Why is it that, whenever you see a photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a meeting with other world leaders, she’s always being kissed on the cheek or even on the lips?
It’s interesting that, even as they talk about gender equality, our world leaders still cling to old-fashioned, sex-specific forms of greetings. Angela Merkel leads an economic powerhouse that props up countries like Greece and is supposed to figure out a way to bring fiscal sanity to the Eurozone, yet every time she goes to a summit meeting she’s got to put up with getting smacked on the cheek by every head of state in attendance, like she’s their favorite granddaughter.
Merkel’s got to be a tough individual to steel herself to the constant kissing, and she must not be a germaphobe. Nevertheless, I’ll bet she dreads going to the really big gatherings, like the start of the UN General Assembly, and coming away with chapped cheeks from all of the slobbery pecks she gets. For every suave kisser on the world stage there have got to be some third-world potentates whose smooching technique closely resembles a dog lick. Imagine how she feels when she sees Hugo Chavez advancing, with that glint in his eye and his lips pursed for a big smackeroo.
I think it’s high time that the women leaders of the world get a firm handshake, like everybody else. Let’s give their lips and cheeks a break.