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May 25, 2010

WAPO: Elena Kagan, Close Your Legs!

<span style="font-size: x-small;">Hyungwon Kang/Reuters</span>
Hyungwon Kang/Reuters

Maybe a traditional media fixture like WAPO fashion writer Robin Givhan (remember her no-longer-fatboy-Huckabee takedown? ) is so insulated from reality, she can just publish anything that pops into her head.  In this case, however, I can’t imagine she isn’t going to feel the boomerang.

The photo above, by the way, is the Reuters shot that illustrates her Miss Manners power trip.

I’m just going to leave you with a few choice snips from Ms. Givhan (then I’m going to duck)….


She put on rouge and lipstick for the formal White House announcement of her nomination, but mostly she embraced dowdy as a mark of brainpower. She walked with authority and stood up straight during her visits to the Hill, but once seated and settled during audiences with senators, she didn’t bother maintaining an image of poised perfection. She sat hunched over. She sat with her legs ajar.

Her posture stands out because for so many women, when they sit, they cross. People tend to mimic each other’s body language during a conversation, especially if they’re trying to connect with one another. But even when Kagan sits across from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who has her legs crossed at the knees, Kagan keeps both feet planted firmly on the ground. Her body language will not be bullied into conformity.

She does not cross her legs at the ankles either, the way so many older women do. Instead, Kagan sits, in her sensible skirts, with her legs slightly apart, hands draped in her lap. The woman and her attire seem utterly at odds. She is intent on being comfortable. No matter what the clothes demand. No matter the camera angle.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan (L) meets with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in Klobuchar’s Capitol Hill office in Washington May 13, 2010.

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