Remember back in the crazy days of early-summer 2008 when it was reported that Scarlett Johansson was exchanging personal emails with Barack Obama, and everyone was all, "Ooooh…'exchanging personal emails?' That's what she said! More like love letters, cause she loves him, and they're in love. Scarlett and Barack sitting in a tree e-m-a-i-l-i-n-g!"? No? Well, it happened, and now Johansson is speaking out about why she thinks it happened: the media's sexist agenda.
From the AP:
Scarlett Johansson can laugh about it now, but the actress says she was embarrassed by the media coverage of her so-called "e-mail relationship" with Barack Obama.
"It seemed to me to be like a product of extreme sexism, and I kept thinking to myself, 'God, if this was just, like, Kal Penn or George Clooney or any of the other (Obama) surrogates or supporters … there wouldn't be (any) question about it. Nobody would even talk about it," she said.
"Extreme sexism"? That sounds totally to the Xtreme. It also sounds totally wrong in this case. The media latching on to a story about Scarlett Johansson, noted sex symbol, writing emails to a presidential candidate isn't an example of sexism, it's an example of ScarlettJohanssonism. They're not insinuating that there must be something sexy about your email relationship with Obama because you're a woman, Scarlett. They're insinuating that there's something sexy about it because you're Scarlett Johansson, and, I hate to be the one to tell you this but, you're known for being sexy. In fact, this is a perfect example of extreme sexsymbolism in the media. No one takes sex symbols seriously in our society, especially the media.
If Meryl Streep or Laura Linney or Amanda Bynes were exchanging emails with Obama, I doubt that anyone would make a torrid email affair story out of it, simply because those women don't have "sex symbol" as the foremost part of their hyphenates. (Also those women never joked that they were "engaged" to Obama.) But if Angelina Jolie or Megan Fox did, we'd never stop hearing about the steamy email correspondence. But if it's any consolation, extreme sexsymbolism in the media crosses gender lines as well. If Matthew McConaughey or Mario "Gross" Lopez had ever casually dropped the news that, in between bouts of shirtlessness, they were carrying on an email correspondence with Hillary Clinton (or McCain, or Obama, for that matter), the phrase "email relationship" would always have the biggest pair of scare quotes around it.