Major national advocates for women are pushing back hard against the Washington Post's Robin Givhan who attacked Elena Kagan last week for being “dowdy” while obsessing over her own observation that the Supreme Court nominee “doesn't appear to ever cross her legs.”
National Organization for Women (NOW) -- the nation's “largest organization of feminist activists” -- says Givhan's column was “sexist” and that the conversation over Kagan's nomination should “move on to the substance of her views.”
In a statement provided to Media Matters, NOW's action vice president Erin Matson said:
There are a number of questions we should ask when, in 2010, it is considered remarkable for a woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court. But does she cross her legs? Dress like a lady? Give me a break.
It's common sense that calling Elena Kagan frumpy or dowdy is sexist. Same goes with sensationalizing the way she sits in a chair. Let's move on to the substance of her views.
Similarly, Jehmu Greene -- president of the Women's Media Center (WMC), which strives to make “women visible and powerful in the media” -- chided Givhan for her “narrow-minded analysis” in a post on the WMC's blog.
Even after Media Matters went to great lengths disproving the vapid musings of Givhan by offering up a variety of photos showing Kagan meeting with Senators and President Obama with her legs crossed, the Post writer stood by her false attacks.
- Megyn Kelly defends Givhan, says that her mother “would scold me” for sitting like Kagan
- Former NYT editor: Post's Givhan attacks “women of substance…for the bad taste of not looking like, well, her”
- Sen. Klobuchar slams Wash. Post report on Kagan's “leg-crossing style”
- Givhan Stands By Kagan Column
- Washington Post's leg-crossing column: Superficial and False
- WaPost's Givhan at it again, rips “dowdy” Kagan who “doesn't appear to ever cross her legs”