Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A time for self-reflection

Growing up in the Bronx in the 60s, I wonder if young Sonia Sotomayor ever imagined that she would experience this...

This visual impact of this scene holds the effect of the below paintings: George Washington's Crossing of the Potomac or the Founding Father's Signing of the Constitution.

Yet, this accomplished woman had to sit through these humiliating comments from Senators Lindsey Graham and Jeff Sessions:
  • "you stand out like a sore thumb in terms of your temperament"
  • "they find you difficult and challenging"
  • "nasty, a bully, a terror on the bench"
  • "maybe you should use these hearings as a time for self reflection"
Temperament. Challenging. Bully. Nasty. TIME FOR SELF-REFLECTION. I know sexism when I hear it. As America enters this period of historical changes in race relations, the accomplishments of women is still approached with skepticism.

Whatever may be Sonia Sotomayor's politics, I shudder at our gender-based lynching of this historical figure. Reflecting of the Senators remarks, they seemed to be begging for clarification as to why this woman does not fit their idea of a woman. It seems to me that their requests were merely indulgent affirmations to preserve their world, their space, and their view.

Growing up in the Bronx in the 60s, I wonder if young Sonia Sotomayor ever imagined she would have to justify her lack of lady-like sensibilities. One day, when my children look at the first picture in this blog, its significance carries the same weight as the following two. Just as we take pride in the forefathers' contributions, I want us to recognize the individuals who fixed America, so that I, a woman of color, can live in it, be relevant in it, and take pride in it.