Fight That Fight, Sweetie

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If recent reports in the legal media are to be believed, it’s safe to assume that lady lawyer Catriona Collins doesn’t mind being called a lot of things, but she absolutely draws the line at “sweet.”

In a sex discrimination law suit that Collins filed in New York against her former firm, she alleged that the firm’s managing partner, Martin Pavane, remarked that she “wasn’t sweet enough” in dealing with a paralegal—and a federal judge has just ruled that the remark could indeed be “construed as discriminatory animus” supporting her suit. As Judge Kimba Wood explained, “A reasonable jury could find that Pavane’s statement indicates that (1) he holds stereotypes that women should be ‘sweet’ and non-aggressive, and (2) that Pavane believed that plaintiff did not fit this stereotype.”

When reached for comment, leading feminist legal scholars disagreed on the merits of Collins’s case. They did, however, wish to extend to her their collective thanks for working so hard to forge ahead and create a new world for the women lawyers of the future. A world where female attorneys everywhere finally won’t be discouraged from acting every bit like the aggressive, abusive, decidedly non-sweet douchebags that their male counterparts have been for years. Now that’s the sound of progress.  [ABA Journal]

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