femme footnote

The 1L feminine experience is a paradox.  Picture a modern day classroom filled with women reading century-old cases absent a feminine perspective.  Women are systemically removed from the picture.  As a class, we collectively go weeks without hearing about a female party or from a female judge (save Ginsburg’s use of female-gendered pronouns in her opinions, which are few and far between).

This is no fault of the faculty or curriculum — this is a universal norm, I’d venture to guess.  As 1L’s, we are expected to learn the fundamental law; thus, we are reading excerpts from a male-dominated narrative written many lifetimes ago.  I just wonder to what extent the legal opinions (and therefore, the law) would be different if women had access to the legal system earlier in history.

In short, I can’t help but wish that Posner was a woman.  Instead, I’m left with a squib on battered women, a diva named Lady Duff-Gordon, and “poor, old” Miss Davis…ode to the marginalized victims of the 1L experience!


Alex Paslawsky posted on October 19, 2010 at 10:35 pm

The use of female-gendered pronouns! This actually distracts me when I read a case. I think that proves your point pretty well, no?

Max Cravenstock posted on October 19, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Wow, an insightful post. Thanks for the perspective. I love women, and enjoy thinking about how the feminine touch would have rubbed the judicial system.


dlinhart posted on October 20, 2010 at 10:51 am

Hah, though I wonder with you what might have been, I’m equally curious of what will be, going forward, with your femme power in the legal world!