First Guns

Back in 2009 I got really tired of everyone talking about Michelle Obama’s arms, so I decided they should have their own blog. I called it First Guns. Thunder and Lightning soon took on a life of their own, challenging racist and sexist comments from the Washington Post, the New York Times, Newsweek, Clarence Thomas, and more.

The First Guns on David Brooks:

It is perhaps telling that we could find no photos of Mr. Brooks’ arms. What is David Brooks hiding? Perhaps his penchant for naming the body parts of women in political life is a coverup for his own weak-armed existence. We feel for you David. But you don’t need to be a shrinking armflower all your life. With a little work, Soft Serve and Vanilla Cream can come out to play. Some serious dumbell curls and a daily half-hour on the rowing machine will toughen up your guns and your sense of self and maybe you won’t feel so threatened.

On Nora Ephron:

Oh Nora. You already wrote an entire book about your neck. Now it’s arms?We know a pep talk can’t cure what seems to be a serious body love problem, but lady, those arms wrote Silkwood. And Heartburn. And Cookie! (We’re ignoring You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and Bewitched.) Those arms held your children. They’ve worn the wedding rings from all three of your marriages. You can put them around your cute husband.

On Caitlin Flanagan:

There’s nothing wrong with being big or tall, of course. But in context, you can see that for Caitlin Flanagan those attributes, along with being a gal, imply a kind of coarse lower class aesthetic that is not refined enough for the White House. Unbeknownst to us, there is apparently a petiteness requirement for being first lady. Flanagan writes that Michelle, “like Hillary Clinton, lacks taste”—a criticism she extends to all who voted for the Obamas when she adds that this “is not the moment for taste.

On Maureen Dowd:

In Dowd’s March 21, 2009 piece, “Toxic R Us,” she wrote about the White House vegetable garden that Michelle began last week. Michelle intends for the garden to provide fresh vegetables for the White House and for a local soup kitchen. It’s also a symbolic commitment to local agriculture, sustainable farming, and healthy eating. Who could have an issue with that? Why, you’d have to make something up. So Maureen did.

And here’s why it ended.


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