I don’t know Sonia Sotomayor, or at least I didn’t hear of her before her nomination to the Supreme Court. Have you been reading the criticism of her? Some of it is pretty incendiary. I can see right through the criticism. I hope she can. Don’t you get fooled by the same kind of behavior if you get criticized at work. Here’s what I mean.
She’s not that smart. In a New Republic article, a former Second Circuit clerk for another judge was quoted as saying that Sotomayor was an able lawyer, but was, “not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench.” Oh really? She went to Princeton for her undergraduate education and Yale for law school. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and was inducted into the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Not enough brain cells for you? Her senior year she won the Pyne Prize which is the highest general distinction that can be conferred on an undergraduate by Princeton University. It is awarded to the senior who has most clearly manifested excellent scholarship, strength of character and effective leadership. Does that sound like an award for someone who is not that smart? Come on. I’m not fooled. I understand the male code for criticism.
At work, if you see a woman as a threat, the first line of criticism is to call her dumb. It’s almost a formula that insecure men use when they criticize women and demean their intelligence. Why can’t they understand that there just might be some smart women out there who might be as smart–or smarter– than them? Every time I’ve heard a man say a woman isn’t smart, it’s been just the opposite. The woman was smart and in fact smarter than the guy. It’s getting old to criticize professional women by calling them stupid.
She’s a bully. Then there’s the bully on the bench criticism. I’m again assuming this criticism was made by a male. If by bully he means that she takes charge of her court room, demands certain behavior in her court and expects to be in control of her court, then why not call that the behavior of a competent judge? What other type of behavior is expected of a judge anyway? A shrinking violet? I can’t imagine. I’m assuming that taking charge is what is expected in a court room, by both a male and a female. You’ve probably noticed that such behavior is not called bullying if it comes from a guy.
Why am I writing this? Because at some point in your career if you’re a successful woman, you will hear criticisms like this. Do not believe them! Put your Teflon coating on! If you were docile and a doormat, no guy would ever think twice about your ability or care to comment. To the jealous men reading this, enough already! We see through you. It’s not working, either. You sound “not that smart” for criticizing talented women for their IQ. You sound like a bully criticizing a woman’s emotions. If you want to criticize women, criticize them just like you criticize a man–for a real work related issue.