THIS JUST IN: ELENA KAGAN AND SOFTBALL — AN AFTERELLEN.COM ANALYSIS
When a 50-year-old, single, smart, successful, short-haired woman captured the public eye as nominee for the Supreme Court, we knew what was coming: “Elena Kagan is a lesbian.”
I suppose we can find a backhanded compliment in the inevitable assumption that smart, strong women are gay. But the headlines still provoke a sigh, particularly when gay bloggers like Andrew Sullivan write that Obama is using Kagan to “advance the cause of the closet.”
Logo site 365Gay.com has summarized the brouhaha, in case you need to catch up. But even though the question of Kagan’s orientation has been asked and answered, Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, which carried a front-page photo of Kagan playing softball in 1993, indicates that the subject is far from closed.
AfterEllen.com, not being a political site, has left the analysis to other sites. But bringing softball into the controversy makes it too personal to ignore. So, we asked our experts to examine the photographic evidence. Their conclusion: not only does the photo not prove that Kagan is a lesbian, but it points to quite the opposite.
Keds. Lesbians do not play softball in Keds. They are slippery and impractical. As blogger Heather Hogan says, “I wear cleats to check the mail.”
Grip. Occasional AfterEllen.com blogger and softball dyke Anna Wahrman says, simply, “A real lesbian wouldn’t choke up on the bat that much.” Plus, Kagan is squeezing the bat awfully hard, which stiffens the swing. Lesbians tend to have a more natural grip, having never been conditioned to hold tightly to tubular objects.
Jewelry. Kagan is wearing pearl earrings and a watch. Not a sports watch, mind you – a regular women’s watch. When I played softball, jewelry was not only silly, it was against the rules. If a lesbian wears any accessory, it’s a wristband.
Bare head. Blogger Lesley Goldberg offers: “She needs a hat. Or a visor if she really wants to have gay softball cred.” (Note: I think visors are a regional variation. Softball dykes around here wear baseball caps.) In the event of an actual game, of course, lesbian batters wear helmets.
Clothes. Kagan has on jeans and an oxford shirt over a henley. Goldberg: “Really, a button-down?” Exactly. And jeans? How would jeans fit over your knee brace? Besides, you want maximum flexibility in case you have to slide into second and accidentally kick your ex’s new GF face first into the sand.
Batting stance. Goldberg: “Where do I start with that softball stance? Gah!” Suffice it to say that she is not positioned to actually hit the ball.
Smile. Um, Ms. Kagan? This is a softball game. Leave that grin in the law review offices where it belongs. Goldberg: “I don’t care if someone I’m dating is pitching, I’m hitting it up the middle.” Spoken like a true lesbian.
For quick reference, Heather Hogan created this chart, comparing Kagan’s softball appearance to that of out lesbian player Lauren Lappin.
We are no experts on judicial matters, although an informed source tells us that administrative law and constitutional law, which Kagan taught, are definitely the gayest kinds of law. But we are lesbians, and we know softball. We rest our case.
Hey, did somebody say “case?” Who wants beer?
— by thelinster