Councilman Shea Flinn Accused Of Sexist Tweet

(Memphis) Memphis City Council member Shea Flinn is catching heat after a tweet some consider sexist.

Flinn says it’s being taken out of context, but the problem is there was no context.

In less than 140 characters, Flinn has some questioning his character.

Thursday morning, the councilman posted a tweet saying “When learning how to talk to women, step one, stare directly at their breasts, they will appreciate your honesty. #gop(explicit)?”

I asked Flinn what that meant over the phone, but he said he isn’t doing an interview because it was only a joke.

Flinn claims he was referencing Republican Party media training where he claims candidates were allegedly taught how to talk to women.

“I think it’s ridiculous that there is a ‘how to talk to women’ seminar. I mean, what could one potentially say? I think it’s obvious by my tweet that I’m being sarcastic,” said Flinn.

“You’ve got to make it clear you’re mocking somebody. If I just read that I would be like ‘oh my gosh I can’t believe he’s saying that,’” said Amber Colvin.

Women we talked to in Flinn’s district don’t see the humor.

“I think for an elected official to say something like that is out of this world. You have to be careful about what you say online,” said Colvin.

Lee Gardner says there wasn’t enough context for her to pick up any sarcasm.

“I would look at that and be super offended. You don’t say that about a girl you’re supposed to respect women and that’s not respectful at all regardless of if you’re being sarcastic or not,” said Gardner.

WREG’s Political Commentator Otis Sanford says politicians need to realize they are always on the clock and always representing the city, so saying things like this is never appropriate.

“He’s an elected official. He should know better and it’s a shameful thing. He can say lighten up about it but this is no laughing matter,” said Sanford.

Flinn says he uses Twitter to post off-the-cuff remarks, and they are not intended to be taken seriously.