Wendy Kaminer re-examines looks, gender and careers:
Would Elena Kagan's sexuality be a subject of so much speculation if she looked like Sarah Palin, or Kim Cattrall? At The Washington Post, Robin Givhan complains that Kagan, like many other serious, substantive, middle-aged women, doesn't dress like Cattrall, without acknowledging that, given various accidents of nature, she'd look quite foolish if she did. People choose their clothes partly to signal membership in a "particular social tribe," Givhan observes; but if they have any sense of style (as opposed to a mere sense of fashion), they choose their clothes on the basis of their body types. And, some women simply strive to make beauty or the lack of it less relevant to their failures or successes. Men are armored by their unrevealing suits; women are expected to expose themselves, with various degrees of discretion.
"Armored by unrevealing suits." I've always wondered why I only have one.
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