Carol Platt Liebau: The Neverending Story

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Neverending Story

It looks like there are some real, and very good reasons that boys are less engaged in school and academic pursuits than they used to be.

Even so, it isn't enough for feminists llike Barbara Ehrenreich to rejoice in girls' burgeoning successes -- because, in their minds, the fairer sex (how they'd take umbrage at that term!) will always be oppressed by big bad men. In lamenting what she sees as the newest manifestation of sexism, Ehrenreich -- who would no doubt be one of the first to caterwaul about insulting stereotypes and characterizations of women -- can't wait to do the same thing to men, thereby proving conclusively that the impulse to demean the opposite sex is hardly gender based.


Blogger Poison Pero said...

Nothing like kicking a little boy when he's down.......Such is the dream world of radical fems liek EhrenREICH.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

As if the glass ceiling doesn't exist. Carol if you worked in a large law firm for a living, you would experience it and find it very unpleasant.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

How would you know, ditto? Are you a woman lawyer?

10:37 PM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

In fact, I did work in a large firm -- where I found no glass ceiling for female lawyers who were willing and able to work as hard (and as well) as the males.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

That is unusual Carol. Partnership typically is limited to males with half the brains and experience. This is one of the reasons so many women are going into business for themselves (in record number).

11:40 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Carol, I couldn't resist doing a head count at the firm you worked for.

There are 111 (m) & 12 (f) partners, 53(m) & 38(f) associates, 10 (m) & 0 (f) senior counsel.

Additionally this juicy tidbit was found on a public forum for the firm:

I just don't think a certain partner should be touching me in that way whether he means it in a bad way or not. He doesn't get the point when I confront him about it. He keeps on attributing it to the FRIENDS episode, where Chandler's boss slaps Chandler's a*s. But it doesn't matter! I shouldn't be touched. I've had it, and I am going to leave the firm in July.
-- Anonymous, June 22, 2005.

1:40 AM  
Blogger Fredrick Schwartz said...

If anyone needs proof that America needs better government, and a better crowd of people supporting that turn for the better, consider this.

The woman who runs this blog did not make one mention of the organization to which she belongs, the American Bar Association, has taken President bush to task for his de facto line item vetos via signing statements. In our blog and in the main paper we pointed out the foibles of the candidate for Senate from Maryland David Dickerson. We have also poin ted to the ills of Congressman Jefferson and asked for him to step down. But somehow the names Cunningham, Ney, Abramoff, Reed, Burns and Harris have been cast aside like so many cuckolds at the church social.

Note I said the ABA not the ACLU, so now the screaming and shouting can begin.

Who is gonna be the first conservative to call the ABA a bunch of liberal moonbats?

I am greatly pleased that there are some rational thinkers left in America that while loving the sheer bounty and beauty of their homeland do not dare lie that their nation of birth is perfect or beyond reproach.

Such thought is the Death of Democracy.

4:41 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

It is a neverending story, but attitudes have changed in this country. For the worst I'm afraid. Women no longer need to respect men at all, no matter the position of that man.

My wife was in traffic court the other day (she's a lead foot), and she observed that not one single woman addressed the judge as "sir" or "your honor". But almost every man did address the judge with that respect. My wife made it a point to say "yes, sir", "no, sir" when she got called up, but that's it. Do you think there is anything to the lack of respect?

If you watch commercials, it's obvious they often half men acting as dolts, but you'll never see a woman who isn't the master of her domain.

7:55 AM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

Atitudes are changing but there are still some old thinking at the very top because they are the older generation.

There are certainly stereotypical dumb broads on television; Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, etc.

Even on this site Hillary is critized for being a female. Can she be tough enough to be Commander-in-Chief? And we just had a comment about her spending so much money on her appearence. We don't hear how much Bush spends:

President George W. Bush steps into the spotlight looking like a man fresh off the pages of GQ magazine. His black cashmere overcoat delicately drapes his shoulders, the blue stripe tie radiates against his white shirt and the suit perfectly fits his fit form. But Bush's past style lapses are forgivable because, since his inauguration he's been wearing some of the best tailored garments --Oxxford suits.

Oxxford continues to create top-notch garments for a price --$2,000 to $14,000 --that loyal customers are willing to pay.

8:38 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

I have worked in three large firms as a summer associate, associate and partner.

All these firms care about for younger lawyers is that they: work tremendous hours and do good quality work. To rise as a partner, they then have to bring in business.

These firms don't care if you are male or female or something in between as long as you make the firm money without harming the firm's reputation.

It is not a happy existence and is not conducive to family life, particularly if you are the one who has to bear the children.

The "anonymous" quote Dhead cited is curious to me. What kind of lawyer responds to this treatment by simply leaving the firm? She suffered battery as well as a violation of her rights under federal anti-sexual-harrassment laws.

Most big law firms have ombudsmen to whom one can go confidentially. In addition, if the lawyer's story were true, she could have gone to one of the women partners.

I am not saying the story is untrue, but it doesn't make sense to me. The firms I have worked with would have come down on the slapper like a ton of bricks to avoid a lawsuit and scandal.

But the main point was glass ceilings not sexual harrassment. I think Dhead's characterization of the glass ceiling -- at least in law firms -- is out of date. Remember also that lawyer's have client service and origination responsibility. If they have a book of business and bump into a glass ceiling, they can -- and do -- walk.

8:48 AM  
Blogger JillMartin said...


It generally doesn't work that way. Partner's word (likely married) against young associate's word. Partner likely is an important asset for the firm with important clients. The associate is found to be doing sub-stanadard work and shown the door. A lawsuit is not realistic unless there are wittnesses (but no one wants to be a witness and risk their career with the firm) and even some couragious souls are willing to come forward, the partner will claim the little tramp came on to him. And some of his partner friends, might say the same but, they rebuffed her.

If a young female seeks legal remedy, many states are required to investigate and will attempt an out of court settlement with an offer hardly worth the trouble.

The associate is left with little compensation, lost time, and a questionable resume. Therefore, it is much easier to leave than fight.

9:38 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

This is good clarity on lawyers from you commentors. They don't have any solid ethics. It seems to be eat or be eaten. No wonder they are perceived as lower than low leeches by us average Joes.

12:25 PM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

On a completely different note (not being an atty of any stripe):

This is preaching to the choir, but if any era in American History ever needed a father in the household, this is it. This article about the state of schools speaks to a culture that cries out for fathers.

When I was a boy (70s), fatherless households were not that common. However, all of society and its institutions seemed to get that "boys exist" and "boys are different from girls."

Teachers would often remark how we "boys" are - but I wouldn't get into trouble that often. Moreover, to take from the article, I do remember asking the teacher "why is this important?" and being dignified with an answer. That meant a lot. I appreciated that. (In fact, in ninth grade history, our teacher, a man, made a point of having us learn "why it's important".)

Going beyond school, and fatherly figures were very common. This structure is badly, badly lacking today.

Speaking as a dad, I often find myself the only person to regularly supplant my kids' understanding of how boys think and are supposed to think.

I wish this would come up more often in discussions of same-sex marriage, but: A boy who is raised in such a household may grow up to be very very confused, regardless of the love or intentions of the parents, regardless of their genders. This will be all the more so if this article is accurate.

This isn't a reason to bury the idea of same-sex marriage. But it is a consideration to make: Fathers are needed.

Fathers are needed for perspective, guidance, and assurance, for boys in particular but also girls.

12:58 PM  
Blogger amber said...

My son is 4 and I see a definate change in his personality, not just from age, but also since his father has been gone (almost a year already). I wish that my husband's brothers would take a role, but so far they have not. It is not enough to say that the world needs fathers, especailly when there are so many children who do not have fathers. The world needs good men who are willing to be role models to all children. Obviously a great dad is primary, but neither my grandmother or I had a father. We both turned out good, but we had great male rolemodels in our family. My brother had issues and started to get angry when he was around 10, but thankfully there were enough male family members my mother could go to to help. I watch how my husband's 6 male siblings have done NOTHING the entire time he has been gone, and I wonder how much other families who are in this same situation are caring for their fatherless relatives.

As far as the school topic goes, home school is the best decision I have made in my childrens' lives. I am amazed at all they are learning. I never learned about the Punic wars, I had no idea how Caesar gained power, but my 8 year old does. She is learning about differant forces now too. I think the whole socialization thing is overrated. What people really mean to say is that kids need to play and have friends. Do they need 8 hours of school to do that? I think not. My kids get to do sports, they are in the public school for music and phy-ed, I let them be in plays and a whole host of other things. Also, if my kids do not understand something, we stick with it until they do, the one on one is indespensable. My realtionship with my children is much better than it ever has been. They are some of the best behaved kids, not only because I discapline them, but also because I spend time with them, at their level and they know from that that I love them. They are not attention starved, and yet they know mom has boundaries and gets her own time. My son will get the same treatment once he starts kindergarten and he will excel.
Now, if I could just get this spelling thing down.

1:47 PM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

That's fair. When I said "father," I meant a father who was a positive male role model. I realize that's not automatic.

Here is my question for Ehrenreich (sp?) and all the other feminists: If men and boys are taught at the outset - throughout education, the media, entertainment - that they're automatically immature or losers or at a sub-par level, if fathers are taught that they are such dummies anyway, then what possible incentive do boys or men have to try harder?

Put another way, if we get no credit when we do things right, what is the point of doing it right? And if we're presumed immature, why not have some fun and always be immature anyway? Ehrenreich?

2:03 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

Jill Martin,

Excellent points.

One question: if the woman lawyer was your client, would you advise her to quit, or to build a record (and/or wear a wire) and go after the son of a bitch.

4:54 PM  
Blogger JillMartin said...


In this particular woman's case, it sounds like she can get a new job and might not even have any damages. Why subject her to legal fees, waste her time and possibly lose. She doesn't claim she is tramatized, can't work and seeing a psychiatrist.

10:31 PM  

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