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.