lawblogger

Should you let him call you sweetheart?

I've recently been ruminating on the things that help men and women get ahead in law and whether they will ever truly be gender-neutral.  I had a guy friend who became a confidant of a powerful partner because he reminded that partner of his son (presumably a woman would have been less likely to remind him of his son, but if she reminded him of his daughter and got the same preferential treatment, would that be okay?).  I had a similar experience where a supervisor commented that I reminded of his granddaughter... and then he would sometimes call me sweetheart.  When…

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lawblogger

Why Was It Funny for Obama’s Speechwriter to Grope Senator Clinton?

If you look up Barack Obama's 27-year-old speechwriter, Jon Favreau, on Wikipedia, you'll learn that n December of 2008, "a picture of Favreau performing a suggestive gesture (grabbing a breast) to a cardboard cut-out of Hillary Clinton surfaced on Facebook" and that allegedly Clinton's "spokesman referred to the photo as 'an example of just good-natured fun between former rival camps.'" I was drawn to Wikipedia after hearing Obama's inspirational inauguration speech--I wanted to learn more about its author. I wish I were more surprised that a 27-year-old guy would find it funny at a party to sexually molest a U.S.…

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lawblogger

Is Toe Cleavage Unprofessional?

Over at Women Lawyers Back On Track, there's an interesting post on something I admit I never even considered: is it unprofessional to wear shoes that show "toe cleavage"? As reported by the Memphis Daily News, a group of 16 judges and attorneys met at the Tennessee Supreme Court to discuss a dress code for attorneys. The meeting "included an impromptu modeling of shoes to determine if either pair represented 'cocktail shoes,' and if they did, whether they were inappropriate or disrespectful to the courts. It also included questions about how much arm is too much for a woman to…

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lawblogger

Women Supervisors: The Danger of Micromanaging

Lately, I’ve started to wonder if women are more likely to be ineffective managers than men. I think, after mulling it over for a few days, that women (who we already know have to work harder to get into positions of power) might have perfectionist complexes that go past the objective and into the subjective, which might make them difficult to work under. For example, I have a friend who has been complaining to me about his boss (a woman). He says that she likes to be kept “in the loop” on everything he does, including minor emails, and that…

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lawblogger

Women Blaming Women for Lack of Work/Life Balance

I was shocked to read Monique Doyle Spencer's article in the Boston Globe, Working women, where did we go so wrong? The title should give you an uh-oh feeling, but I was completely unprepared for Doyle's topic sentence: "I think we women ruined the workplace." In a nutshell, her argument is that wolmen responded to their opportunities to finally work in high-power jobs by working harder than their male counterparts without demanding salary increases when, according to Doyle, they should have worked the same hours as men and demanded equal pay. Consequently, her argument goes, women blew an opportunity to…

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lawblogger

Can you be likable and still get ahead?

I read Are You Living Your Life Like You're Planning to Fail on Ms. JD the other day and thought of it immediately when I read this article in the New York Times on the imposter phenomenon. The imposter phenomenon was coined by two therapists in the 1970s "to describe the internal experience of a group of high-achieving women who had a secret sense they were not as capable as others thought." Now, researchers have found that men and women of all ages experience the imposter phenomenon, which basically means you think you've achieved your success because of being lucky…

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lawblogger

“Different Leadership Styles” or Gender Bias: How Do You Get Behind Euphemisms?

After only 17 months in her post, Susan Prager, the first female president of Occidental College, resigned. Gender bias is not cited as the cause of her departure by any of the parties involved. Instead, neutral words that say very little purport to explain the resignation. Prager said she did not have "a strong compatibility" with the board chairman and senior administrators. Dennis Collins, the board chairman, expressed regrets that he and Dean Prager "were not able to work together as [they] envisioned."Prager's position at Occidental was not her first foray into leadership: Prager was the dean of UCLA Law…

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lawblogger

Flextime Mommies: How Can We Avoid Resentment?

Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years.I was reading this article on the "army of exploitative mummies" (the British way to write mommies) in the Ms. JD Weekly Round-up, and my first reaction was indignation. The article argues that resentment toward flextime workers is justified and that "however good it sounds in theory, in the nasty detail of practice, flexible working all too often imposes a burden on businesses, on standards, on services, on clients and on the economy." Before continuing, it's important to note that…

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lawblogger

Can you take a compliment?

I’ve noticed that I really can’t. Professionally, I seem to demean myself a lot by refusing to accept compliments and by trying to make other people feel more comfortable around me by pretending that I’m not really that good at anything. It's not that I don't think I'm good at anything, it's more that 1) don't want to be seen as a braggart or as someone with a huge ego and 2) my socialized impulse always seems to be brushing off compliments rather than accepting them. I notice that a lot of other women behave similarly, either reflecting a compliment…

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lawblogger

Are We Unwilling to Break the Glass Ceiling?

Last week the Financial News featured an article boldly called Women Unwilling to Break Glass Ceiling. The byline read, "Lack of aspiration and financial motivation, rather than overt discrimination, might be to blame." Of course, a lack of "overt discrimination" doesn't exactly leave you with "lack of aspiration," and the article itself, byline aside, seemed to illustrate that covert discrimination might be just as likely a candidate for the perpetuation of the glass ceiling as a lack of aspiration.The article was based on data from the financial industry and quotes UK sources (which could account for a lot). Some of…

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