I would be inclined to respond that I was very sorry, but I was not legally empowered to negotiate a bridal contract on Malia’s behalf, because – as is our custom here – all rights of ownership have been irreversibly transferred to Malia herself.
I probably wouldn’t, mind. It would piss a lot of different people off for a lot of different reasons. But I would be very very tempted.
Maybe I’m a little dense, but it just looks like a clash of cultures, assuming it’s not something someone made up. Is CNN known for its fake news reports?
It’s not knee-slapping hilarious, but if the lawyer really is serious, I see head-shaking chuckle potential here. I don’t see all the layers you’re seeing, but then I tend to take things at face value.
Concur. The giveaway (I think) is that he’s a lawyer in a major city (Nairobi), which means he is aware of Western culture as well as his own, so I think this is more of a ‘leg-pulling’ (or whatever Kenyans call humor like this) that will go down well at his club or next bar association.
That said, offering animals like this for a bride’s hand is something that cultures have done throughout history; it shows the woman’s family that the man is well-enough off to support a wife (or at times, wives). In the west, we’ve distilled that into asking “Well, son, you want to marry my daughter? What kind of job do you have, so I know that you can support her?”
Well, yeah. Those of us who find this amusing, it’s because such an offer is so offensively ridiculous on so many levels that we can’t take it seriously. While those of us who find it offensive do so because it reminds us that there are people and cultures in this world where this sort of thing is taken seriously.
Just because it’s a different culture, it doesn’t mean their customs and values are inferior.
In Kenya, I have no doubt it would be a handsome offer, which the bride’s family would take seriously. And as said earlier, it’s only evolved in our culture to the groom proving he is an homme sérieux and being wealthy enough to support his wife: the poor office clerk marrying the multimillionaires’ daughter for love alone, with the gruff parents coming around chuckling after the fact was always a purposed consoling myth, even in Newport’s palmiest days.
All this indicates is the ridiculous high worth Americans arbitrarily assign to their presidency. Had the proposal been to a non-presidential billionaire, far richer than Mr. Obama, such as Bloomberg, Billy the Thief or one of the Waltons, for anyone in their guardianship, no-one would care a bit.
As for Miss Obama choosing her own mate, that is as may be; but the last presidential wedding cost $3 million to the parents, and the groom was a millionaire. Presidential children don’t marry someone earning minimum wage in a gas station.
That was my first thought, though I was a bit angrier. If someone offered me money or other remuneration for my stepdaughter’s hand, and I thought he was serious, I’d be mightily offended and tempted to punch him in the face. And she’s an adult. Ask for my mis-teen’s hand that way? You had BETTER do it long distance, because if we’re in my apartment, I will physically encourage you to depart. (I don’t know how old Malia is, or whether she’s the younger or elder daughter, but she can’t be more than 16, right?)