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A Girl Is Watching: Sotomayer, Palin & Clinton

Marie Wilson of The White House Project is wondering about the children who are watching the way we treat the women who dare stand up and lead.

It’s day three for Sonia Sotomayor (female Hispanic Supreme Court nominee) on the Capitol, and like many of us, I am dismayed by the politics and punditry surrounding the confirmation proceedings. Yet what troubles me most about the negative and sexist remarks is this: our children are watching.

The knowledge we are imparting to girls is this: you may work really hard and make it to the top of your class. You may get distinguished degrees from Princeton and Yale, have a successful career, and even be hand-picked by the President of the United States for the highest court in the land. Yet people on TV will call you “domineering” because you’re an outspoken woman. They will bring up your menstruation and call it “really bad” for the decisions you make. If you’re a woman of color, they may even joke about sending you vacuum cleaners to clean up after meetings. At the very least, you will be asked to cut off the parts of yourself that reflect your race or gender in exchange for a seat at the tables of power.

Read the rest of the story on Marie Wilson: Our Children Are Watching.

The same could be said of Sarah Palin and her relationship with the media, other Republicans and certainly Democrats.

This type of criticism and harassment does make women hesitate before throwing their name in the ring for public office or high profile positions.

That’s tragic, we’re missing out on much-needed feminine leadership.

1592 replies
  1. Shauna says:

    I am commenting on this pretty late so I don’t know if anyone will read this, but, here goes.

    I remember watching the Thomas/Hill debaucle when I was a young teen. My mom was a vehement supporter of Hill whilst my dad was equally vehement for Thomas. I remember wondering why my Dad thought she was lying because she was a woman. In retrospect, I don’t think that is necessarily why he questioned her story (although I still DISAGREE with him) but my young, not yet fully formed brain associated his comments with her gender.

    I may not agree with Sotomayor’s nomination or past judicial decisions or expositions; but, I do loathe that gender is still such a seemingly “free pass” for bias.

    I don’t have to agree with these women. I DO respect that, although they know they will be “crucified” by critics – at a degree much more intense than men, they are still willing to step forward and try. It is by the trying that we will ultimately be able to conquer some of this.