out that this isn't exactly a hospitable arena for women -- unless you've got a contract with the WNBA and the prez is in need of a photo op.

Ask yourself this: How many guys would turn down a presidential invite to hit the court? How many would accept, even if they hated the sport and only to avert a possible snub to the boss? How many of these guys were picked because of their stellar ball-handling skills? How many might throw an elbow as they drive to the rim as evidence that they've got what it takes to get the job -- preferably a more high-profile job in the future -- done? When on defense, how many become even more aggressive lest POTUS perceive them as weak -- both on the court and in the situation room? Every bounce pass and jump ball is filled with excruciating meaning ("I was open!! Why did he pass to Emanuel AGAIN?"). It ain't just another game and He ain't just another power forward. And women haven't even been given the chance to shoot a free throw.

Here's an example from a decidedly less lofty perspective. I once had an editor -- at a different newspaper -- who would leave early every Wednesday for a golf date with his boss, the (male) publisher. He didn't slink out of the office but instead announced to his (stupidly) hard-working staff his intended whereabouts. In case some of us were too dumb or naive to understand the significance of this standing date, this editor -- a young rising star who had catapulted over more experienced staff to land a coveted editing job -- one day explained that this was simply the way to get ahead in business.

This all happened some 20 years ago -- and much has changed. The White House and the ranks of the executive are filled with extraordinarily accomplished women, many of whom seem not to care if their male colleagues get special time on the court with the president. That's fine. But let's see how the men react when the first woman president gets her girlfriends (i.e. female aides) together every week for discussions of the latest Oprah Book Club selection. I bet the guys who are throwing elbows today on the court will be throwing hissy fits.

By Eva Rodriguez  | October 26, 2009; 4:36 PM ET
Categories:  Rodriguez  | Tags:  Eva Rodriguez  
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Next: Not enough to bend the 'curve'

Comments

I know there are people who complain about anything Pres. Obama does but I agree with him this is "bunk".

I don't remember the white males and females complaining about who was or was not included in any other presidents prior activities.

This is getting ridiculous.

Posted by: rlj1 | October 26, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

How funny when liberals are the target of the political correctness police! You reep what you sow -- welcome to the world you created Libs....

Posted by: dbunkr | October 26, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah the hoopla surrounding the POTUS Pick-up came does appear to be a lot of nothing about nothing. Especially when one considers all the high powered women appointed to senior positions in the Obama administration.

Posted by: snake_taylor | October 26, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Given Obama's long, publicized, interest in basketball, the retention of some (men) who played with him while campaigning and the invariable water cooler sports conversation Monday mornings, I'm sure this was an organic development of people wanting to play pick up ball, not an orchestrated affront to ranking women in the cabinet. Didn't he just play golf with Melody Barnes, as he did with other female staff members of the campaign staff?

Posted by: cadam72 | October 26, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

You should have got a job working for David Letterman.

Posted by: glennet | October 26, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm a woman who voted for Obama. And it bothers me that Obama is giving men an opportunity here that he is not giving women.

It isn't right, and I don't care HOW many women Obama has appointed to high level positions. He is shutting them out of valuable face time, and I think that stinks!

Posted by: solsticebelle | October 26, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the most heavily criticized president in history. Who else has ever been called to task for doing something as simple as shooting hoops? This is absurd and the Post should be ashamed for printing such drivel.

Rodrigues should be fired.

Posted by: 4AbetterAmerica | October 26, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

My mental image of this game is a bunch of little uncoordinates running around pretending they know how to play ball and playing grab ass with one another in typical faux machismo Obama style. Then congratulating themselves on how great they are.

I think that the women see this for what it is, i.e. the Obama knitting club.

Posted by: DCDave11 | October 26, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I hate people like this generic writer, Rodriguez.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

If the pres was a woman who had a book circle with her female pals. would you take the same idiotic angle? I doubt it. Give it a rest and crawl back under your rock.

Posted by: wanker33 | October 26, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

imagine the outrage if all blacks had been left out of the 30 golf matches.

Obama played golf 30 times without a single women playing...

whatta creep.
it goes right along with his "sweetie" comments.
he's using golf and basketball to pick his leads in his admin.

I'ts wrong

Posted by: tru-indy | October 26, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Basketball is the way the president chooses to blow off steam. So what do you suggest, ending the games altogether or rotating Sens. Feinstein, Boxer and especially Mikulski into the mix?

So women enjoy girl talk, and men enjoy time out with the guys? Is this supposed to stop as soon as somebody becomes a leader?

It's one thing if these meetings are used to shut out those who would otherwise be rightfully "entitled" to attend. Basketball isn't like golf, which the president also enjoys. I seriously doubt that much of anything is being discussed on the court when the players are just trying their best not to suck wind in front of their boss.

I had a former (male) boss who traveled often overseas. Since he was able to get a free "companion ticket" whenever he booked an international business class flight through American Express, he often invited one of his employees to join him.

Obviously, it would be inappropriate for a (married) male CEO to travel alone on a lengthy trip with a female subordinate. So what would the blogger have him do? Toss away the opportunity away altogether? (With a companion fare, it's not like the ticket could be used on another flight or at a different time.)

P.S. I'm surprised that nobody has noted the irony of the blogger using an "Oprah Book Club circle" as the female president's equivalent of Obama's basketball games.

Posted by: cpnich | October 26, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

ahem. Ms. Rodriguez you must be kidding.

Male hoop time is male hoop time. If and when we have a female POTUS, let her choose her inner sport circle. I will be silent about any choice she makes.

There are three jobs worthy of a man to hold: Rock star, fighter pilot, and President of the United States. He gets to do whatever he wants. He's president.

Posted by: roboturkey | October 26, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

cpnich,

Why is it "obviously" inappropriate for a married or unmarried male to travel alone with a female subordinate?

I am female, 27 and engaged, and have had only male managers. I do not and would not find it inappropriate to be on a long (20+ hour?) flight alone with them.
I WOULD however find it very inappropriate for my male colleges to get the opportunity have this reward/perk offered to them and be excluded because my manager and I did not have the same gender.

What do you imagine happening just because of a change in location? We're not rutting animals but people who work together and respect each other. We're not in the Mad Men era so catch up!

*Back to the topic*
On the Obama Bball game, all I know is that my entry level training class had 33 members, 30 of them males. There were pick up games of Basket Ball and poker nights where I learned a lot about who they were as people and as competitors .....because I played.

For me, the real question is why the female members of Obama's staff don't want to be out there and what that says about them and him.

Posted by: KShoe | October 26, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Playing twenty-one on half-court is no difference than 18 holes of golf or a few rounds of tennis doubles. No issues then with previous presidents, why try to make an issue now?

Posted by: linux_fan | October 26, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

JFK's touch football games with his brothers and his buddies, Eisenhower's golf matches, even the young Lincoln's wrestling matches - all were done by between and among males. Truman's poker games were all-male. This woman Rodriguez is a strange bird. What does she have against males? But wait!-Obama is a liberal and encourages the kind of "thinking" Eva engages in. Given that fact, Obama should begin inviting females to participate in his formerly all-male activities. To avoid being called a liberal hypocrite.

Posted by: mhr614 | October 26, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

C'mon - this is ridiculous. How much face time do you really think you would get playing basketball. I can understand golf, where you can have a leisurely walk down the fairway and actually hold a conversation at the same time, but during a game of basketball? Some of these guys (and girls)would have trouble breathing let alone forming a coherent sentence. I don't think women's equality is an issue for us to argue with Obama over; just take a look at this appointments.

Posted by: jerzygrl | October 26, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

This kind of whining drivel is just one more reason why men have trouble taking women seriously.

Posted by: neilwied | October 26, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Let our president relax on the basketball court with his pals -- the way Ike used to golf with his male buddies -- and without sexual discrimination charges. This is the most petty, stupid "issue" since George Washington chopped down the apple tree.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | October 26, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

As an evil neo-con Republican, I think that this is a bunch of krap. Guys like to hang with the guys sometimes- no beatches around at all. You all whine too much, always fawning, and you talk too damn much. When we want to get laid later, we will come and see you. So be ready. This is the ONE issue that crosses party lines. Now go get me a beer.

Posted by: Dionysis | October 26, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Washington has always been about your "network" and face time. Not about merits, which women have achieved much of through their merits, but now realize all these years the guys were never qualified--they just knew the "guys running the show".

Now the women want in on the network/game, which I say is fair.

But it does throw out the last effort to making Washington a place of fair game based on merits and performance.

It'll be an all-hype no-action town in the near future...

Posted by: recharged95 | October 26, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised that it has taken this long for the women-in-power to notice that Obama have been playing games with the boys exclusively. Not anymore - after "that" golf game. It's now time for the lesbians, homosexuals, and transsexuals to demand equal time on the playing field with POTUS. I hope Barney Frank hits on him first.

Posted by: usnret742w4 | October 26, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Let the women play. The first time they get flattened by a pick or elbowed in the mouth they'll rethink the request. What a great way to ruin a good game of b ball let the girls play. Even the WNBA women probably could'nt hang let alone the babe ballers. I mean.......

Posted by: jerseydevil | October 26, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

If there is any woman who can ball, let her ball. Is there any evidence a woman in the administration or in Obama's circle can play hoops but is being excluded because of gender? I'm waiting to hear from her. His basketball games are part of his fiber, and are well documented back to Chicago, and back to his youth. Why should people be offended that he continues to be who he always has been?

Posted by: bog1 | October 26, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

It was a basketball game. And guess what? The guys wanted to play basketball. Let's spend a little less time fixating on an few hours of the President's time. And let's not speculate on what will happen when there is a female President. You're condemning men for what you believe they will do.

Do your job. Write about what matters and what has happened. Not a few hours of recreation by our President.

Posted by: SCL24 | October 26, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ms Rodriguez,
While I understand your quick jump onto the band wagon, claiming that Obama's basketball game disadvantages women, I think you must admit that anyone who doesn't play basketball and play reasonably well must share the same disadvantage, whether female or male!

If I were among the group, I would not be there to play either. I really has little to do with gender but more to do with basketball. Susan Rice knows the game but she's probably 5' 4" tall. Unless she is another Mugzie Boogues, who easily dunked the ball dispite his short stature, the likelyhood of Rice being able to hang with the fellows seems unlikely.

Remember that Obama had dreams of professional play as a youth until he faced the reality that his skills were not up to the challenge. Perhaps the women might learn a lesson from that tale. In any case, I expect that the relief of a few basketball games from the huge plate of issues that consume his day would be time that Obama might protect for some real recreation. In other words, the claim that women are disadvantaged because they don't lace up sneaker with the President, is probably "Bunk" as the President termed it.

Posted by: edarden1 | October 26, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh puleeze! It's clear to me -- based on press reports since the campaign got into swing -- that Obama likes to play ball with people at his level; he's looking for a serious game, and sports are important to him. What would you have him do? Borrow players from the WNBA?

Posted by: mxyzptlk1 | October 26, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

This all happened some 20 years ago -- and much has changed. The White House and the ranks of the executive are filled with extraordinarily accomplished women, many of whom seem not to care if their male colleagues get special time on the court with the president. That's fine. But let's see how the men react when the first woman president gets her girlfriends (i.e. female aides) together every week for discussions of the latest Oprah Book Club selection. I bet the guys who are throwing elbows today on the court will be throwing hissy fits.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Eva Rodriguez has it all twisted. Men unlike women are taught by society to accept injustice and not complain. How else do you explain the feminist chauvinist state that exists in this country where:

For every 100 girls who graduate from high school 96 boys graduate.

For every 100 girls suspended from public elementary and secondary schools 355 boys are suspended.

For every 100 women enrolled in college 77 men are enrolled.

For every 100 American women that own an Associate’s Degree from college, 67% of men earn the same degree.

For every 100 women who earn a Bachelor’s Degree, 73% of men earn a Bachelor’s degree.

For every 100 men that earn a Master’s degree, from college, 62% of men earn the same degree.

Women receive custody in 84% of child custody cases…shall I go on?

Men need to wake up and speak up for their rights, because they are being chipped away day by day by feminists who fuel this disaffection against men.

Mensactivism.org

Posted by: moebius22 | October 26, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

The ladies on The View will be all aflutter over this! It's so unfair (sob).

Posted by: allamer1 | October 26, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

cpnich,

Why is it "obviously" inappropriate for a married or unmarried male to travel alone with a female subordinate?

I am female, 27 and engaged, and have had only male managers. I do not and would not find it inappropriate to be on a long (20+ hour?) flight alone with them.

KShoe--It's not the airplane trip and it's not even what happens or doesn't happen. But it is indeed the often close quarters of a week+ trip to several locales, often with cultural norms different than ours. And, even more importantly, is the matter of perception.

Why would a CEO put himself into a possible he said/she said situation with a young and attractive (presumably, as you're engaged) female?

(Sure, there are the occasional he said/he said cases, but those are few and far between.)

P.S. Congrats on your upcoming nuptuals. For what it's worth, of all the wedding prep books out there, and it seemed like we had them all when planning our wedding, "Bridal Bargains," was the one with the most tips that we actually used, and it indeed lived up to its name.

Posted by: cpnich | October 26, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Were you complaining that no one was invited to clear brush in Crawford? Or mountain bike at Camp David? Or horseback ride in Santa Barbara? Give me a break. I'd like to see a women's team play the WH guys in the same game that you're complaining about. No "girls" b-ball, just hoops! Stop with this nonsense!

Posted by: philasportsphan | October 26, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

This article is better than AmBien.

Posted by: whocares666 | October 26, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous. DId it ever occur to anyone at the WAPO that maybe Obama just likes to play basketball?

and for all the women complaining (and yes, I'm a woman too) I have one question - how is YOUR jumpshot?

If it's not great, then perhaps you all should stop being so silly. Mine sucks, and if I were in the cabinet, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't ask me to play either.

Posted by: lcrider1 | October 27, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he should just stick to solo sports.

Don't worry. Eventually, his world will become smaller & smaller. Michelle will be wearing boring clothes and baking cookies. The children will not be seen in public. Their relatives will stop visiting. They're friends will stop visiting. They won't take any vacations. Or go out to local restaurants. Or take in the theater.

No. They'll just hunker down in the bunker. Seen only on official duty.

Oh, yes. This city will beat the life out of them soon enough.

Posted by: dadada | October 27, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Sonia Sotomayor ... Hillary Clinton ... Olympia Snowe ... the list of women excluded from this thing goes on and on.

I wonder if those ladies will all come over to my house and bake cookies, since I am a sensitive guy who likes to cook and take care of kids.

Hm. No?

Oh well, hey. More cookies for me then.

Posted by: pressF1 | October 27, 2009 3:46 AM | Report abuse

If he went down to the ghetto and shot hoops with the fatherless young men we would all be applauding him for being a great role model. Or would we?

Posted by: hipshot | October 27, 2009 5:36 AM | Report abuse

you dumbasscrap lib-turds are getting what you deserve. Did you really think teleprompter boy coudl run anything but his purple lips?

President Barack Obama has only been in office for just over nine months, but he's already hit the links as much as President Bush did in over two years.


CBS' Mark Knoller — an unofficial documentarian and statistician of all things White House-related — wrote on his Twitter feed that, "Today - Obama ties Pres. Bush in the number of rounds of golf played in office: 24.

Took Bush 2 yrs & 10 months."


This news comes on the heels of today's news that Obama played golf with a woman — chief domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes — for the first time since taking office.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | October 27, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

So put together a women's b-ball team made up of military personnel or civvie gov't employees and let them play the white house boys. Or not.

I like to go to a divorced friend's house for all-male football-watching parties. If I get into elected office, would I suddenly be a Bad Person for doing this?

My wife doesn't want to watch football with me, and I don't want to go to her pottery sessions at Jo Ellen's place. So?

Posted by: roblimo | October 27, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe how ignorant this column is. Basketball is not golf. In basketball, there is no conversation while walking up the fairway or waiting on the tee. And for you to suggest that men would have a hissy fit just shows that you know nothing about men. Just last week, my female boss had her girlfriends out for drinks after work. None of my male co-workers threw a hissy fit.

Posted by: StevenEMedlock | October 27, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

After Obama was criticized for wanting spicy mustard on his hamburger nothing surprises me anymore.

Posted by: James10 | October 27, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I'll grant that the guys at the basketball game are getting extra face time and possibly a career advantage because they share a hobby with the president. Too bad for the shorter, fatter, and/or less coordinated members of his staff. I'm betting he can also reminisce about Chicago with staffers from Illinois and the guys who grew up in Florida are left out. Same when he talks about his daughters and the childless staffers have nothing to say.

This is standard workplace stuff. The only thing more unfair than the boss preferring to hang out with people who have similar backgrounds is denying the boss that normal human reaction. As long as he doesn't hire or promote an unqualified person based on that natural affinity (or set up an undiverse staff of near-clones), no one should complain.

Posted by: hbc1 | October 27, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Who cares?

Posted by: jemvbcarmagh06 | October 27, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

If ever there was a reason feminists get a bad rap, it is for weak arguments such as this column. Perhaps next time the author could take on some more significant issues than POTUS Play Time.

So here is the thesis: some women want to choose with whom BO gets to play. How 'bout the fact that he lives with three + women, and may just like to hang with men? Is that so bad? So ye feminists need to take a deep breath and relax. Between a female Supreme Court justice and a female Secretary of State, his track record with the girls is just fine.

What a waste of our collective time to be subject to such a lame column.

Posted by: freespeechrocks | October 27, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree that basketball is a hobby Obama has pursued for some time and the games are/were not intended to deny women an opportunity. That said, I am hopeful the publicity over the issue gives Obama and other bosses something to think about. He seems to want to set positive examples, and this could be one (welcome) area for him to do so. Perhaps the First Lady has had some professional experience and can help him understand that such games -- golf, basketball, watching football games, etc -- do provide unique networking opportunities from which women mostly are excluded. They ARE important. They provide the boss an opportunity to see employees outside the office atmosphere and evaluate them as people. When a special assignment emerges that requires a particular skill, or when promotions are being considered, such contact can be vitally important. While there is no need to change the basketball games, are there other ways bosses can provide similar (separate but equal?) networking possibilities. I say this realizing that in seeing the issue publicized (and reading some of the comments herein) there is a percentage of men who will now host more of these events in protest, to demonstrate how they're being treated unfairly. As a female boss, I could only imagine how the men in my unit would feel if I organized a trip to the farmers' market followed up by a cooking class in my kitchen and only invited women. On a consistent basis. I would imagine it would not be seen quite so benignly.

Posted by: VirginiaReader1 | October 27, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

So now Obama needs to appoint a Quota Czar who will script his every waking moment to ensure equal representation from all segments of society--male/female, black/white, straight/gay--in all his activities, no matter how casual or how private. Oh, I forgot, Obama is not allowed any private moments, nor his family.

Is this kind of knee-jerk drivel really what feminists have fought for all these years?

Posted by: swmuva | October 27, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Ms Rodriguez,

As a woman, as a feminist, I will be looking forward to your next column in which, I presume, you will give us the names of all those women on the White House staff or elsewhere who have been begging to get into the President's basketball games. Until you come up with some good names and numbers to support your ridiculous assertions, perhaps you could spend your time looking for something a bit meatier to merit your disdain.

Posted by: lisa9 | October 27, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

The issue isn't about playing golf with boys or girls, it's about favoring one set of employees to the exclusion of another set.

If Obama wishes to play golf with only males, he simply needs to play with males who aren't his employees/appointees

Posted by: tru-indy | October 27, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

What about diversity . . I hope he always picks his team so they represent each ethnicity fairly. Perhaps we can commission a "fairness study" to assess the impact. Come on . . its just a basketball game - lighten up and realize that all people should be able to pick their friends and enjoy their exercise without making political statements.

Posted by: sarno | October 27, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Ridiculous. Really, really ridiculous.

It is just a game.

Basketball is not golf. You're not going to have the same discussion running up and down the court that you'd have driving to the next hole in a cart.

Some people seem to care more about his private decisions than his public ones?

"But let's see how the men react when the first woman president gets her girlfriends (i.e. female aides) together every week for discussions of the latest Oprah Book Club selection."

Is that what women do? Sounds little stereotypical to me...


Posted by: kenzoan13 | October 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Ahh yes the sexist women are at it again. They are now complaining that they haven't been invited to play basketball. Had Obama's choice sport been football, they would complain that they weren't invited to be the tight end.

Posted by: dcis1 | October 27, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on! If they let a girl play then if she never scored there would be an outrage and they'd have to let he score. This PC cr@p goes way to far. As for a female prez doing the book club thing I hope she'd do better than Oprah.

Posted by: FLvet | October 27, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't really care whether it's sexist or not. But I remember when DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius went on Leno a short time after the all-male basketball game was announced, and Leno asked her who would win a game of horse between her and Obama.

Sebelius cracked that unlike the President, she had actually made her college basketball team.

I would pay cash money to see a 1-on-1 game between those two. I have a feeling Obama would have his a$$ handed to him, and he knows it.

Posted by: dkp01 | October 27, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

In the long-run, this is probably as some have said "nothing about nothing," but it truly sets a poor example for business leaders and average citizens.

Posted by: leilaash | October 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

This is just about the dumbest thing I have ever read in the Post, and I have read quite a lot. The guy is playing basketball! Let him have this game, just this game, and then perhaps he can get on with the business of running the country.

Do you really think the prez is thinking "I am allocating valuable face time and helping out my staff's careers" when playing? No, he's ... let me repeat ... PLAYING BASKETBALL.

Posted by: wp11234 | October 27, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

So the man likes to play basketball. Who are the people he invites to play? Are there leaders from Congress there? If they are, I would be amazed that they would actually be able to play given their age. LOL!! Not to mention Pelosi is a woman (i think), so another flaw.

What should the president do instead? Do shopping or the hair salon to gap with the girls about how the Republican are jerks and shouldn't be allowed to eat lunch with the cool kids! LOL!!!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | October 27, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The reason guys do guys stuff is that they want to get away from women.

Women do the same thing.

Guys play golf because women don't.

And after these games, guys go to bars to have a beer, without women.

We love woman, we consider you as equals, in fact, you're smarter and better organized than us, but guys just need time alone.

Most wives understand this and encourage it. Most women get it in general.

It's not about basketball, it's about a guys night out. Basketball is just the excuse. It could be anything, cards, MNF, basketball...whatever.

They're not talking about work. They're shootin' the breeze.

I don't even like Obama, but as a man, you've got to give his time away from his wife.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | October 27, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The writer has somewhat of a point, as the extracurricular face time is valuable.

It's not that the women want to play basketball with the president--yechh--but that these activities could eve unintentionally establish favoritism.

Posted by: Wallenstein | October 27, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

When is playing basketball "valuable face time"? When is playing basketball "healthy exercise"? When you play basketball, you don't have time for "high level discussions." When you play basketball, you really don't talk much at all, about anything besides the game. Maybe some "trash talk."

Some journalists might be confused about a basketball game and a press conference with the President. Let me be clear, basketball is a sport played with a ball and a hoop. A press conference is a Q&A session with the president and a handfull of journalists. A press conference does not use a ball and a hoop. Get it?

Some women might be confused about getting picked (you know, invited) to play on a sports team. Typically, the best players are picked first by the team captain. The idea is to win the game, by scoring the most points. If you women journalists are not picked to play on a sports team, its not because you have brilliant writing skills that are overlooked; it might be because you have no game.

But I think women and men typically play on different teams. Both at the college level and professional level there are no "men & women" teams. Why is that?

We used to say in the military: "no matter how many men you put on the job, it still takes 9 months to have a baby."

Posted by: rmorris391 | October 27, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

That hoop time is mostly male on male discussion time is irrelevant. The relevant question is, does Mr Obama have a corresponding activitiy that provides for equal one on one face time with females?

I don't know if Barack is a card player, but a Pinochle, Hearts, Spades (can I use that name without being called racist?), Cribbage, or Bridge game would allow for male-female equality of play.

Posted by: mhoust | October 27, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"The relevant question is, does Mr Obama have a corresponding activitiy that provides for equal one on one face time with females?"

If you're serious, Obama deserves the hell his party is pushing on him precisely because they're the ones who pushes this type of PC lunacy in the first place.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, guys.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | October 27, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama is tone deaf on this one and that's because he has never been a CEO before. Any one who has sat at the top of an organization understands the value of that casual bonding time. Excluding women from that opportunity while inviting boys in, is right out of Mad Men.

Posted by: sandi2 | October 27, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Another "opinion piece" on this silly "issue"!

The Post obviously has too many "journalists" with too little to write about.

As a historian, I look forward to works that soon will appear on gender-segregated presidential diversions.

Why were there no women in Harry Truman's poker sessions? Where were Ike's female golfing partners?

Isn't it nice to live in a world where there are no important issues?

Posted by: hambya | October 27, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Pick up basketball is a contact sport. I played D-1 football in college, but I quit pickup basketball in my 30's because it was too rough. I doubt there are any women on the White House staff that can physically compete in Obama's game without being an obvious liability and incapable of avoiding serious bumps and bruises. Golf, poker, that's a different story. But not contact sports with grown men. Fogetaboutit.

Posted by: doubleagle | October 27, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

This is the kind of "intelligent" opinion piece that makes me glad I no longer have Fox and MSNBC on my cable TV lineup. Eva, I hope you were just posturing to stimulate debate, because otherwise you seem just another addle-brained ideologue. To paraphrase Freud, sometimes basketball is just basketball.... sheesh....

Posted by: Appalbear1 | October 27, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

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