Hardly Any Men Were Interested In Michelle Obama’s Speech Last Night
10:55 am, September 5th | by Sarah Devlin
Michelle Obama’s speech on behalf of the president last night was an unqualified success — it was moving, funny, inspiring and genuine. The Washington Post‘s camera captured many convention-goers applauding, nodding, and smiling along with the First Lady’s words. But out of the countless reaction shots in the 25-minute speech, very few of them came from men. It seemed like an editorial choice on the part of the camera operators, which is a little frustrating. Michelle Obama may be the First Lady, but it’s not as though the content of her speech was directed purely at female voters. To assume so gives men too little credit.
In addition to making fun of Obama’s post-college hoopty of a car, Michelle also talked about the meaning of fatherhood and work for her father and for the president — certainly issues relevant to men as well as women. Her overall message of the importance of education and opportunity for current and future generations was certainly a resonant one for both sexes. So why did so few guys get the reaction shot treatment? Here’s an accounting of all the cuts to male audience members in Obama’s speech, which you can see below:
0:06: Joe Biden and Dr. Jill! They share a shot, so this one doesn’t count. Joe is psyched.
4:24: Our first non-Vice Presidential male audience member makes an appearance, and he is a mustachioed, 10-gallon hat wearing older gentleman straight out of the Republican Convention. He looks great.
6:08: Applauding man (but he shares the screen with his lady. Doesn’t count).
8:29: Serious man with a mustache. A lot of mustaches in the Time Warner Center tonight.
9:44: There’s a guy in this shot, but I think it was an accident and he was just blocking the awesome lady with bright purple eyeshadow.
10:30: Men waving signs.
12:04: Kindly-looking man who is talking (hopefully in the “Yes, I agree” way and not the “I also talk through movies” kind of way).
12:05: Veterans! Nice.
12:28: This dude just walked through a lady’s reaction shot. Rude.
12:49: Uh, Idris Elba? Sort of? From a certain angle? He’s also sharing the screen with a lady.
13:04: The same guy from 6:08 again, this time in a lady sandwich.
13:07: Biden again. Still psyched.
13:12: Dad with daughter on his shoulders. Amazing.
13:22: Unimpressed baby. This doesn’t prove my point one way or the other, but I do think it’s hilarious that the Washington Post made sure to get a baby’s reaction shot.
13:53: Another vet, with a young guy next to him.
13:58: Back of a dude’s head.
14:12: Another man.
14:37: Politely golf-clapping man who’s sharing the screen with a woman who may or may not be his mother.
14:55: Man gets to his feet. See? They liked the speech too. More equality in reaction shots, Washington Post!
17:20: Another distinguished-looking mustache.
18:25: A nodding man who’s very relieved to learn that Michelle loves Barack more now than she did four years ago.
19:06: Another mustache, plus another regular guy.
19:40: The MVP of all of these reaction shots/the convention, resplendent in a bright red newsboy cap.
20:09: A man nods, sharing the shot with another lady.
20:50: Guys waving flags.
22:48: A man in what I initially thought was an elf’s hat, but I think it’s actually a Robin Hood cap? I’m still not sure that makes a ton of sense.
24:26: Hey man, nice tie.
24:51: Nice tie guy is feeling it; gets to his feet.
24:53: Joe and Dr. Jill bring it home for us.