Friday, July 1, 2011

Gender and Trials

Rod Blagojevich's trial recently ended, where he was convicted of most of the counts on which he was accused.  Mary Schmich asks if Blagojevich's trial would have worked the same way if the jury had not been predominately women.
I would also think it would be interesting to compare the idea that women juries are different with the idea that Latina judges are different a la the debate when Sotomayor was up for election during the Supreme Court. 
But as I read this the article in question, I was struck by the essentializing nature of the article, which placed women and femininity with certain stereotypes like being nurturing and apparently talking about feelings.  It is not that women cannot or should not do these things, but women are always being defined by those stereotypes, and those stereotypes prevents them from expressing themselves in other ways.  (And if they do exhibit other characteristics, they are immediately deemed variations of "unwomanly.") 

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