04 February 2011


Periodically I do something law-related and I realize again how very many men there are in this profession. The funny thing is that in my law school, and in the kind of law I do, there are about equal numbers of men and women (although the women in my kind of law skew younger than the men). But when I go to a training and they split us up into small groups and I am the only woman in mine, it comes back to me.

Maybe it isn't even so much that there are so many men, but more that the differences between men and women become evident in a small group that is all men except me. I have to interrupt and stand up and say that I want to go next, unless I want to be last. I don't think I ever feel quite that need in a mixed group, where things seem to sift out a little more evenly.

In a group of women and men, when each person has to stand up and talk individually do the men tend to go first? Because what I kept noticing was how entitled the men seemed to feel, how they had no problem interrupting one another to go next.

At least, I attributed this to the group being all men, but now that I think about it, I wonder whether it is the because they are all men and I am a woman, or if it is because lawyers tend to be so type A and I have some distinct slacker-ish tendencies, or if it is because lawyers tend to be assertive people and I, while I can be assertive one-on-one with people I know, am a little shy in groups or with people I don't know.

No comments: