Who Cares That Kagan Is a Woman?

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The fact that Kagan would be only the fourth woman to serve on the Supreme Court is clearly important and remarkable. But Eva Rodriguez of the Washington Post, for one, would prefer we not make such a fuss about it. The relative lack of attention paid to Kagan's gender is a good thing, she argues, because it shows that such qualities are now less relevant.

Yes, Kagan was the first woman to serve as dean of Harvard Law School. Yes, she broke the glass ceiling to become the first female solicitor general of the United States. So what?

Rodriguez prefers that the focus stay on Kagan's qualities as a "smart, tough, inclusive" figure. As a result, she objects to the time Senator Dianne Feinstein spent extolling Kagan as a "role model for young women." Instead, she argues that the "lack of fanfare" in other quarters about her being a woman--just like the lack of hubbub about Eric Holder's race--is a good thing:

I was pleased that little attention was paid to the fact that she is a woman when she was nominated as solicitor general and then to the Supreme Court. I felt much the same way when not much was made of the fact that Obama's nominee for attorney general, Eric Holder, would become the first African American to hold that position. I hoped that this lack of fanfare signaled our evolution as a society and an implicit acceptance that -- of course! -- there are a multitude of highly-qualified men and women of all colors and backgrounds who belong in positions of power and influence.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.