I'm so glad softball season has ended before someone could take a photo of my daughters that may jeopardize their chances of sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Of course, it's too late to get rid of pictures of them running track and cross country or playing soccer, flag football and basketball, so I guess they'll have to settle for U.S. Secretary of State.
Single women aspiring to positions of power have always had to deal with whispers about their sexual preferences. But I like to think that by the time my two daughters reach the pinnacle of their careers, their love of sports won't be viewed as a sign of their sexuality.
Of course I'm talking about the 17-year-old photo of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan holding a softball bat that the Wall Street Journal decided to publish this month. I'm not surprised by the frenzy the photo created – Did the Wall Street Journal run the pic to slyly suggest Kagan is a lesbian? Or was it an attempt to humanize someone in the public light? – or the speculation about which way Kagan likes to swing. It's been 38 years since Title IX opened up the world of female athletics; it'll probably be another 38 before people accept that some girls like to sweat as much as they like to have sex with men.What surprises me is that, even though their motivations are different, many commentators on the left and right agree on one thing: If Kagan is gay then she should come out of the closet. They're saying the same thing about former Secretary of State Condi Rice, who officially made this lesbian sports innuendo month by recently writing an opinion piece in the Daily Beast on why she loves women's basketball and the WNBA.
I'm all for full disclosure in a perfect world. But hate crimes, gay bashings and parents who disown their children don't happen in a perfect world. We've come a long way, it's true, but gay bloggers are delusional if they think this country is ready to embrace true diversity. Not when you have groups like the so-called American Family Association stating that "no gay person could be qualified to sit on the Supreme Court." Not when parents kick their prom queen son out of their house, as the mom and dad of a gay Flanagan High student did this month.
Openly gay Catholic commentator Andrew Sullivan argues in his blog for The Atlantic that "in a free society in the 21st Century, it is not illegitimate to ask. And it is cowardly not to tell."
That's easy judgment from someone who chose to come out and now makes a living writing from the gay perspective. I'll agree with him when a free society means that we no longer need closets and that girls can swing bats without being labeled switch hitters. Maybe by then we'll have enough women on the Supreme Court to make a softball team.