The XX Factor

Barack’s Angels?

Every day the media attention paid President Obama’s Supreme Court shortlist gets a little more bogged down in reviving cheesy literary archetypes. Articles like this one unerringly paint Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the tempestuous “Fiery Latina” to Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s tender “Den Mother” and then contrast both to Diane Wood’s brainy “Bench Balancer.” Why do these three types seem so eerily familiar? Hmm. Might it be because “Feisty Gal” “Soothing Peacekeeper,” and “Brainy Bookworm” are pretty much the three heroines of every airport book ever penned? They’re the three clichéd pillars of women’s fiction. Oh my God. They’re Jill, Kelly, and Sabrina !