I mentioned this yesterday, but I just really feel like it’s needs some elaboration. Pace Law professor Bridget Crawford is calling for a boycott of an NYSBA panel in which several prominent male members of the legal industry will give advice to women on how they can advance their careers. About the panel, Crawford said:
“Men have been telling us FOR YEARS how we don’t measure up. To have a panel of men, endorsed by the New York State Bar Association, discussing our “strengths and weaknesses,” is a regression and an insult to all women in the legal profession.”
First, a quick note…Professor Crawford is not a member of the legal profession. She is not a legal professional. She is a member of the academic profession, and just happens to teach law. Though, as far as academics and scholarship go, she mostly focuses on feminism, so she’s not really even teaching that much law. She’s basically a sociology or gender studies professor.
But, on to the real issue. I doubt Crawford objects to male attorneys interviewing female law students for summer jobs. And, I doubt she objects to male attorneys being on law firm hiring committees, even when those committees make decisions about women. And certainly she would allow a male partner for whom a female associate worked to provide a performance evaluation of that associate. And, I bet she’d even be okay with male partners voting in partner meetings to decide whether a female associate should be promoted into the partnership.
So if men are already quite properly discussing the strengths and weaknesses of female attorneys, what’s so wrong with men giving insight into what they perceive as the strengths and weaknesses of their female coworkers? Even if the men have completely ass-backwards ideas about women, it would be incredibly useful for women to know this.
I think what’s really going on here is that Professor Crawford saw that men were talking about women and decided to be offended. The Race to be Offended is a popular pastime among feminists (and some other groups), but too often the race is won before anyone stops to consider whether they really ought to be offended in the first place.
Also, interesting factoid that might get lost in this whole mess: Pace University has a law school. With dumbass professors like Ms. Crawford, it’s no wonder Pace is ranked a whole order of magnitude lower than the Third Tier Toilets.