Hysterical Bitch

That may as well be the headline on this Chicago Tribune article about Sonia Sotomayor, though the actual headline is: "While at Yale, Sotomayor made a law firm apologize."

Bad enough on its own for the Oh Noes Castrating Harpy factor, but, once you read the details, combined with the story framing, which itself is just eighteen different shades of rage-inducing obnoxious, it's even worse:
The early White House story line on Sonia Sotomayor emphasizes her pragmatism and a cautious, measured approach to the law developed over a years-long climb from exceedingly modest circumstances to become the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court.

But an incident in the fall of 1978 illustrates another side of Sotomayor. Then a daring and assertive Yale University law student, she took a stand against a white-shoe Washington law firm that could have jeopardized her career.

While interviewing for jobs during her final year of school, she accused the firm, then known as Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge, of discriminating against her by asking questions about the qualifications of Puerto Ricans and other minorities.

Sotomayor's complaint caused a campus furor. A student-faculty panel found the complaint warranted and ordered Shaw Pittman to write her a letter of apology.
So, in fact, Sotomayor didn't "make a law firm apologize" at all, but a law firm was ordered by an independent panel to apologize to her for none-too-subtle racism during a job interview.

And I just love (where love = hate with the fiery passion of ten thousand suns) how reporting the firm's inappropriate (now criminal) behavior is proffered as contradictory evidence to her reputation as pragmatic and cautious, as if risk-taking isn't frequently the result of pragmatic and cautious deliberation.

No—of course when it's women, especially women of color, who take a risky stand against institutional discrimination, they are reckless "daring" and reactionary "assertive," and naturally haven't (pragmatically, cautiously) meditated on their decision before (pragmatically, cautiously) making charges against a potential employer, no less a powerful law firm.

We women, we're just so impulsive with our silly ladybrains.

What makes this article extra super-duper aggravating is that it's a painfully obvious sop to the "she's a racist" brigade, thinly veiled behind an "innocuous" report about Sotomayor being an alarmist hysteric ("bitch"), which itself is presented under a guise of honoring her feistiness. Barf.

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