To the Editor:
Jim DiTullio’s disparaging and misogynistic remarks concerning Sandra Day O’Connor and Katherine Harris (“Two political women who still don’t have a clue,” 2/14) remind us even educated individuals may hold sexist and absurdly prejudiced notions of women. Rather than simply evaluating O’Connor and Harris on their own merits, DiTullio resorts to ad hominem attacks and sexist remarks that belittle the many achievements of women in politics and law in recent decades.
DiTullio is free to attack as he pleases, though his statements are inappropriate and insulting to women. He comments that O’Connor, the first female on the Supreme Court, “let herself be prostituted by [Justice] Scalia and [Justice] Thomas,” and he describes O’Connor as “another dingbat Republican woman.” I am certain that such sexist remarks would never be made about a male judge or politician.
In fact, the only praise DiTullio offers is his astute observation that O’Connor “applies less makeup to her face than [Katherine] Harris does.”
O’Connor is widely respected as a representative and courageous advocate of gender and racial equality, having participated in numerous significant civil rights decisions over the past two decades. Perhaps DiTullio ought to consider the possibility O’Connor actually makes her own decisions and is not a “prostitute” of other male justices.
DiTullio may be disappointed with the outcome of last November’s election, but he need not disparage women in order to vent his frustration.
While DiTullio wishes to revert to times in which women were considered as too weak to think independently and participate in politics, the rest of us ought to instead judge female justices and politicians by the content of their character.
Jowei Chen ’04
february 14, 2001