Councilman Shea Flinn Accused Of Sexist Tweet

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(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.


  • grayhawk

    He so very wrong our lady goes thru so much in today society
    an this (Public Leader)put this out over the airways saying its
    ok to abuse women.
    He need to correct this matter an dress as a lady for one day.

  • Steve Tapp

    Shea does not opine or act perfectly, but for anyone to get all bent out of shape about a remark like this is PATHETIC! Each sex has its own crosses to bear. For example, last time I looked, women are not required under penalty of federal prison to register for the draft. I have disliked some of Shea’s initiatives: he is NOT the best thing politically since sliced bread. But for a “reporter” to make a mountain out of this molehill by dredging up some “offended” whiner is IMHO bad journalism on a slow news day, perhaps, and a sign that such “reporter” is to be looked upon with suspicion henceforth unless redeemed.

  • Ashley Madison

    I’m all for shaming public officials who post sexist bs but this is obviously a joke and not at all newsworthy. Channel 3 seems to love to stir people up.. in doing so, they divide the community.. but I don’t think they give half a rat’s bottom.

  • Hard Truths

    Someone needs their sarcasm detector activated.

    But dumb is dumb, and Memphis certainly is Memphis, so maybe I’m asking too much..

  • D Couch-Davis

    Why does NewsChannel3 always have to quote their “internal” people in a story. Can’t you find someone who is not aligned to pander your story other than Otis Sanford?

  • Kelly King

    I just love how news outlets have to “create” news. This is obviously not newsworthy and shouldn’t even be reported. They are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Just like the news this morning about the streets. Of course they are shimmering. Light is reflecting off WATER. Don’t try to make it sound like there’s ice building up when it’s rain.

  • Bobbie

    People need to get a grip and see it as it is…a comment “probably about another member that may do that when addressing women”. Leave Shea Flynn alone and report on the other foolishness that is going on in this country.

  • Bill

    no matter how speak before you think, this statement sounds. Remember our society has reached the point that no matter how you say something someone can turn it around. So what would there be to report if he subscribed to the following method. Silence can never be mis-quoted.

  • Nonya Bidness

    He’s white and with the help of the media they will boot him from office. Why is a minority in office anyway?

  • Anne

    It is clearly sarcasm, but I think Flinn uses bad judgement sometimes with his tweets. I tried to follow him, but it was just garbage. He comes off more as a guy who’s trying to sound cool. It’s a shame he can’t stick to communicating about matters in our city. Possibly keep two accounts, one for people who want to know what you are working on for their city and one for those who want to endure his witty combacks.

  • Randy Osborn

    whether he was just joking or not, he should know that public officials tend to get judged by the things they say. don’t know what the immediate circumstances were, but perhaps he (and other prominent figures) should learn to stay off twitter at night.

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