WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Saturday, March 22, 2014

SEXISM AND RACISM

UPDATE: HEAT LOSE AGAIN.

Slate has this article entitled "Female lawyers who dress too sexy are a HUGE problem in the courtroom." 

Loyola Law School would like to remind its female students to button up. “I really don't need to mention that cleavage and stiletto heels are not appropriate office wear (outside of ridiculous lawyer TV shows), do I? Yet I'm getting complaints from supervisors... Judge A. Benjamin  Goldgar of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois explained that female lawyers dressing too sexily is “a huge problem” and that “you don’t dress in court as if it’s Saturday night and you’re going out to a party.” 

Query: Is this a problem in Miami? Are lawyers dressing as strumpets on the prowl? 

RACISM: 
At NCAA Basketball powerhouse Harvard, the students are complaining about something called "Racial Microaggressions" which are seemingly innocuous comments that have racial undertones, even if unintended. At Harvard, they put on a play:
In one scene, students recite phrases they have been told, presumably by nonblack students, including “You only got in because you’re black” and “The government feels bad for you.” In another scene, a black student dressed in a tuxedo and a red bow tie describes being at a formal university function and being confused for a waiter.

The NY Times article is here, and apparently there is a huge blogging scene about racial microaggressions. 

Rumpole says: there are, in general, two types of racist conduct:

1) The person who has been raised in a racist atmosphere and doesn't realize it. This person thinks Asians make good computer programmers, Jews are good business people, blacks are good athletes....etc, etc. 

2) People who are overtly racist and angry (fearful) about other races. This is pure ignorance and there's not a lot you can do about these people. Eventually their generational thoughts will age out as they die and society evolves. 

All of us make ignorant comments at one time or another.  You can't outlaw moments of stupidity. The best you can do is to limit the effects of racism as new generations of children grow up in a world with no tolerance for racism. In that regard we are on the right path. 

Towards the end of his life Dr. Martin King realized that the next great challenge for our country was economic racism. He was killed in Memphis while supporting a sanitation workers strike. He had an economic march on Washington planned for the future. It wasn't the color of a person's skin so much as the opportunity to earn a decent living that he was worried about. And he was right. 

Today the gap between the richest and poorest among us it enormous and growing. The determining factor for a good life, health and success is not so much the color of a person's skin as whether the child's mother got adequate pre-natal care, and whether the child had access to preschool, a good kindergarden, a home environment without violence and fear. Economics plays a role in all of this.  There's very few  teenagers from wealthy families  who get arrested for strong armed robbery, or dealing crack on a street corner. 

Meanwhile Russia is threatening Lichenstein. At some point we need to draw the line lest some world leader be labeled the next Neville Chamberlin. 

See You In Court. 




23 comments:

Anonymous said...

In a small but significant gesture, the owners of Caribbean Cigars and the hip nightclub REN banned Putin and his cronies from entering the premises.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole,

Most of what you said about racism is true of sexism as well. People grow up in it and are unconsciously sexist, or they're overtly and consciously sexist, and there's an enormous economic gap between men and women.

Let's reframe your question about women's courtroom attire like this: are afros or dreads in the courtroom a "huge problem." Anyone can see that this question conveys racism. Your uncritical posting of the other question is troubling, unless you're being ironic and I've missed the wink.

Most white men think of themselves as the norm, and of women and blacks as the other, to be objectified and dominated. What the judge who called women's courtroom attire "a huge problem" really meant was that it created "a huge (or tiny) problem" under his robe.

You know how men (and women unaware of their oppression) say the victim of a rape brought it on herself by dressing as she did? The judge's remark is nothing but an effort to deflect blame for his tumescence onto his victims, the women who appear before him. He wants to control them instead of controlling himself.

I have never seen a woman lawyer whose courtroom attire was truly inappropriate. I've seen women expressing themselves or embracing their beauty or making themselves comfortable in ways that are consistent with their roles. Men respond to women's beauty for biological reasons. It is their job, not their female colleagues', to keep their junk in check.

How about pinstripe burkas for those lawyer gals out there?

Anonymous said...

I guess I am a racist. I always assumed the following:
1. Jews are disproportionately doctors, lawyers, and jewelry merchants.
2. The NFL, NBA, and NCAA Division I football have a huge disproportionate number of black vis a vis the general population.
3. And Oriental students do disproportionately well on standardized math tests.
Must be my racist attitude that made me think the above. But . . .wait! I got these numbers from the US Government! That damn statistical abstract of the US. How dare they brainwash us all by publishing the truth!

Anonymous said...

That judge is crazy! He should enjoy the sight of the beautiful female defense attorneys sexily dressed. If he's such a pervert that the sexy female lawyers disturb his work, then he should step of the U.S, Bankruptcy Court and apply to be a tribal judge in a Taliban-controlled area.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody really want to get into a land war with Russia? Look what happened to the last two "superpowers" that tried to do that. Even Rumpole's hero Ronnie Reagan knew that you draw the line on macho postering there. If you look at this from Putin's perspective, he is merely responding to 20 years of expanding NATO's boundries to ridiculous extremes.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Shumie. Don't let those commie bastards push you around!

Anonymous said...

If you want to be taken seriously then dress accordingly. You can dress to kill without looking like you are dressed to hook.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen the way young PDs dress lately? It looks like they are prepared to go clubbing at the drop of a hat. Not professional.

Anonymous said...

And ladies, if you choose to dress in revealing clothing, please do not clutch your (exposed) chests in shock and revulsion when males of your species objectify you.

Anonymous said...

I need a new set of dilithium crystals. Even recycled is fine, but I can't spend a lot. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I am a former Judge.

I loved scantily clad and sexy women in my court room.

Please keep being feminine and sexy!

Anonymous said...

Thank you 1:00 pm. I am a civil lawyer and spend a lot of time waiting for my cases to be called on motion calendar. Within the group of Scantily Clad Female Lawyers, there are three discernible categories:
1. 25-30 year old newly minted associates. Here you get black pumps, conservative skirts and a clear outline of the breasts. The rest is left to the imagination. Think Lauren Bacall with a law degree.
2. The ethnic MILF. Whether Jewish or Hispanic, they come with brightly colored high heels, a mini skirt that is two inches too short, and bout three inches of cleavage with the buttons about ready to burst. An extra 10-15 pounds south of the navel and north of the mid thigh is a standard feature of this variation. Think of a white Tina Turner circa 1996.
3. The silicon goddess. 55+. My personal favorites because they have that "come on" look that makes even an old geezer like myself feel wanted and attractive. The phrase "factory refurbished" screams out here. Think Angie Dickinson and Suzanne Somers in the twilight of their careers.
Regardless of the type, they all make appearing in court a bit less tedious.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole,

You ought to feel ashamed of the caliber of your commenters. I am ashamed that they are my colleagues. 2:10 is of course the most repulsive, but there are others just as bad who simply lacked 2:10's industry and bent for taxonomy.

The attitude expressed in these comments carries over into litigation. But yeah, let's blame that on the sartorial choices of the women who practice with, against and before your readers.

Try to imagine your wives, sisters, nieces, daughters and granddaughters as the objects of these comments. Do you really think another inch north or south would protect them from this disgraceful commentary?

I'm starting to feel soiled just looking at this site, as if it gushed misogynistic fetishism. Oh wait. . .

Rumpole, not long ago a woman commenter asked to be added to your roster of guest posters. Might make for a nice change. You might also consider blocking this swill, in the interest of the wider legal community, that is, both male and female lawyers.

Anonymous said...

say what you will, but as a prosecutor I would always exercise a peremptory on a heavy set black woman wearing a hat.

Anonymous said...

Where is Angry Gurl? Would love to hear her opinion in this topic.

Anonymous said...

2:10 p.m., just saw in the REGB a perfect example of #3 in your comment. Lawyers and court staff laughed seeing how accurate your comment is LOL

Anonymous said...

Don't any of these commenters have wives, daughters or sisters? This is gross. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

2:10

You hit it out of the park

By the way, I " ran a batch" to your post

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:26, grow up? Wait until you get a few ex wives under your belt who will bleed you dry. Then come back.

Anonymous said...

11:26, my thoughts exactly.

Anonymous said...

You want to be taken seriously? Don't dress like you're ready to troll Blue Martini.
You don't have a great body? Put on some slacks and a blouse and jacket and move on. Don't wear a moo moo.
Oh, and that ankle/wrist/neck tattoo you got in undergrad looks very professional now. Enjoy being stuck at the PDO.
Rex.

Anonymous said...

3:27, your having made a coupla bad marriages justifies your misogyny? Like a guy who justifies his race hatred on a crime by a black man.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole,

This link will give you and your male readers a sense of how more evolved lawyers (like Nebraskans) regard the federal district judge with the "huge problem" under his robe. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/richard-kopf-blog-post-attire

I am disappointed in your uncritical linking to the judge's post and your subsequent silence in the face of the knuckle-draggers' grunts of approval.
Clearly the knuckle-draggers look up to you. Why not do something useful with the influence you've sought to cultivate through your blog.