A Musing On Womanly Sensitivities: Sonia, Ruth, Sandra, Elizabeth & Reille
Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who is said to have the inside track to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter, is being flogged pretty hard on the intertubes for, among other things, saying that as a woman she brings certain sensitivities to the job. You know, like knowing what its like to be discriminated against on the basis of gender.
I can't quite put my finger on why this seems to be such an outrage except that the people threatening to jump out of windows over it are men who, I can only imagine, feel threatened by women's sensitivities.
Such was the case when Justice Ruth Bader Gingsberg said the same thing earlier this year.
And while Sandra Day O'Connor, the high court's first woman justice, might not have said as much in public, a cursory examination of where she came down in major cases in which gender played a role shows that she too had sensitivities. Or at least got in touch with them as she became increasingly alienated from the Republican Party as it marched into the Dark Ages during the Dubya years.
At the risk of being exiled in perpetuity to a Hooters, this sensitivity thing is not a two-way street.
It was, is and will remain a man's world for the foreseeable future in and outside of courtrooms. While woman judges typically understand the sensitivities of their male peers and men in general because that is part and parcel of surviving in that world, it is the rare male in my view who not only understands a woman's sensitivities, especially a woman wielding a gavel, but actually appreciates those sensitivities, as well.
* * * * * John Edwards has, of course, literally and figuratively screwed his political career -- including a shot at the White House -- less by having an affair with Reille Hunter than denying that it took place in the face of ample evidence that it had.
What that were the end of it. But it is not, and the two women in his life have some pretty serious sensitivity issues of their own.
Wife Elizabeth Edwards has decided that terminal cancer should not be a bar to writing an intimate account of how her husband deceived her, how she deceived herself and how it ouch-ouch-ouch hurt.
I wish Mrs. Edwards only the best as she prepares to meet her maker, but do suppose that beyond what is happening to her body is the pain of having suborned her own sensitivities by contributing to her husband's phony public persona and then circling her wagon when confronted with the truth.
Then there is Reille, who is not only trashed in Mrs. Edwards' tell-all, but seems to have finally realized that Mr. Edwards was insensitively speaking with his male appendage and not his heart when he fathered their love child and promised to remain in her life.