Sunday, July 31, 2016

Why We Need A Woman President

I know that many people, including women, do not see the need for a female president. They think that women are capable, women head other countries, and a woman will eventually be president anyway. Many of these women are young and have experienced no sexism in their lifetimes. Perhaps, for them, once they bear children, society will treat them as well as men and there will be no pay differential. Perhaps, my representation of women in employment discrimination and sexual harassment cases will dry up, because sex discrimination will be obliterated in this new, open-minded society. However, we are not there yet.

I know things are better than when I was a girl. We no longer have want ads that separate "men's" and "women's" jobs in the newspaper, like we did when I was young. Women can no longer evade jury duty simply because of their gender. Perhaps the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the Vatican won't prohibit women with sleeveless blouses and shorter skirts, like I was banned in 1973 when my grandmother took our family to Israel and Rome. And, at least in the Kansas City area, judges can no longer ban women in slacks from their courtrooms, as one judge did early in my career. Perhaps bosses no longer will try to order their employees back to work 6 weeks after giving birth, as my boss did. I refused and stayed off for 3 months, but I caught hell for it.

Perhaps judges no longer will chat only with male lawyers about hunting and fishing during a trial while ignoring rye female lawyer, as happened to me even though the male lawyers were incompetent and unable to ask appropriate questions and make an appropriate opening statement, as happened to me early in my career. Perhaps judges will no longer order me and my female clients to refrain from "crying" during trial, while requiring no such behavior from male lawyers or witnesses.  Perhaps rural male judges will not tend to believe male trial lawyers in contested trials over female lawyers, ruling in favor of the males most of the time as happened to me just a few years ago.

Perhaps girls will automatically be paid as much as boys, unlike the young pizza restaurant employees in KCK, who spoke at the Democratic convention.  Perhaps people will recognize the substantial women breadwinners instead of statements made by Donald Trump's campaign director, claiming women will vote in the interest of their husbands/breadwinners.  Perhaps sexual harassment will just stop suddenly.

Women have had the right to vote in this country only since 1920, when my grandmother was 15. While three women are on the Supreme Court, I don't think it is a coincidence that only one of them is a mother. It is much easier for male lawyers to be parents than female lawyers.

Whether you see it or not, we need a female president. It will make a difference In the lives of millions of girls.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Lynne Bratcher,

    I find this blog posting from you to be extremely disappointing. Let me explain.

    Approximately three months away from our national Presidential election, between major party candidates Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R), you title your posting "Why We Need A Woman President." While you don't specifically state that you're referencing Hillary Clinton, of course everyone will assume that's what you mean because you didn't state otherwise.

    The majority of your post involves you recollecting life experiences in which you perceived that you were discriminated against because of your gender. The reader has only your word and memory to rely upon, as you failed to offer any alternative explanation. You cite the example of a newspaper separating men's and women's jobs in the classifieds some fifty years ago, with the implication that it was done by men to keep women suppressed. Yet, you offer no proof for this claim whatsoever. And as far as your "sleeveless blouse and shorter skirt" keeping you out of religious holy sites, please understand that most religions lean toward modesty, and this includes both men and women. Likewise, your anecdote about men's tendency to discuss hunting and fishing is as much a cultural bias as it is a gender one. If your extended family is anything like mine, it's commonplace for the men to congregate and talk sports, politics, and cars, while the women tend to discuss family, children, food and home.

    In particular, your comments concerning the three women on the U.S. Supreme Court, and female lawyers in general, are misguided. You write, "I don't think it is a coincidence that only one of them is a mother." While Justice Ginsburg had a long-term marriage and two children, Justices Kagan and Sotomayor are never-married women who are believed by many to be lesbians. While their sexual orientation is irrelevant, never-married highly educated women tend not to have children at the same rate as married women. Next you write, "It is much easier for male lawyers to be parents than female lawyers." This statement could only be true if women are participating in marriages or other familial arrangements in which they agree to accept an unequal role in child-rearing.

    Ms. Bratcher, may I politely suggest that you're still carrying the baggage of resentment and perceived discrimination from decades ago? Life is not perfect and sometimes women can be the harshest critics of other women.

    I know for an absolute fact that Hillary Clinton should never have been allowed into the United States Senate or the President's Cabinet, following the Clinton years in the White House. Hillary Clinton is much worse than anything Richard Nixon did while in office (since you've mentioned Nixon previously). Support for Hillary Clinton is truly a treasonous act against the best interests of the American people.