While the Obama administration sought to convince women today that it is fighting for gender equality, it was hard to miss some of the awkward laughs President Obama’s one-liners brought from the mostly-female crowd gathered at the White House Forum on Women and the Economy.
“I was going to head over here earlier and they said, no, no, this place is full of women and they’re still settling down,” the president said. “What do you mean, settling down? What are they doing over there? Just creating havoc.”
Get it? Because women take a long time to get ready.
“It is a pleasure to be surrounded by so many talented, accomplished women,” the president continued. “It makes me feel right at home. Although usually, I’ve got my wingman Bo with me.”
Because guys need wingmen when they’re around women?
The president talked about his commitment to women in personal terms, noting his mother, grandmother and wife as examples of strong women in his life.
But he also quipped about all the women surrounding him. “Women are over half this country and its workforce, not to mention 80 percent of my household, if you count my mother-in-law,” he said to laughter from the crowd. “I always count my mother-in-law.”
The president vowed to fight for women’s issues and stressed the need for equal pay. Closing the pay gap, the president said, “is about far more than simple fairness.” Women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man.
“When more women are bringing home the bacon, but bringing home less of it than men who are doing the same work, that weakens families, it weakens communities, it’s tough on our kids, it weakens our entire economy,” he said.
The president ticked off other areas where his administration has made strides to help women succeed, including health care and education. One thing he is still working on, however, is the cost of women’s dry cleaning.
“We don’t know — we haven’t gotten on the dry cleaning thing yet, though,” he said chuckling. “That’s still frustrating, I’m sure.”
Among other things, yes.