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John Mayer's "Tweachable Moment"

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Can John Mayer's insensitive comments in Playboy and his apology on Twitter help you teach a life lesson to your teens?

John Mayer used the N-word in a Playboy interview. He also objectified women and pretty much just sounded like a big-time jerk in general.

One particularly offensive quote reads:

I come on very strong.... That's why black people love me.... Someone asked me the other day, "What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?" And by the way, it's sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a n***** pass.

We were equally offended by the way he talked about sex. Mayer described his genitalia as "sort of like a white supremacist" or "David Duke." Huh? He said Jessica Simpson was like crack cocaine to him, like "sexual napalm," and that Jen Aniston was lovely, but he "can't change the fact that I need to be 32." Regarding Aniston, he also said he "doesn't want to pet dogs in the kitchen."

Uh, oooookay.

Mayer's apology tweet reads:

Re: using the 'N word' in an interview: I am sorry that I used the word. And it's such a shame that I did because the point I was trying/ to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualize using it/ because I realize that there's no intellectualizing a word that is so emotionally charged.

He even broke down on stage about it:


On Huffington Post, Farai Chideya, multimedia journalist and author, called the whole situation -- and Mayer's Twitter apology -- a "tweachable moment."

Is this something you are discussing with your teens today? Is it a good time to bring up race relations and misogyny?

Dr. Michelle Golland says: "Here's a teachable moment brought to you by the immature and narcissistic John Mayer. I was disgusted after reading his sexist and racist remarks that he so arrogantly spouted off in his Playboy interview. He was so unimpressive as a person I wondered why any woman in her right mind would even want to date him! This is one woman who will be turning the dial the next time I hear a John Mayer song."

But should we be talking to our teens about this? Yes, says Dr. Golland. "What we can teach our teenagers from this incident is that no matter how much money, fame or talent you may have, it certainly doesn't give you class," she says. "We should discuss not only his ridiculous use of the N-word -- which in and of itself is offensive -- but how it was wrapped up in a self-centered and grandiose way that makes him sound simply like a jerk.

"I guess what I want most for my son (among other things) is that he doesn't act like a jerk to anyone, whether about race or sex," Dr. Golland continues. "I bet John Mayer's mom is embarrassed by her son's objectification of women, and the disgusting way he speaks about the women he dated. Remember: These are women he cared about at one point. This is where his true narcissistic tendencies are displayed. He thinks he is just being 'honest' and 'real,' but it is simply shallow and primitive.

"Someone who is so full of himself, like John Mayer, is unable to see how pathetically unevolved he is emotionally and psychologically," she concludes. "As parents, we can see it very clearly, and we can use this as a way to discuss race and the objectification of women with our teenagers."

Moms of teens: Is this indeed a "tweachable moment" for you?

next: Finding Your Soulmate
23 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lisa R. February 12, 2010, 11:17 AM

John Mayer is a douche bag. He always has been so super-impressed with himself he can’t see beyond his own ego to anyone around him. He treated those women like crap while he was dating them. It always baffled me what Jen Aniston saw in him. Now he proves that not only is he self-impressed, immature and a misogynist, he’s also a racist. What a turd.

Dr. Golland is dead-on right in everything she said.

Slartibartfast February 15, 2010, 10:15 AM

Of course you censor my comment. Why would you let a rational comment come through when you can be completely irrational as long as it gives you something to whine about to make your existence seem a little more justifiable. Like you are giving a service here to the moms of the world to be proud of. Like you are helping the world with this ridiculous article taken so far out of context, you can even look into your own hypocrisies

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