Friday, October 26, 2007

The Stereotype of Law School

It's that its high school. And that has finally come home to me. After having attempted to be very nice to a everyone and try not to feel like the "old" one, a friend has been openly maligned by a small group of 20 somethings. It's amazing what people will say when they think you aren't listening (maybe they think my age has rendered me deaf). The insults include "stupid" "she's [my friend] is at least 60" and that she shouldn't be here.

I am absolutely pissed that I wasn't in a situation where I could beat them up. Physically, I have about 3 inches on the tallest one and at least 5o lbs. Plus, my dad thought it was disgusting the way girls fought (not that I got into fights when I was young), so he taught me to hit properly. I've got a mean right hook.

So I made a comment that let them know that I am not quite the decrepit person they think I am. But I was so angry that was about all I could do. They did shut up, but good Lord, who thinks this way. The woman they were discussing is beautiful and I don't mean that in a "she looks good for her age" kind of thing. When I first met her I thought she was a good 10 years younger than I am. And she is highly educated, worked for years in a position of some status, and is intelligent.

What possesses people to say things like this? Every time my friends have wanted to bash other women at this school for things like the way they dress, how they act, or make disparaging remarks about their intelligence, I take the high road. I remind them that (1) every body has a bad day and will say dumb things; (2) everyone acts a little idiotic now and then, plus some people just don't realize that what they say may be offensive; and, most importantly, (3) I'm not sure that if I was 25 again AND had the bodies these women have, I wouldn't be flaunting a bit. I have tried to vigorously defend the younger women, saying that they are probably really nice people that are a little stand-offish with older women, cause they just don't know what to say or don't have anything in common with us. And we do have friends that are much younger. But I am appalled. And apparently this happens all the time. I thought this was exaggerated for blogs. But it's real and it's mean and it's just people being complete and total jackasses.

Well, I am here to say that if I hear this from anyone, I am going to be speaking up a lot more to them. Screw what they think of me, I won't be bullied or have people speak like that about my friends. I took enough of that kind of shit in high school. I didn't need it then and I sure as hell don't need it now.

The gloves come off.


David said...

Good for you!

PT-LawMom said...

Good for you!! Encourage them to nip this shit in the bud during law school because it certainly does nothing but damage reputations once they get into law firms. Malicious anti-female gossip helps none of us!

Eliza said...

I just can't believe that people do this. First, what are they thinking when they look at an accomplished person and say she doesn't belong. Smacks of "they just are not our kind of people." We are all here, we all got in. ICCKKK! And second, in a public place????

Thanks guys. I think this is the most exciting my posting will ever get!

Anastasia said...

Personally, I would just laugh at these kids. They're 24-25, most likely have absolutely no experience in the real world, think they're smarter than they are (because they've always been in situations where they're at the top), and think they've got the whole world figured out.

It's all I can do not to snicker when they act this way because reality is going to smack them really hard one day when they piss off a secretary, get wasted in front of a partner, or maybe even when they get their fall semester grades back.

2L Wannabe said...

Good for you times two. As an older, not that hip student, I appreciate you holding up our end. I find myself trying hard not to think of my fellow students as young uns, but when these silly things happen (and they do, every day), it is hard. It seems odd to me that we are all in this same little society together because of ostensibly similar goals/qualifications and yet there is still some need to create a heirarchy. Grades, looks, clothes, hipness, youth, you name it and people will use it to distinguish and then pull the pack free from the ones that are different. Yucky. Choose to be an uplifter!

Eliza said...

I am feeling so much better about things now. I admit I allowed it to color my perceptions of others for a while, but I am back on track.

To all those who do things like this, karma will get you. You think it won't, but it will.

MMC said...

anastesia is right.
They are just showing their age, or lack thereof of, in a bad way. But a lot of times its really about a lack of self esteem and confidence. Some people need to try to build up their own worth by tearing others down. Law school can be particularly bad for that.

Life will, indeed, eventually smack them in the face. You could take pleasure than that or you could almost feel sorry for them.

But people need to be called on their bad behaviour. You have a mission. Go for it!