Some folks are wondering why questions of sexuality are bring raised for Elena Kagan when they were not done for Sonia Sotomayor. In my mind, it boils down to something fairly basic:
Kagan is white and Sotomayor is not.*
Let me explain. For the type of people who are fond of profiling, Kagan fits the description: white, unmarried, intellectual, not terribly “attractive”. Black or Latina women that fall into that same line aren’t questioned on their sexuality because they don’t “seem” gay; they’re just cast as accomplished yet pitiable career women who have little hope of snaring a mate with whom to settle down.
In the American conscience, to be a lesbian of a certain age is really just shorthand for being a feminist; a card-carrying member of NOW and an acolyte of Betty Friedan. While I won’t go so far as to say the sexual aspect of the questions regarding Kagan’s sexuality are irrelevant, I will say I think these inquiries are more a petty and contemptuous probing of her feminism. (I strongly doubt the president would have the stones to nominate a possibly gay man for the bench
since male sexuality whips people into a different kind of frenzy).
It’s the radical feminist menace that ruffled the old boys’ feather and the representatives of that menace were overwhelmingly–and often deliberately–white.
The feminist movements in the United States had parallel histories split between the predominantly white–and highly exclusionary–narrative and the one that included women of color in this struggle. The former was able to set the tone in many regards and became the face of “what a feminist is.”
For many, feminists are merely smartypants white women that hate men and don’t do as they’re told. Given this perception, the “oh, well she’s probably a lesbian” coup de grace wasn’t/isn’t exactly a leap. In many ways, it’s the white version of being called uppity.
- Kagan = Unmarried White woman intellectual of no particular beauty.
- Lesbians are unmarried White women intellectuals of no particular beauty.
- Feminists are unmarried White women intellectuals of no particular beauty.
- Feminists hate men.
- Lesbians hate men.
- Feminist = Lesbian
- Lesbian = Feminist
- Kagan = Lesbian = Feminist?
*A friend brought up the great point that the reason Sotomayor wasn’t questioned in that regard is because she was married once before. A reasonable point, though not bulletproof. A previous marriage certainly lends itself to avoiding certain questions, though marriage is by no means proof of being straight. Perhaps the figure of Condi Rice is more appropriate in this regard. The questions regarding her personal life were, more often than not, framed as, “Why doesn’t she have a man?” rather than “Is she gay?”
This is what it is and not what it might be.
Twitterin’ (heeey) sing-le
Oooh, In a 1-0 kind of world
I’m glad I’ve got Twit-ter!
Confession: My Twitter feed is fairly one-note. There’s a spectrum certainly, but even that spectrum falls under the category of “Stuff I’ll tolerate reading 140-characters at a time.” Thus, I don’t have too many people who are, in my opinion, batshit crazy and perpetually insufferable. I once referred to Twitter as the college dining hall for grown-ups and that still applies. The people whom I follow are people who I would sit at a table and shoot the shit with. Read the rest of this entry »
The above is a bit of timeless parody. This is not. I’m gonna have to be the bad guy and say it’s…mildly uncouth to nominate a man’s funeral service for an NAACP Image Award, even if it’s Michael Jackson.
The 2010 Census has “Negro” as a check box.
Question No. 9 on this year’s census form asks about race, with one of the answers listed as “black, African-Am. or Negro.”
Census Bureau spokesman Jack Martin said the use of “Negro” was intended as a term of inclusion.
“Many older African-Americans identified themselves that way, and many still do,” he said. “Those who identify themselves as Negroes need to be included.”
The form was also approved by Congress more than a year ago, and the word has appeared on past forms.
The use of Negro began disappearing elsewhere with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as black or African-American became the preferred terms.
All things considered, I can’t say this one worked me into a lather. If anything, it just made me furrow my eyebrows and think: Why?
I get that the Census Board wants to make everyone feel included, but it stands to reason that if people are taking the time to fill out the Census, they’ll probably check the most appropriate box, even if they have to do so grumbling. I would like to meet the person beating down the Census Bureau’s door wondering why they as Negroes were left off the form.
As I consider it, the Negro usage seems akin to grouping “Retarded” along with “Special Needs” or “Handicapped” on a form. Yes; both are previously acceptable terms, but now that’s not really the case and more importantly, the use seems unnecessary considering neither denote anything specific or particular.
Have a long back? Wish you had a bit more “junk in the trunk”? Well, your dreams have finally true!
Booty Pop? BOOTY POP? Was this one of Alpa Chino’s other products?
Let’s try to ignore for a moment the Kidz Bop tone of this commercial that would make the people responsible for the Snuggie ads cringe. This product’s existence seems to accept as fact that all women love, appreciate and want a big behind and that said behind will be loved, appreciated and wanted by all those that behold it. As Amanda Hess of The Washington CityPaper points out, having a bump to match her pumps have yet to reap the benefits Booty Pop extols.
For fuck’s sake, Michael.
As you may or may not be aware, a new decade will begin on Friday. Since lists are what people do at the end of things because paragraphs with common threads are just entirely too difficult to cobble together, I’ve followed suit with a random hodge-podge of observations, thoughts and things learned over the course of ten years.
2000: We were league champions after going on an improbably post-season run. Knocked off Wheeler, 53-51. In my career, we only beat Wheeler once. Lesson: Only one game counts.
2001: 9/11. Vagina. Lesson: You can learn all things from war and genitals.
2002: High school graduation.Robert Horry hit that shot against the Kings. on my graduation day. Lesson: Robert Horry is the Butterfly Effect.
2003: Yale. The Michelle. Being an idiot regarding several things, mostly The Michelle-related. Lesson: Flattery is the key to infidelity.
2004: The College Dropout (album and real life). Lesson: Being a nightclub bouncer is infinitely more interesting than folding pants at the Gap.
2005: Yale, again. The Justice League. Argentina with The Intercontinental Champ. Lesson: You can always go home again, but it might not be how you left it.
2006: The best and worst day of college happened on the same day. Iberia. Lesson: Sometimes, you have to make trades, especially when you don’t have a choice. Also, sometimes friendship is no friend at all.
2007: Yale graduation. Lesson: Getting in is easier than finishing.
2008: The Spirit Warrior’s Dream. The Feath. The Election. Lesson: It’s usually the one you never saw coming.
2009: Freezing at the Inauguration. Brougham gets married. The Feath begins work on The Franchise. Lesson: It’s about grown man time…