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The sexism of “selfie-gate”: America’s dangerous suspicion of women working with men

When photos of President Barack Obama laughing and taking selfies with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, began to surface on the Internet, people were eager to spin the photos as though the popular ABC drama "Scandal" were being acted out in real life: President Obama, a stand-in for the fictional President Fitz, flirting with a pretty blonde version of Olivia Pope, while his angry wife looked on. When Michelle Obama was photographed sitting between Thorning-Schmidt and Obama, some claimed she made her husband switch seats to put a stop to his flirting. Lost in the fictitious stories about out-of-control husbands and angry wives was any mention of the Mandela memorial itself – including President Obama’s warm and enthusiastic reception before the South African crowd, and his powerful eulogy of Mandela.

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