We live in a world were people hide behind a screen and call people names, tell lies about people and just about say or do anything that they would never say in person. More specifically women are especially targeted in this name calling online. Society seems to accept the name calling of women.
Unfortunately, this is also a common occurrence in our profession. Regardless of the quality of our work, level of dedication or any other number of factors, our gender makes it acceptable to insult us. As female attorneys we have been called all types of names, in addition to be talked down to. To be clear the name calling doesn’t just come from the opposing party (which we could understand); it can come from other professionals including opposing counsel, court personnel, and even judges.
We started discussing this at Flesner Wentzel when we discussed our marketing and brand. Who are we? What do we have to give to our clients that is different than other firms? We thought about this a lot and the biggest difference is we don’t really give a fuck what other people think. We are young women who want to make a difference in people’s lives and we’re not afraid to use the legal remedies available to our clients. If that means we annoy the judge by filing a necessary and legally sound motion on your behalf then we’re going to take file the motion for you.
Maybe the fact that we are outsiders in this profession helps us not care about the toes we step on or traditions we don’t abide by for the sake of tradition. A while back a divorce client let us know that her ex-husband told their teenage daughter that if “your mother and her stupid bitch attorneys weren’t doing” whatever we were doing then things would be different. The daughter responded, “well, if they’re so stupid, why do you always lose?” So, we guess we’re “stupid bitches.” If a man were this ex-wife’s attorney would he have described us in the same manner? Probably not.
We shared the story with many people. We especially shared it with other female attorneys. Unsurprisingly, many had their own stories. We decided to memorialize the story and #ownyourinsult by creating t-shirts. We did this because we will do the work that makes people call us “Stupid Bitches.” We’re not letting the insult define us we’re owning it. We’re embracing it as the best thing you could have said about us.
The “Stupid Bitches” T-shirts have taken on a life of their own. The t-shirts make people do a double take. Our mailman has bought one and lady lawyers across the country have told us their own stories of their favorite insults. We’ve put some other real life examples of insults other female lawyers have been called down below. Keep an eye out for the crystal name plate we sent Alana Chazan for her desk with her insult on it, because it was too funny and Stupid Bitches have to stick together. The best part is most of these names come from kicking someone’s ass. So maybe we’re not just owning our insults; we’re also kicking ass and #takingnames.