The Pantsuit Prejudice

Tonight, as I sat around with my cat and pondering my compelling life story, I was forwarded Jeffrey Rosen's self-satisfying oophorectomy by a fellow blogger Alexander Wolfe at Three Wise Men, and found myself, in reading Rosen's Napoleon-complex piece, reliving the recent dismissal of Perla Cavazos as being "committed" but --alas-- not ready for the job.

Rosen, who writes for The New Republic, makes "The Case Against Sonia Sotomayor: Indictments of Obama's front-runner to replace Souter." Rosen, while admitting he hasn't "read enough of Sotomayor's opinions to have a confident sense of them," opens with the usual compelling life story that we've all come to associate with women, but then deems her a "gamble," citing anonymous sources who describe her as a "bully." She is later referred to as not being a "wilting violet." I guess he couldn't find an anonymous source to agree to call her a "strong, empowered woman." Huh.

The most testosterone-fueled argument against Sotomayor is found in a quote that Rosen manages to frame up against yet another anonymous source's less-flattering portrayal of Sotomayor being "domineering" during "oral arguments." The quote comes from a 1995 New York Times interview of Second Circuit judge Jose Cabranes. Rosen refers to this as proving the aforementioned "domineering" point "more charitably." 'Cause us womenfolk need a handout, y'know. Remember, this quote is supposed to be pointing out a bad thing:

"She is not intimidated or overwhelmed by the eminence or power or prestige of any party, or indeed of the media."

Rosen's desire to undermine Sotomayor's potential, due to nothing more than her barren lifestyle, the fact that she's a woman, and that she takes her clerks to Harry Potter movies, completely hurts his own argument. The qualities of a fairer judge - one that is not intimidated by outside pressures - could not be more summarized in that one sentence.

Rosen, in his haste to discredit Sotomayor, stops short of indicting childless women, women who are not married, and (ipso facto) women with cats. But don't overdose on The Pill just yet, ladies! This is just the first in a series of reports he plans to do, so anonymous sources and those of us with vaginas still have something to look forward to.
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1 Response to "The Pantsuit Prejudice"

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