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NY Times Gently Mocks Matrimaniacs

Publication Date: 
May 16, 2010
Source: 
Psychology Today

Professor Deborah Rhode is quoted in this article on critiques of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's personal life choices. Bella DePaulo of Psychology Today filed the story:

Amidst all the silly fretting about how Elena Kagan has no husband and no children (she has served merely as Dean of Harvard Law School and is now nominated to the Supreme Court - poor thing!), the New York Times has published something with a very different tone. To my ear, it was a gently mocking story, in which the enlightened voices got the loudest and the last words.

Deborah Rhode of Stanford Law School, director of their Center on the Legal Profession, told the Times writer (Laura Holson) that a different reporter had called to ask her this: Does Kagan have what it takes to rule on workplace issues, considering she has no children of her own? Rhode was having none of it. In the course of her discussion with Holson, she said:

...

"I do think it is a step back if we start to penalize women for not making the conventional choice...I resist the notion that the only way to be happy in the world is you have to be married."

...

"For those who remain single, the reason should not have to be explained."