Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Guest Post

We are honored by not one but two guest posts this weekend. Here is the second one. It is by Liz O'Donnell*:

The Audacity of Dopes: Thoughts on the Double Standard

As we know, conservatives and some media types are crying racism based on one 33-word sentence from a 3,930 word speech Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor gave in 2001. Noting that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had said that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases, Sotomayor remarked. "First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Said Rush Limbaugh about Sotomayor's comment, "Here you have a racist — you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist.

It was Rush, wasn't it, who said during the presidential election, "Clinton's testicle lockbox is big enough for the entire Democrat hierarchy, not just some people in the media. ... Her lockbox, her testicle lockbox can handle everybody in the Democrat hierarchy."

I say of Limbaugh: Here you have a misogynist – you might want to soften that, but I don't.

CNN's Glenn Beck said of Sotomayor's statement, "She sure sounds like a racist."

It was Beck, wasn't it, who said of Hillary Clinton, "She is like the stereotypical -- excuse the expression, but this is the way to -- she's the stereotypical bitch, you know what I mean?"

I say to Beck: You sure sound like a sexist.

On MSNBC, Nora O'Donnell discussed Sotomayor's nomination with Pat Buchanan who said Sotomayor was an affirmative action nominee. O'Donnell asked Buchanan if he considered that maybe there were no qualified white men to which he responded, "No, it did not occur to me. You mean there are no white males qualified? That would be an act of bigotry to make a statement like that. [...]

It was Pat Buchanan, wasn't it, who said when Sen. Hillary Clinton "raises her voice, and when a lot of women do ... it reaches a point ... where every husband in America ... has heard at one time or another."

I say to Mr. Buchanan: That would be an act of sexism to make a statement like that.

Tucker Carlson said of Sotomayor's 2001 comment, "That's a racist statement, by any calculation."

It was Carlson, wasn't it, who said of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "There's just something about her that feels castrating, overbearing and scary."

I say to Tucker Carlson: That's a sexist statement, by any calculation.

To be clear, I am not comparing Sotomayor's statement, taken out of context, to the statements these men made during the last election. Anyone who reads the entire speech will glean a broader understanding of the judge's remark. I am merely pointing out the blatant double standard to which these men subscribe. Their righteous indignation (pun intended) doesn't fly and quite frankly their identity politics tactics are premature. Two women on the Supreme Court would not equal white male oppression.

*Liz writes about F words: feminism, (life in her) forties and
sometimes family. Her work has been published in The Boston Globe Magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution and The Glass Hammer where she covers women and the workplace.