Saturday, May 30, 2009

Emotions and the Supreme Court

I really hate all of the discussions about whether emotions have a place in the Supreme Court that originated with the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. It's supposed to be liberal to defend the right of emotions and empathy to form a part of the process of justice. The discussions started, of course, when conservatives began berating Judge Sotomayor for being too emotional and even too temperamental to be on the Supreme Court.

What is really annoying here is the blindness that liberals demonstrate yet again in the way they read this conservative discourse. "Emotional" is the conservatives' way to refer to Sotomayor's gender, while "temperamental" is a way to refer to her Hispanic origin. By taking this language seriously (and refusing to see its chauvinistic and racist undertones) we participate in it.

This is not about emotion versus reason and temperament versus its lack. This is about gender and ethnic discrimination. If we continue engaging in this kind of discussions, we will soon find ourselves arguing about whether it's ok to hire women since they are "more likely to cry" in the workplace.

1 comment:

marry said...

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