Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The "First Woman" Canard

The time is long past when being the "first woman" to do something was significant in terms of qualifications. And nowhere in American professional life is that time longer past than it is in the legal profession. Look at the courts. Look at the top law firms. Look at the law schools. Today, woman comprise a majority of law students and, perforce, a majority, in most cases, of entering associate classes at the top firms. In those firms, new female associates are paid exactly the same as new male associates and obtain raises in lockstep with their male counterparts. No less is expected of females in terms of quality and quantity of work than is expected of men. In short, even if it exists nowhere else (which, of course, it does) there currently is something of a true parity of the sexes in the legal profession. Why then, is the President behaving as if the opposite were true. Funny, but I don't remember Bush predicating the nominations of Janice Rogers Brown and Priscella Owen on the accident of their sex. But then those nominees had the advantage of having other advantages.