Monday, October 10, 2005

the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court

Has unfortunately brought back some law school memories for me. Harriet graduated from law school 6 years before I did. But both of us went to southern law schools and the intervening 6 years changed little other than the numbers of women attending same. When I went approximately 27% of my class were women.

Women in my law school were accused of taking the rightful place of a man who had a family to support. Told at graduate dormitory dinners, by the (male) speaker that he was surprised to learn that you had to go to law school to be a legal secretary. Accused of being secret lesbians.

However, the worst story of what happened to women in my law school at the time concerns a law school criminal law professor. He was renowned for being an outlaw to begin with--rumored to have been disbarred for lapses in behavior, yet here he was a tenured faculty member. The day's criminal law lecture concerned rape. And the prof was concerned about the need for penetration to cement the crime. He called on a hapless first year female student:

"Miss X, I was wondering if you could tell me how much penetration is sufficient to constitute rape. Is this much enough [pointing to the upraised seond finger on his left hand]? Is this much enough [pointing to his left wrist as the hand is fully extended]? Is THIS MUCH ENOUGH [now extending his left arm and pointing from the elbow on up]. No, Miss X, THIS, THIS IS ECSTASY!!!"

And that's what it was like to go to law school female. Miers was one of 2 women in her class. I would fully expect that she suffered abuse like this or worse while she was there. The question is whether she has fully blocked it away or whether it will have some influence on how she sees the issues. To be very honest, I don't think we will ever know because given how the right wings is starting to behave like reavers, she will withdraw her nomination to protect her boss, "the most brilliant man" she's ever met. That's certainly a poke in the eye of all Dallas males at the very least. They should be raving too.