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Don't cry foul over Obama shooting hoops with the boys

Barack Obama shoots hoops on the campaign trail last year in Union Mills, Ind.
Barack Obama shoots hoops on the campaign trail last year in Union Mills, Ind. (Jae C. Hong/associated Press)

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Obama's basketball game, thus, has become a convenient metaphor for an inconvenient truth. Generally speaking, guys prefer to play ball with other guys, just as women prefer to form book clubs with other women. That's not because women don't like men (and vice versa) but because when relaxing, women mostly want to drink wine together. And talk about men. I don't know what men do on the basketball court that is so compelling, but they apparently need it, and I don't.

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That skittering sound you hear is the scurrying of a thousand stilettos as women scramble to blog their protest. Wait, wait, I feel another yawn coming on. Is there anything more exhausting than trying to explain the obvious?

None of what's true or obvious precludes rational approaches to fair practices or tweaks to make life more workable and pleasant. But, though we celebrate female athletes, absolute equality isn't likely until we alter the hormonal composition of the universe.

Or desirable?

Honest women will have to admit that they helped Obama become president not only because of the policies he promised but also because they rather fancied him. That famed jocularity he shares with men more than women may be cause for criticism in the Halls of Harrumph, but it's called nectar in the jungle. His guyness is his jump shot.

Not to suggest that men ever do or say anything right, but women peeved by the president's perceived masculine insularity might benefit from my father's advice when, as a young girl, I complained about life's unfairness. "Don't complain about the game," he said. "Learn the game and play it better." There's more than one way to score a point, in other words, and history has never suggested women are unclever.

If absolute parity of access to the president is essential to women's sense of well-being, perhaps they should create a bowling league of their own and invite the president to play. I hear he has a bowling alley in his house. And, if memory serves, women may expect to prevail.

kathleenparker@washpost.com


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