Posts Tagged ‘Emotions’

Female Science Professor has a nice post today about questions that have been raised about Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor.  Obviously, it is important to thoroughly examine people who will be put in influential positions (clearly, we don’t need someone like this on the Supreme Court), but some of the questions that have been asked about Sotomayer focus on whether, as a woman, she will be guided by her emotions rather than the law.  FSP provides a few examples from people named John:

Republican senators will have to conduct thorough questioning in the confirmation hearings to make sure that she will not be a results-oriented voter, voting her emotions and politics rather than the law. (John Yoo)

She must prove her commitment to impartially deciding cases based on the law, rather than based on her own personal politics, feelings, and preferences. (John Cornyn)

It will be important to determine if Judge Sotomayor will decide cases based on her own personal feelings and political views, or the bedrock rule of law. (John Thune)

She then adds:

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a big computer program to decide cases strictly on The Law? With a program, no one, not even a sensitive male judge, would be tempted to consult their feelings about an issue and we wouldn’t have to worry about all these emotional females populating the Highest Court in the Land every decade or two, tossing aside the rule of law on a whim if it suits their (probably hysterical) feelings to do so.

As an FSP, I am of course always doing that with my own personal research. Despite decades of experience as a scientist, I’ll be doing some research thing, and when it comes time to interpret the results, or make any big decision for that matter, I get all emotional and I forget all the bedrock rules of math and science, and I just go with whatever my emotions tell me to do at that exact moment. I really can’t help it.

It’s too bad I’m not teaching right now, since this would make a great case for the discussion of gender stereotypes.

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