Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You Wonder Why I Am A Feminist Of Some Sort?

My family, God love them, is very Catholic and very Conservative/Republican. So, that's what I grew up with. Was inculcated with. What I said in grade school.

The point I was forcibly reminded of today was the family position on feminism. A. To be feminist is to be femi-nazi (I hate anything that includes the word nazi, because, really? Six million dead is what you think you are accurately comparing here?) B. It Just Doesn't Work (this is the part where my Dad says that women should not work outside the house because it isn't right and the children end up deformed and neglected and God is displeased with the woman) C. The need for feminism is all made up anyways (there is no good old boys club, women don't receives less opportunity or pay, etc. They make it all up!)

To some extent, I got to hear all this again when I went to law school--calling me a feminist with a nasty sneer, imploring me to remember my future deformed and neglected children, but at the same time, saying, "Well, at least women are equal in the legal profession."

Well, let your fears be rested, gentlemen--there is still a good old boys network.

Let's talk about Lawyer A in my office, who may or may not be me or another attorney. A is sitting in a chair, waiting for everyone to enter the courtroom, when older male lawyer (OML) comes in and says, "You should have worn a shorter skirt" (A's skirt is actually below the knees) "because this is an all day hearing and I was counting on your nice legs to get me through it." A stares in disbelief.

OML is talking to client while A moves a table in the courtroom. A hears OML say "Well, let me give this to that mean ass attorney." A refuses to respond to name calling. "Let's see if I can get the bitch to turn around to talk to me." A is somewhere between laughing and sheer amazement. "What a c*^t." (Lordy, even I won't say that, it's just gross.) OML finally comes up, addresses A by her proper name, and gives her the document.

During the hearing, there are several points where OML decides to roam the floor while presenting evidence. Because of the way the courtroom is situated, OML has to walk behind A. As he does, he reaches out and runs his fingers through A's hair. A stares at him in disbelief. He does it again, tugging a bit more firmly. A shakes him off, and looks at the judge, who is looking at the witness. OML does it AGAIN, this time tugging A's hair hard enough to jerk her head back. A shakes him off a little harder, then readjusts her chair so that he can't wander behind her anymore.

As they are leaving, A is treated to a request for "a much shorter skirt next time, sweetheart."

So, yes. I think this is wildly inappropriate. I think there is a old boys club that thinks this is okay, and I work with them everyday. I don't think I should have to stay at home or endure being treated like this.

And I don't think I am crazy or militant for saying it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! You are crazy right with this post! I also am frequently accused of being a "feminist" by my Catholic friends/family, but really, they should be just as upset when this kind of thing happens, and it DOES happen! Where's the dignity of women? Where's the viewing all people as children of God? I am SO glad I'm not the only one!