Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"... ladies."

A Cambridge student athlete has made it to the finals in the Miss East Anglia competition, precursor to the Miss England pageant. Is this more or less shocking than a Hispanic woman who grew up in the projects getting a Supreme Court nomination? Check out the picture below and weigh in.

This is a toughie. Let's hear comments from the peanut gallery:

"Slim women - not anorexic - look better than fat blobby women. Get over it. If that weren't true, people wouldn't prefer them, would they?"

An excellent point, since "people" do objectively "prefer" the slim over the blobby, and we know this from detailed examinations of everything since the dawn of time. Thank you, John Stern from London.

What about Sonia Sotomayor, a Puerto Rican from the Bronx: could she really hold her own on America's highest bench? Educationally, she has scaled some very high ivy walls, graduating from
Princeton University, summa cum laude, in 1976, where she won the Pyne Prize, the highest general award given to Princeton undergraduates.[7] Sotomayor obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Still, surely there's a more qualified white man in the wings who is being overlooked simply for the sake of color? Again, speak, O peanut gallery!:

"This country has taken a dangerous shift away from the basic tenets of our Constitution , and instead of seizing the opportunity to right that ship, we get another poor choice designed to placate the masses.

Randy Barnett would have been a much better choice.

Unfortunately, being white and male,he didn’t have much of a chance from the start."

SO TRUE, SgNews. Btw, who is Randy Barnett?
the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Law at Boston University, where he served as the faculty adviser for the Federalist Society. He joined the faculty of Georgetown University Law Center in 2006. Barnett is a Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute and the Goldwater Institute. ... In 2009, he drafted the Bill of Federalism, 10 proposed amendments to the US Constitution designed to limit federal power and strengthen individual rights.
In other words, he's the Ron Paul candidate for the bench! I can't believe Obama didn't pick him. Of course, it wasn't his Libertarian views, his involvement with the Federalist Society, Cato Institute, or Goldwater Institute that held him back; it was his sex and his race, which as we all know are a serious barrier to advancement in America.

For more, because there is always more, see here and here.

Honestly, I am as shallow, judgmental, and quick to stereotype as anyone else who has grown up in this flawed society, and both of these women strike me as eminently qualified for their positions. I wish them the best. With all this criticism from all sides, though, is it any wonder women say they are less happy than they used to be? (Also, did anyone running that study consider that perhaps women feel allowed to be more honest these days?)


K said...

In re: your final question, about the Stevenson and Wolfers study, on women being less bappy:

Yes, they considered that question. I asked them personally, when they presented that paper in one of my classes last fall!

The two of them are doing excellent work in cognitive theory and subjective well-being. Check them out!

Rebecca said...

You will be perhaps happy to find out that the study Russ Douthat seems to think he's writing about for the Times really found almost no statistically significant difference between men and women's reported happiness when the study started or now. Here's a short response to the column with links to longer refutations: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1456

Daniel said...

He passed on more qualified females of all colors.

Wolfers and Stevenson are good...and thorough. Imagine how good their kids will be.

ester said...

Thanks for that link, Rebecca. The chart there is dumbfounding. It kind of speaks for itself.