One morning, a month or so prior to Ms. Sotomayor being confirmed as the newest Supreme Court justice, I was watching “Kiss Me , Kate” on TCM, and, while Kathryn Grayson was singing “I Hate Men”, ironically … or possibly appropriately … enough, Sonia Sotomayor came to mind.
Ms. Sotomayor’s repeated statements about Latina women having better judgement than “white” men was abruptly brought to mind. It seems apparent by her own repeated admission that she holds “white men” in lower esteem than she does herself and her beloved Latina womanhood. Many people have excused her “slip of the tongue” as simply that … a mis-statement or “slip of the tongue”. Well, was it a misstatement, a “slip of the tongue”? Or … was it a more profound admission of her true feelings … a bantering admission of her core beliefs … brought own by a lapse in judgment or a sense of empowerment that no one would think anything of her admission, that there would be no consequences for her crass gender prejudices?
The most often repeated defenses of Ms. Sotomayor’s expressions is that, as above, she mispoke … or that she’s highly qualified for the Supreme Court because she completed college summa cum laud and graduated from a prestigious law school. Frankly, her apparent “good” grades really seem to be the only excuse that I’ve heard people express such as the journalist from Los Angeles who defended her on Mike Huckabee’s show a while back.
Somehow, Ms Sotomayor’s defenders would have one believe that a “superior” intellect is a sole qualifying trait. Quite frankly, World History is replete with repeated examples of individuals with supposed “superior” intellect … but also, quite frankly, of very dubious character. Aaron Burr was an extremely intelligent man, a vice president of the United States … who, by the way, wanted to make himself king or something of the lands of the Mississippi River. I think we would describe that as a grandiose personality. Benedict Arnold was an obviously intelligent person. But, that didn’t stop him from betraying his country. Napoleon Bonaparte was obviously intelligent, a brilliant military strategist, who wanted to conquer the world … who turned the French Revolution into the instrument of his aspirations to be Emperor of Europe. Ah, but she’s a woman. So were Catherine de Medici, Marie Antoinette, Salome and Lucretia Borgia.
Personally, I’d rather have a person of average intelligence who has a sense of tolerance and justice as well as a hefty dose of common sense. How many supposedly intelligent people have you met who seemed to lack a ounce of common sense, or who were so egocentric that they lacked any understanding or tolerance for others?
But she is a lawyer, she knows and understands the law. In all probability, no one knew Roman law better than Julius Caesar when he made himself dictator of Rome. Did you know that Fidel Castro was a law student … who in turn … systematically destroyed the legal foundations of the country he was determined to establish himself in absolute control over … and ruthlessly destroyed anyone who got in his way?
So, What is a “misandrist”? Well, it a person, typically a woman, … who hates men … like Ms. Sotomayor’s “white” men that she so jovially derides … as in the “white” men, … men like the Founding Fathers who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Did she mean her Latina women have better judgment and wisdom than THOSE “white” men? Frankly, I’d like to see Ms. Sotomayor come up with one Latina woman to equal those men.
So. What’s my beef with some off-handed statement that Ms. Sotomayor made … reportedly more than once ..on various occasions?
Well, back in high school I took French. Having done well the first year, I decided to take a second year of French. It turns out that our first year French teacher had moved on and we had a new teacher to take her place. On the first day of class, our new teacher comes in and one of the first statements to come out of her mouth was, “I hate men.” Seriously.
This woman, it turns out was recently divorced and, unfortunately for the little boy, had one small child, a son. I shudder to think how he’s turned out, poor kid. This woman wasn’t a comedian and wasn’t kidding. In all honesty, I don’t remember a lot about the rest of the class that day … other than, by the end of that class, I was determined to get out of it. And I did. I wasn’t going to leave the outcome of my future in the hands of that self proclaimed “misandrist” … no way.
The woman obviously had issues and I didn’t make any trouble for her. I simply dropped the class and signed up for something else. I told my parents about the teacher’s statement and they both agreed with my decision. I only hope for the sake of her child and her own well being, as well as that of my classmates, that this woman moved on and got over her bitterness and hatred. But, I honestly have my doubts.
So, Sonia Sotomayor’s presumed offhand, but repeated, statements about Latina women having better judgment that “white” men really struck a chord. Was it a joke, a generalization, or a inappropriate but profound expression of her core beliefs?
Frankly, it bothers me that our legislators have simply brushed aside people’s concerns about this woman’s inherent character and have placed her in the nearly unique position of an associate Supreme Court justice. I find it hard to believe that, out of the millions of lawyers that practice in this country, she was the best choice. What does that say about the legal profession?
I suppose when buying votes is your goal, pandering to the Hispanic community by Barack Obama shouldn’t be unexpected.
Filed under: Barack Obama, Commentary, Political Commentary, Politics | Tagged: Aaron Burr, associate Supreme Court justice, Barack Obama, Benedict Arnold, Catherine de Medici, Fidel Castro, I Hate Men, Julius Caesar, Kathryn Grayson, Kiss Me Kate, Lucretia Borgia, marie antoinette, Mike Huckabee, misandrist, Napoleon, Salome, Sonia Sotomayor | 5 Comments »