This just proves that today’s outrage culture and offensensitivity (to use a wonderful term coined by Berke Breathed in Bloom County nearly three decades ago) is self-immolating by its very nature. It demands a lock-step groupthink and punishes any criticism as bigotry or worse. It’s the exact opposite of both tolerance and plurality, plus the nature of this particular offense — calling someone by their first name? — exposes the high degree of insecurity among those involved in the debate, and their desperation to shut their critics up, even if it’s the most progressive President since LBJ.Sometimes people say really offensive things, and on those occasions genuine offense can be warranted. But we often see outrageous outrage coming from two additional classes of people:
1) People who are really insecure.
2) People attempting to leverage victim status to obtain some advantage.
A lot of criticism focuses on type (2) cases, but I think type (1) cases are actually the most common. There are just tons of people walking around in constant fear of being looked down upon because they don't really think much of themselves. This is sometimes true even of people who have actually achieved quite a bit -- say, becoming a Senator after gaining tenure after earning a Ph.D., all of which are substantial accomplishments. There's a named psychological disorder associated with it, and some believe women are especially susceptible to it.
Under those circumstances, a highly confident man like the President can provoke outrage by saying things that would be completely inoffensive to someone with more self-confidence. Calling someone by their first name? He does that to Senators all the time. He used to be a Senator himself, and it's part of the culture of comity even among political opponents.
I suppose the rebuttal would be that sexism in society is so prevalent that it's our collective fault that high-achieving women like these sometimes feel sensitive to criticism. Certainly the society doesn't adhere to my own standards as to what I consider ordinary decent respect for women in day to day life. The way to make a road forward isn't by setting up a bunch of eggshells for people to walk on when talking about high-achieving women ("Don't use her first name!"). That's just going to reinforce the idea that women need special protections if they're going to get out in the world.
Certainly I always try to encourage women in my life to be confident and to take honest pride in their achievements. Mostly I do this because I like them, but there's a small element of self
Probably they make better Senators.