Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

obama sarkozy girl.jpgThere’s been a lot of back and forth in the office today about the proper way to appreciate a woman’s, er… ‘assets’. Naturally, it was brought on by the pictures of Presidents Obama and Sarkozy apparently staring at the rear end of a comely young lady who was passing by during a photo op. I think Gawker did a great job debunking the whole Obama Ass Ogle Scandal of ’09, making a great case that our sainted prez wasn’t ogling anyone inappropriately at the G8 summit. (GMA also had a funny video letting Obama off the hook.) However, I doubt one can say as much for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was fairly craning his neck (and popping his eyes) to keep the lass’s lower half in sight.


So, the question is, Is there an ethical (or unethical) way to admire a fine-looking member of the opposite sex?

Consensus among the women here at the office was, Sarkozy made them shudder. There’s a way to be discreet and still get your fill (if you must), they agreed, without offending anyone. But the resident male who was close enough to chime in said, “it’s not sleazy, it just means he’s a heterosexual man who loves women…”
Personally, I think it all lies in the consciousness of other people’s feelings by the person doing the ogling. I enjoy being admired, but I don’t enjoy being harassed. I don’t want to feel preyed on, disgraced, objectified or humiliated, so if that’s what’s in your head, have the grace to hide it in your behavior. I’ll do the same when I’m checking you out.
And when it comes to world leaders… well, I hold them to a higher standard, frankly. If you’re going to be representing my country on camera at a multi-national summit, don’t shame me by leering at a teenaged gal’s derriere, no matter how shapely it may be. Your behavior reflects the morals and values of an entire nation. Hear that, Sarkozy?
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