WARNING: This post has nothing to do with politics. Any comments about the political side and whether Judge Barrett is qualified or unqualified to be a Supreme Court Justice will be deleted. I do not care what your political beliefs are. This is about women being judged on something other than knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Supreme Court Nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, has seven children–the oldest is 16 and the youngest is five. Everyone is, presumably, out of diapers and in school. And while most women don’t have seven children, most women do have children (or will have at some point). And just what type of mother she is or if she sends them to daycare or has a nanny is completely irrelevant to her ability to do her job.
So, when I saw these tweets, I went apoplectic.
I guess one of the things I don't understand about Amy Comey Barrett is how a potential Supreme Court justice can also be a loving, present mom to seven kids? Is this like the Kardashians stuffing nannies in the closet and pretending they've drawn their own baths for their kids— Vanessa Grigoriadis (@vanessagrigor) September 26, 2020
I wonder this, too. It may be sexist to ask the question, but childcare arrangements are usually inherently sexist. Is Barrett's husband the primary caregiver? He's a partner in a law firm. Are the older kids raising the younger kids, one of whom has special needs?— Meghan Daum (@meghan_daum) September 26, 2020
The problem is, it's a setup. Because if people start asking about that, she and/or her supporters will say "would you ask this of a man, even a man whose wife has a big career outside the home?" Well, probably not. But just because it's unfair doesn't mean it's not worth asking.— Meghan Daum (@meghan_daum) September 26, 2020
It absolutely is not worth asking. We NEVER ask these questions of job candidates. And I can’t imagine that this type of question has ever been asked of a male Supreme Court nominee. Chief Justice Roberts had toddlers when he was nominated. Former Justice Antonin Scalia (for whom Coney Barrett clerked) had nine children. I couldn’t find the ages of his children, but here’s a picture from 1986, when he was sworn into the court.
Clearly, there are some young kids there. And while I don’t remember anything about his senate hearings (I was 13), I’m pretty sure no one advocated asking about his child care arrangements.
This is 2020. We should not ask any female candidate for any job about her child care arrangements. We should not ask any female candidate if she has children. I’d point out that we shouldn’t ask this of male candidates, but we don’t already.
Whether you like it or not a mothers first and most important job is to make sure her children are nourished, healthy and safe. Some of us can do it all well or so we think. When men give birth to children they too can be asked the same questions. Until then she needs to answer!— teresa durigon (@treebe1) September 26, 2020
We should ask women the same questions as we ask men. These questions should determine if the candidate can do the job. As long as the children don’t show up at the office, it’s all good.
These questions are sexist and inappropriate, period. If you don’t like Judge Barrett, they are inappropriate. If you love Judge Barrett, they are inappropriate.
We need to eliminate this line of questioning from every job interview, and that’s what a Supreme Court Nominee hearing is–a job interview.