Greg Hengler has this interesting but relatively unsurprising clip of Sonia Sotomayor explaining in 1986 the difficulties women face in male-dominated professions, such as the law, as Sotomayor claimed on Good Morning America. The clip comes from a round-table discussion by successful women on the hurdles they faced in succeeding in a man’s world. Mostly, it’s standard boilerplate, except curiously for Sotomayor’s complaint about dating:
Honestly, I don’t find her description of the mechanism of bias all that surprising or objectionable. Certainly, people internalize their own experiences and rely on them when making subjective decisions on hiring and promotion; in a more positive context, it’s called instinct, and any good hiring manager has to rely on it. In 1986, I’d agree that the women’s movement had yet to overcome that built-in bias in hiring and promotions, but that’s changed in the last 23 years as women moved upwards. “Images of success” are as female as male now, and as ethnically diverse, too.
But the complaint about dating I find strange. If a woman tells a man she’s too busy to see him three times, should she be surprised when he stops calling? If he kept calling, some would define that as stalking. Sotomayor endorses a remarkably passive role in this instance, because the solution to this problem would have been to suggest another day on the schedule when declining an invite.