Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If that’s shrill, I want to be shrill.

by guest blogger Lindsey Siegel

A friend and I joke about shrill feminist attorneys and how we aspire to be like them. The line comes from a Simpsons episode where famed feminist attorney Gloria Allred shows up at the family’s Thanksgiving. Best known for representing Amber Frey, a witness in the Scott Peterson case, Nicole Brown Simpson’s family in the OJ Simpson murder trial, and most recently Rachel Uchitel, Tiger Woods’s mistress, Gloria has been making waves in the news and advancing women’s rights for decades. In one of her most famous lines, she called the exclusion of an 11-year old girl from the boy scouts “gender apartheid.”

Gloria’s latest appearance came last week when she was interviewed for In the interview, she explained her philosophy on feminism: “if you are not a feminist, then you’re a bigot.”

I was not too surprised when I started reading the comments to her interview and I saw lines such as “Women have ruined [an] entire generation of fatherless children.” I expect to hear an outcry from those men who’d prefer that women remain second-class citizens—who feel threatened by the power of shrill (read: strong) women. Without meaning to, those men illustrate precisely the point that Gloria is making.

What always gets to me, though, is how many women on these forums seem to be opposed to fighting for equality and who would rather settle for the status quo or even worse, criticize women who are fighting for our rights. My question is: what are these women afraid of? My best guess is that they don’t want to be seen by men as stepping out of line. They’d rather believe the rhetoric, disseminated by such women as Christina Hoff Sommers, that feminism is akin to male-bashing. They’d rather be on the side of those with the power than with the ones fighting for equality.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the successes of women who’ve come before me—we all owe them great homage. But, like Gloria, I’m not ready to simply accept how far we’ve come and let that be the end of the story. I’d rather keep fighting for women’s legal rights and see where we can get.

Lindsey Siegel is an intern at Legal Voice and a law student at the Washington College of Law.


  1. there are two types of feminists,
    those who hate men and those who dont mind sharing the same name (feminist) as those who hate men

  2. If anyone needs to know why women's advocates are still needed, Anon's comment should be plenty of proof. Thanks, Anon! We wouldn't even NEED to to it without YOU! :-)

  3. Let me see...
    Men have and will continue to have to die for their country...women? Optional.
    Women will continue to berate men while at the same time using their surrogate men: policemen, firefighters, co-worker men to walk them to their car at night or respond when they feel endangered.
    Although college education and having long professional experience, Women will continue to use tears or sex appeal to get what they want when things go bad.
    Men have none of these options. Women, if society continues to head on the present arc, will rule the world...because they can have their cake and eat it too...then get men to clean up any mess in the world if things get dangerous. The worst part is that women take for granted all that men do. It is funny to see women enter real stressful situations and watch them, after a few years, dry up like a prune. But, of course, they wanted power and responsibility after all.

  4. “Women have ruined [an] entire generation of fatherless children.” I expect to hear an outcry from those men who’d prefer that women remain second-class citizens—who feel threatened by the power of shrill (read: strong) women.

    So... this explains the generation of fatherless children? I think that completely slipped over your head. Women ruin whatever they touch, and society is falling apart, beginning with the nuclear family model which NATURE provided.

    I don't fear strong women. I'm an only male child of a single mother, feminist home. All you've taught me is HATE. I wonder how far that so called strength goes without your male policemen, military, and government backing you up.

    The truth is, you can only ruin things so far before the "stick" is taken from you from exactly what protected you... like it should be.