“Success itself is Masculinized”: She-Lawyers and Other Improbable Creatures

Patricia Williams writing in The Nation:   She-Lawyers and Other Improbable Creatures

Patricia J. Williams uses Elena Kagan’s confirmation as the context for a discussion of the ways that cognition, language and culture are barriers to equality.  Worth reading, for the analysis and for Williams’ always deft touch with language.  Why does Kagan seem to be having an easier time than Sotomayor? Is it just the absence of a smoking “Wise Latina”? Or is it the way that Kagan is being treated not as a successful woman, but a successful “man”?

This chatter isn’t really about Kagan’s sexual preference as much as it is about whether she exhibits masculine traits. ….She likes poker! She swings a softball bat! Not only does anything she touches suddenly get characterized as a male pursuit; she is amply endowed with a Midas touch of testosterone. Success itself is masculinized.

2004 Feminist Faculty Workshop

A Collective Conversation

The IFLS sponsored and hosted this meeting of over 20 feminist legal scholars teaching at Canadian universities. Roundtables were lively and new scholars were invited to present their work to the group.   The day created new friendships and renewed others.  Attendees included Osgoode Professors Mary Jane Mossman (the IFLS director), Toni Williams, Carys Craig, and Sonia Lawrence, along with York’s Annie Bunting and former Osgoode student Carissima Mathen (UNB).