Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Feminism

The talking heads on Fox news have gotten a lot of comments on Facebook lately, talking about the "feminization" of society, whining about how difficult it is now days to be a "real man".  So amusing.  I benefited a great deal from the feminist movement.  It was gathering full steam when I applied to law school.  I got recruited by several.  My class at Wayne State was about 25% women, the first class with such a significant number.  At that time, how women were addressed was a big deal.  We were all supposed to object to appellations, like "honey", "dear", "sweetie",  "girl", etc.  However, once I passed the bar exam and got my first job at the Juvenile Defender Office, I found that this issue dimmed somewhat in importance.  One older gentleman attorney had worked Juvenile court for fifty years.  It was immediately clear to me that he had forgotten more than I knew.  He always called me honey.  I never took any offense at all.  He really liked all of us young crusaders from the Defender office.  He would have done anything to help us do our jobs.  His manner was so dignified and courtly it impossible to feel diminished, no matter how he addressed me.
Another attorney, a middle aged man, called me "young lady" and similar endearments.  He was another veteran of Juvenile court who mentored me.  Sometimes we'd just talk about our families.  He told me an old Yiddish saying, "Small children, small problems.  Big children, big problems."  Boy, did he get that one right.
These two gentlemen, Max Barahal and Loren Goodman, were "real men".   After I met them, I got a lot less strident about the little things.