Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

'You Should Smile More,' Academic Catcalling, and Women-on-Women Crimes

Deborah L. Borman (Arkansas-Little Rock), 'You Should Smile More,' Academic Catcalling, and Women-on-Women Crimes, 65 Vill. L. Rev. 1065 (2020):

Within the legal academy women “catcall” other women in an attempt to control the emotions of colleagues. This aggression is played out as relational or “intrasexual competition between women and arises both covertly and overtly in the form of unwarranted professional criticism or competition, a failure to empathize, a failure to mentor, an effort to destroy or otherwise undermine another woman’s career, and by many other underhanded methods. I refer to the set of phenomena described above as “women-on-women crime.” These crimes act to enhance and protect the historic patriarchy in legal education; challenging patriarchy and successfully bringing a feminist perspective into the classroom is stymied when behind the classroom door female colleagues engage in the crimes of sabotaging, criticism, and undermining.

These crimes of gender bias by women against women fuel conflict among women, and ensure status quo of traditionally male-dominated systems.

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