I don't know that anything's really changed; I've just learned to navigate the darkness. (Let that depressing statement linger for a while.)
On that happy note...
I don't fancy myself a feminist.
And maybe it's just the effect of law school. Or being alone again for the first time in a little while and all the overthinking that comes of that.
But my newfound feminista is also born of experience.
My pre-law career didn't prepare me for any sort of sexism.
Miss Honey, Ms. Frizzle, Ms. Krabappel, Miss Bliss (bless her heart for holding on to that "Miss" as long as possible).
The image of the female elementary teacher is prevalent in pop culture.
If a potential employer was expecting something else, that was really their fault.
And then I went to law school.
I spent the last month of school in desperation, studying for finals while going on interview after interview in search of summer employment.
One interview in particular had me so unsettled that I mentioned it to several friends:
During this interview, I was asked what my sister and mother do for a living. Odd, irrelevant question, right?
Upon hearing that they both chose the arduous and never-ending career of stay-at-home mothering, the conversation took a turn. I was told that I should ascertain whether the legal field was right for me because it is incredibly time consuming.
My interviewer also inquired as to my relationship status. He oh-so-helpfully advised that, if I have a significant other who will be put off by my working late in the evening, I need to choose my relationship over my career.
I walked away absolutely certain that they would be offering the position to literally anyone else who happened to possess a Y chromosome.
I walked away also doubting myself - was I reading too much into that?
The question I kept coming back to was: Would he have said any of that to a man?
This type of thing - not this exact situation, but little comments or situations that are ever-so-slightly discriminatory - is not at all uncommon.
Stories get passed around at our weekly happy hours. I won't be so audacious as to call them war stories, but for privileged white girls who (fingers crossed) won't have to face the draft, office buildings and law firms are our Yorktown in the revolution against crusty old men who just need to die or retire already.
I'm working at that law firm because F*** Bitches, Get Money, amiright?
But really, I needed some income. #paycheck>principles
So this one goes out to some of my favorite lady lawyers:
In the first of her far-too-few appearances on the West Wing, Ainsley is shown absolutely owning the cute boy (on live TV, no less) after being wholly underestimated by his entire political party.
A brainy, conservative, socially awkward blonde? HI, KINDRED SPIRIT.
Ainsley would agree with me: the feminist movement is inane and embarrassing, but we (occasionally) still need to wave that banner.
Elle did it for a boy. And then she did it for herself. That is realistic & inspiring.
There are lots of lessons to be learned from Legally Blonde:
Don't write people off based on first impressions. Or second impressions.
Get your motivation from yourself.
Exercise prevents prison sentences.
And a lesson I'm in the process of learning:
Asses kicked by the Iron Lady: communism, inflation, government spending, Argentina.
All while raising twins.
>>Honorable Mention: C.J. Cregg & Donna (from Suits)
While not a lawyer, C.J. Cregg was close enough to the law to count. She handled being White House Press Secretary with wit and stood up to the President a time or two. I support it.
And Donna is my lady love.
For the record: I am nothing like Miranda. Gross.
May we all become the lawyers our parents hoped we'd marry,