I think it's downright hilarious. I'm supposed to see a woman as a role model more rapidly than a man -- just because it's a woman instead of a man. *Chortle.* If that's not sexist, honey, (oh sorry), I don't know what is. If this side-splitting theory was correct, then I'd be more likely to relate to the Sonia Sotomayor (the self-described "wise Latina" sitting on the Supreme Court) than John Roberts, chief justice. I'd be more likely to identify with Hillary than Thomas Sowell. I'd feel a closer kinship with Paris Hilton than Charlton Heston. Not on your life, sister!
Have we gotten so wrapped up in our consumer culture that we can't see past the packaging? When I'm looking for a hero, the trappings can be an added bonus, but they're never at the crux of my decision. It's the ideas inside that I'm looking at. Sure, Katie Couric's hair may be a bit better styled than Buckley's often was. But when I say that Buckley's my hero and Katie ain't, well, it's all about worldview.
It's segregation all over again, the assumption that only those look like one another can get along with another.
In case you're wondering what I think about diversity, let me just say that the kind of diversity my current university trumpets is skin-deep at best. Is there a good assortment of skin colors in the admissions picture? Okay, good. We're diverse. But what about worldview diversity? The room goes silent. I've just uttered the deplorable word.
(Originally written 1/12/10)