I’ve been neglecting my Google Reader lately, so when I do open it, I have well over a thousand articles to read, which makes me not want to open it, enabling a rather vicious cycle. Last night, when I finally looked at it, I found this piece at Sociological Images, about Forbes magazine’s list of generally powerful people. There is so much wrong here, I don’t even know where to start…oh, wait, yes, I do. Beside the fact that of the 67 people listed, only 3 are women, there’s the addition of “marital status” and “children” to the women’s information, while there is no such addition to the men’s.
Usually, I don’t recommend reading blog comments, they usually make me want to rip out my (conventionally long, girly) hair, but someone does point out that as much as there is a patriarchal structure that judges women on their marital and reproductive choices, women do the same to each other. This is true, of course, and it’s important to note the mark that, admit it or not, internalized sexism has made on us.
I don’t want to be redundant here, you should read the article, but if there was a moment where you doubted that the value of women is still grounded in their fecundity, or that a demonstration of traditional femininity (being straight, married, and with children) is still seen as vital so that powerful women don’t appear too “scary,” here it is. I never blogged about all the Elena Kagan business around why she doesn’t have children, why she isn’t married (who cares?), but really, it all comes from the same place.