January 19, 2021

"When she arrived at Stanford in 1979, she had wanted to teach gender and the law, but the dean refused, telling her to pick a 'real subject.'"

"She agreed to teach contracts instead, but changed her mind two years later when the dean retired, and several alumni threw him a party — and invited a stripper. 'I said to hell with contracts,' she later wrote." 


Who was dean of Stanford Law School in 1979? 

Here's a chronology of Stanford Law School deans. 

Imagine a law school retirement party with a stripper — in 1981.

I can imagine a law school dean telling a new professor that she's got to cover a basic required course — like contracts. But it would have been very awkward, even then, to say that "gender and the law" was not a "real subject." As I remember it — and I started teaching law school in 1984 — the standard course name was "Women and the Law," and it would have been considered an upper-level elective. I don't know what it was like at Stanford in the 80s, but at Wisconsin, you could invent your own seminar. We had to teach 4 courses a year, but one of them could always be anything you were interested in. There were many seminars called "Law and ______" — fill in the blank. It was considered funny to refer to these courses as "Law and My Ego." 

Maybe over at Stanford, the joke was "not a real subject." But that was a bad joke to aim at a new hiree, when she was only the second woman on the faculty and the course she wanted to teach was women and the law.

By the way, when I began my search for a law school teaching job, I was advised by one of my law school professors — a female professor — to resist getting slotted into one of the "women's" courses. I was warned. Watch out for these deans who want you to teach, say, Family Law.

ADDED: I do see that the the party for the dean does not seem to have been an official retirement party. It says "a party." Set up by "several alumni." Who knows how long ago these alumni graduated or, more importantly, how important these alumni were to the current faculty? You might wonder why would you say "to hell with contracts" because there was a stripper a law school party — or a stripper invited to a law-school-adjacent party? What's the connection between a particular law school course and that party? 

But I understand. And it fits with the advice I was given to stay out of "women's" courses. Contracts is the classic law school course. A woman, like the woman who advised me, might think the idea is to transcend gender. But if you got a wake-up call and decided, no, things are really retrograde here and I'm not going to pretend there's not a gender problem, you might say "to hell with contracts."

112 comments:

Curious George said...

"We had to teach 4 courses a year, but one of them could always be anything you were interested in."

And some people say being a law professor isn't work.

Shouting Thomas said...

The dean who told her to pick a real subject was correct.

This is the bullshit in your game, Althouse.

You never had a complaint. I never really did either, although I can muster up one to counter your feminist bullshit when you insist on dishing it up.

Over the years, I’ve gotten tired up conjuring up my complaint to counter your phony complaint and I mostly let it go.

When are you going to let go of your bullshit whining over nothing?

Oh Yea said...

"Imagine a law school retirement party with a stripper — in 1981."

Absolutely can imagine that. While I was not personally aware strippers at retirements there was a belly dancer that frequently did retirement parties for high level retirement parties at local businesses in the early '80s. Stripper would be a short step from there.

Temujin said...

I dunno. I was not tuned into Stanford in 1979. But I've paid a lot of attention to Stanford in the past 15 or so years. Whatever else you might say about the school, they are most certainly at the forefront of social trends in their classes offered, and I suspect this runs through their law school today as well. It's that way almost to a fault. For instance, they removed their Western Civilization studies requirement about 4 years ago, because "Hey Ho, Western Civ has got to go". They are so trendy.

I'm sure they were then as well. Maybe the dean was just a dick.

wendybar said...

I agree with Shouting Thomas. The Dean was correct.

Big Mike said...

Imagine a law school retirement party with a stripper — in 1981.

Is there any proof of this allegation other than the recollections of a bitter old hag?

Shouting Thomas said...

Strippers are fun.

Law school and agonizing over careers is mostly dumb crap.

I try my best not to get stupid over wanting people to admire my religious devotion to the life of a musician.

Why should they? It’s ultimately just a job. I don’t expect people to kiss my ass over it.

Your career and your law school are not religious quests.

I look forward to the era when UW Law School hires strippers for its parties.

Dave Begley said...

I can't imagine a stripper at any law school faculty party at Creighton.

Looking back on it, Creighton had a fair number of female law professors when I graduated in 1982. Barb Gaskins was an assistant dean, Marianne Culhane taught contracts and Fran Ryan taught tax. Marianne later became Dean. Barb died at a young age. Creighton Law is very small and now is lowly rated.

We didn't have many seminar type classes. Eighth Circuit Judge Don Lay taught Supreme Court seminar and it was a great class.

Ann Althouse said...

"at local businesses in the early '80s"

Elite law schools are not like your "local businesses." They believe in their own enlightenment and model their lofty values. And they were trying to be inclusive toward women at the time. I was there.

Curious George said...

"Shouting Thomas said...
I look forward to the era when UW Law School hires strippers for its parties."

Not sure if it will ever happen, but am sure if it does, you'll be dead. For quite some time.

tds said...

my farewell party, my rules

Lucid-Ideas said...

"Imagine a law school retirement party with a stripper — in 1981."

Now imagine a law school retirement party with a male stripper - in 2021.

If you're shocked at one, but not the other, then it's obvious where your prurience lies.

Dave Begley said...

I had Barb Gaskins for Negotiable Instruments. My lowest grad in law school. I made a bad mistake on the final and it really cost me.

I had Fran Ryan for Federal Income tax but she got sick during the semester and it was then Pass/Fail. Tough course.

Ann Althouse said...

As for strippers in elite culture, remember that the 1967 movie "The Graduate" had a scene in which the main character deliberately degrades a young woman by subjecting her to a strip show. The woman cries and the man knows he's been an absolute jerk, and millions of Americans completely got it. Back in 1967. That was 14 years before that Stanford party.

Spare me the bullshit.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've got three grandkids under the age of 7.

"It's not fair" is practically their mantra.

By the standards of my youth, they're growing up in incredible wealth. They've got everything. I doubt that they'll have a job until they are in their 20s.

And they can't stop whining.

This is an ingrained human behavior, although it's obnoxious, even in one's grandkids.

You're 71, and you're still whining about stupid bullshit, prof. You've been incredibly wealthy your whole life and you've never done any kind of hard labor.

For God's sake, stop the whining. Stop behaving like a 5 year old.

SensibleCitizen said...

I don't accept as fact that any party actually occurred involving a retiring Dean and a stripper.

Second, what others say or do should have zero affect on how you manage your career or your life for that matter. If you're interested in contracts -- do contracts. If your interested in family law -- do it. Want to litigate? Then litigate.

Why on earth would an intelligent person alter their life's course because someone said or did something trivial? The premise is absurd. Why would you even remember those two events? Completely inconsequential to your life -- unless nurturing petty grievances IS your life.

Sebastian said...

"the dean refused, telling her to pick a 'real subject.'"

I call feminism me-poor-woman BS.

"and several alumni threw him a party — and invited a stripper. 'I said to hell with contracts,' she later wrote."

Yeah, I'm sure that was the trigger.

"Who Transformed the Field of Legal Ethics"

Not a criticism of her, but is there any actual evidence that the transformation had any effect?

"it would have been very awkward, even then, to say that "gender and the law" was not a "real subject." As I remember it — and I started teaching law school in 1984 — the standard course name was "Women and the Law," and it would have been considered an upper-level elective."

Hence, the feminism BS.

"Watch out for these deans who want you to teach, say, Family Law."

Exactly. Don't wanna be pigeonholed. Even then.

"you might say "to hell with contracts.""

You might. Then again, you might have your mind made up long in advance. You might even find contracts a tad boring.

Shouting Thomas said...

The woman cries and the man knows he's been an absolute jerk, and millions of Americans completely got it.

So what?

What an incredibly soft life you've led.

I don't give a shit about your nicks and scratches.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

What the heck is wrong with strippers??? Are all leftists Puritans at heart????? Stop all slut shaming!!!!

tcrosse said...

Was it a male or a female stripper, as if it matters?

mandrewa said...

"The gender problem" seems to be that there is a male sex.

Because isn't that kind of what it boils down to? This was not, if I understand it, a party sponsored by Stanford, this was a party arranged by people that happened to work at Stanford.

People that happened to be male and that were behaving some males do.

So doesn't this, translated, imply that feminism, and courses such as Gender and the Law are a war on the male sex?

mtrobertslaw said...

Do courses like "Gender and the Law" or "Women and ..." teach legal reasoning or simply describe how the existing law should be changed?

sean said...

Was she at the party? Why would a group of alumni invite a new, female professor to a party? It seems most likely that she heard about the party and was offended. Typical puritanical feminist. I used to be sympathetic to the point of view, but I've become much more libertarian about such things.

tds said...

Re: 'Graduate' -
1967 vs 1981.
Public place full of weirdos, vs private house with adults who know each other,
young girl vs an (aspiring) law professor and a feminist.

Dave Begley said...

47% of the Creighton Law faculty is female. One professor asserted that I was making ad hominin attacks when I told her to be more precise in her language. Then she blocked me. Snowflake.

hombre said...

La Señora graduated law school in 1976. One third of her class were women. The year before there were eight.

Humperdink said...

Western Civ out, gender and the law in, race and the law in, immigration and the law in, transgender and the law in.

That'll be $75,000 per year, thank you very much.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't accept as fact that any party actually occurred involving a retiring Dean and a stripper."

I'd like to see that fact checked.

Unfortunately, Professor Rhode has passed away. Perhaps one of her books has more detail on the story, but what may be more important is who the alumni were and how the whole thing was talked about. Did Stanford Law School have a creepy "men's club" vibe? Did women feel included or marginalized? I know some of you don't care how well elite individuals are treated within an elite institution — that they're all very lucky and therefore should not complain. But the institution itself is striving toward enlightenment and holding itself out as enlightened, and it deserves to be judged, not given a pass to lie and be hypocritical just because even the worst-treated individuals within its system are better off than most people.

John henry said...

When men and women watch strippers, who's being exploited?

The stripper?

Or the men and women paying her?

Or him or them in some cases.

Speaking of exploitation, I ran across a fine British show on YouTube a few weeks ago.

Naked Attraction. Not cable, broadcast TV.

Kind of like the dating game with naked dates behind a curtain that comes down to the waste.

The contestant rates the date on the quality of their genitals.

"nah, not #3. I don't like the way her labia hang down like a turkey wattle"

Or (a woman contestant) "#2 has a cute dick but I could never date an uncircumcised man."

Strippers seem pretty tame compared to this.

John Henry

DavidUW said...

We were allowed to expense strip clubs as client entertainment as late as 2005 as long as everyone (men and women) were invited.

Women and gay guys came along at the last event we held at one. It was a good party.

People need to lighten up.

MikeR said...

'But it would have been very awkward, even then, to say that "gender and the law" was not a "real subject."' Which is why it was probably said differently, and she was touchy and translated it that way.

sean said...

I do recall The American Lawyer repeating a story many years ago that King & Spalding had a summer associate party (fairly common event), at which there was a wet t-shirt contest for the female associates. Pretty shocking. But the real story was that some summer associates from K&S, on their own, went to a bar which featured a wet t-shirt contest. A nothingburger. I wouldn't be surprised if this stripper story was in the same category.

gilbar said...

serious question

if a law professor, or maybe a dean, was getting married (instead of retired)
Would her Bachelorette party have male strippers?

AlbertAnonymous said...

Good Lord. Professor, I love your blog but this is one of your “blind spots” as others have said.

I had several female professors in law school. My Family Law professor was constantly finding “gender issues” in the cases we read. If Sandra Day O’Connor wrote a dissenting opinion, and the majority criticized the dissent (as they ALWAYS do) the professor would complain about how the majority opinion writer (obviously a male) had gender issues because he was criticizing the female. [I’m sorry, ALL majority opinions criticize the dissents where they are wrong - male or female - even the so-called “wise Latina” does it now]

It was a bad look. Became a joke. As usual, I just went with it and made sure I found a few “gender issues” on the final exam (even though I don't think there were any in there).

AmJurred the class. I’m certain that’s why.

Oh Yea said...

"Elite law schools are not like your "local businesses." They believe in their own enlightenment and model their lofty values. And they were trying to be inclusive toward women at the time. I was there."

Sorry to use that term. Local business included HQ for Fortune 500 companies and large government departments that I would absolutely rate on the level of "Elite law schools"

Also you need remember the changes in the organizational leadership in the '80's. At the beginning of the decade the people in leadership of large organizations were part of the "Greatest Generation" growing up in the depression and were very likely WWII vets. They may have expressed lofty values but they came home from the war sending Rosie the Riveter home to raise the kids and at least tolerated, if not enforced Jim Crow Laws. So yes, strippers at he retirement of these men would not be shocking.

Yancey Ward said...

I will take "Things That Never Actually Happened" for $2000, Alex.

Ice Nine said...

>>Ann Althouse said...
Imagine a law school retirement party with a stripper — in 1981.<<

Yeah, I can imagine it - easily. And subsequent to '81 - easily. They are sort of an institution at certain parties for men and there is not a GD thing wrong with that. (Disclaimer: I have never been anywhere where there was a stripper and have never desired to be. They do nothing for me. I think they are silly.)

If the people who threw the party for the Dean invited Rhodes and she attended - both of which I find highly unlikely - then they were extremely boorish to have a stripper there. That's it. If not, she can go freakin' fish - none of her business. But her history would strongly suggest that she would have had a predilection to make it her business anyway.

I wonder if she felt that male strippers at women's parties were equally outrageous. Those well predate '81. My guess: She never gave them so much as a thought.

Lars Porsena said...

It would have been completely acceptable is it was a tranny stripper.

Krumhorn said...

Gender, ethnic, and race studies courses are pure idiocy. What needs to be taught besides the classic courses is comprehensive instruction in Word and Excel. It is appalling how few attorneys understand and have any mastery over Word styles. And fewer still can create any decent analytical spreadsheets.

Gender studies in law school may be great for grievance practices, but they are worthless when it comes to a real law practice.

- Krumhorn

Ann Althouse said...

"Do courses like "Gender and the Law" or "Women and ..." teach legal reasoning or simply describe how the existing law should be changed?"

From a typical course description: "This course examines the legal and social status of women in modern American society, law and policy relating to that status, legal tools developed to address sexual inequality, and the possibility that law both challenges and supports women’s subordination. Issues are approached intersectionally, addressing sex, race, sexual orientation and other differences simultaneously. The issue areas include: employment, family, reproduction, sexuality, violence, and equality theory."

I never took such a course myself, but you can see that the idea is to survey many different topics that could be separate courses. So instead of Employment Law and Family Law and Constitutional Law and Criminal Law, you get material from all those courses, selecting the parts that relate to sex/gender difference. Maybe you get different insights by going through material that way rather than to see the gender-related cases coming up in the context of everything else in a course on, say, Constitutional Law.

I think it would be very challenging to present the subject matter well when you are out of the larger context, but law students will have studied some of that material in other course, and a course like this would give you a second pass at some of these things from a different perspective. You might be encouraged to test the hypothesis that there is systemic sexism — it's there and hidden under a veneer of neutrality. Obviously, there's potential to do that badly, but it can be done well.

Jupiter said...

I do not believe that women ruin everything. I'm sure someone can come up with something women haven't ruined.

Jupiter said...

"You might be encouraged to test the hypothesis that there is systemic sexism — it's there and hidden under a veneer of neutrality."

How would one distinguish between systemic sexism and the recognition in law that the sexes have different needs and capacities? Is such a distinction even meaningful? Perhaps we should ask a wise latina. To show us her tits.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...

Elite law schools are not like your "local businesses." They believe in their own enlightenment and model their lofty values.

1/19/21, 8:50 AM


What is your definition of "elite"?

Oso Negro said...

@Althouse - Do you believe their lofty values include respect for individuals with conservative values?

Joe Smith said...

In the early '80s, 'trans' people were not a thing, nor was the (wrong) assumption that one can be any 'gender' they wish on any given day or hour.

So I can't believe that a bunch of smart lawyers didn't know that it's 'Sex' and not 'Gender.'

What else don't a bunch of 'smart' lawyers know?

jeremyabrams said...

I could easily imagine a law school retirement party with a male stripper, up until maybe two years ago. Today - a trans stripper would still pass muster.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Ahh yes. The “systemic sexism”. There you go.

So do we need to destroy the whole “system” professor? What would the “non-sexist system” look like? How would it be structured differently? Or do you, as most others, just mean “more women” and “different outcomes”?

Since the summer’s “mostly peaceful protests” I’ve been seeing offered (from many places but especially the dean of my law school alma mater) a series of lectures and classes and symposia on “racial justice” and “social justice” and others. It’s all garbage. Absolute garbage.

Justice needs no adjective.

And racism, actual racism, needs no adjective. Nor does sexism. This “systemic” stuff is lazy/sloppy advocacy. Transparently so.

The cries of racism aren’t getting the attention the criers want, so it has to morph into “systemic racism”. Only it isn’t. It’s Demi Moore in a few good men getting her objection overruled and then “strenuously” objecting.

Sally327 said...

Contracts is an incredibly important subject. I'm going to assume that this now deceased professor's dismissal of it means she was not a serious person and her views on just about anything can be safely disregarded.

Shouting Thomas said...

Look at the ultimate outcome of bringing “gender” studies into the universities.

The taxpayers are now forced to support Democratic Party indoctrination centers on every campus.

The indoctrination centers seduce your kids into homosexuality and transgerderism.

The kids get stuck with a huge debt tab and no job skill.

Thanks, Althouse.

Joe Smith said...

"Strippers are fun."

What do people have against strippers?

They're not my D-cup of tea, but they are men and women who are performing a legal service and being compensated for it...capitalism in its most naked form.

Why aren't we pro-choice on this subject? Isn't choice good?

Men (and women) who want to see tits can come to the party.

If you don't want to see tits then don't go.

Joe Smith said...

"Did Stanford Law School have a creepy "men's club" vibe?"

And so what if they did?

Haven't we established that non-government agencies can do whatever they want and are not beholden to the government or the courts?

Last I checked Stanford is a private university.

I welcome the new rules.

Strippers for everyone.

hombre said...

All this feminist bullshit makes me think of female action heroes in the movies pounding on male opponents. Seriously? Who is kidding whom here? And remember McEnroe getting blitzed for scoffing at an interviewer who asked why he qualified his opinion of Serena by saying she was the best “woman” tennis player of all time? What foments this delusion of women’s equality? Men’s benevolence perhaps?

On the playing field, the emergence of trannies in women’s sports will dispel that delusion in short order absent legislative intervention (which I favor, BTW.).

But what about the towering intellect of modern feminist women? Who will displace Mozart, Shakespeare or Einstein? List the greatest authors, composers, jurists, scientists, athletes of all time. Where are the ladies? There is no denying Marie Curie, Willa Cather, even Serena Williams and the like, women who distinguished themselves by great achievements. But in general, nah! In general we’re talking “Gender and the Law,” the mythical prowess of Wonder Women, the mediocrity of the “wise Latina.”

As low expectations have catapulted women into positions of influence, a culture of whinging ninnies, male and female, has emerged to the detriment of the nation.

Fernandinande said...

"You know the story, but here we go again. The standard account of sex differences in intelligence is that there aren’t any. Or not significant ones, or perhaps some slight ones, but they counter-balance each other.
...
Against this orthodoxy, Irwing and Lynn (2006) have argued that boys and girls mature at different speeds, with girls ahead till about age 16 and with boys moving ahead thereafter, such that men are 2-4 IQ points ahead of women throughout adult life.

https://www.unz.com/jthompson/men-4-points-ahead/

Lynn further argues that if men are 4 points ahead, and have a standard deviation of 15 as opposed to women’s standard deviation of 14, those two findings almost fully explain the higher number of men in intellectually demanding occupations. There is no glass ceiling. Fewer women are capable of the higher levels required for the glittering prizes.

Furthermore, this explains why men know more things. At the very highest levels of ability there are more men, and they have more knowledge, which is why they win general knowledge competitions.

https://www.unz.com/jthompson/sex-on-the-brain/

This, the seditious faction suggest, is just a fact of sexual dimorphism. Male brains are very, very much bigger than women’s, and each of the component regions of the male brain are bigger than the same regions in women, and also more variable in size."

Then they did a study in Taiwan ...

Tina Trent said...

Ironically, I suppose, given the post, in the earl 90’s, I was a night law student at Georgia State and my contractors professor made his female students frame our classroom responses by repeating back to him that “businessman so and so was dictating a letter to his receptionist as she sat on his lap as businessman two’s secretary on his lap...” If we left off the sexual references he would make us repeat the answer. Of course he was a local and much fawned over civil rights activist so his known abuse of women was fine. The deans and other faculty knew all about it and did absolutely nothing. On our final, we had to “assume prostitution is legal” and discuss various “contracts” between prostitutes and men exchanging sex acts for fur coats, etc.

I also worked freight during the day, and no man would get away with treating women like that on the docks. He’d get a knuckle sandwich. And be made to apologize. Class does matter. The difference was very striking to me at that time. During the Sixties, academics, intellectuals and artists pissed away all human decency while the middle and working classes maintained the social mores. Identity politics is just the latest version of the abusive behavior of that contracts professor.

PM said...

Women + Strippers:
In the early '80s, wife and I went to see Carol Doda's last show at the Condor in SF.
Wife's a total sport.

Fritz said...

Have legal ethics improved since then? I doubt it. I suspect they've gotten worse.

Fernandinande said...

"This study, on the gold standard Wechsler test, seems to confirm a male advantage in general intelligence. ...

The Information subtest is a measure of very general General Knowledge, not requiring any specialist interests, but asking about the things which would generally be known in the general population.

A .44 sd advantage on this subtest is enormous. The greater male representation in high level general knowledge competitions seems well founded. On the US sample there is almost as big a male advantage for Maths, and a large deficit for the digit symbol coding task, which measures simple processing speed."

Jeopardy!

Sydney Ski said...

Men, as well, should "resist getting slotted into one of the "women's" courses." You are warned.

rhhardin said...

John Tierney reported for the NYT what strippers are for
Strippers, Testosterone and the Dow, NYT

Mary Beth said...

When my boss was promoted in the 1980s, some employees hired a "stripper" for a party for him. She was more of a sexual innuendo dancer than stripper. It was part strip routine, removing the gloves sort of thing, and then a jokey part where she did things like put a cut-out heart on him and making a "I've given you a heart on" joke.

I don't remember much more about it. This is the first time I've thought about it since then. I would be surprised if they hired an actual stripper for a mixed-company party. Maybe they did. Maybe they thought it was edgy and liberated. I still think it was more likely to be like the stripper we had and less like a "those Duke boys better watch out" one. (The Duke lacrosse team, not Bo and Luke.)

Shouting Thomas said...

Tina Trent maintains an interesting weblog.

I suggest you visit.

Charlie Currie said...

"To hell with contracts." Now there's a leftist slogan if I've ever heard one.

Who needs contracts and agreements or laws, for that matter. If we have a living constitution, then we have living laws and contracts. They only mean what the left wants them to mean at the time.

Democracy is like a train, when you reach your destination you get off. Some Turk said that. The left has reached their destination.

Joe Smith said...

"And remember McEnroe getting blitzed for scoffing at an interviewer who asked why he qualified his opinion of Serena by saying she was the best “woman” tennis player of all time?"

Don't get me started.

In the mid-late '90s I was a tennis bum...self-taught.

But I got good enough to practice with a couple of guys who played tennis for a large, west coast division 1 school.

Had they joined the women's tour back then, they would have been numbers 1 and 2 in the world.

Tina Trent said...

Sorry for the typos. Spellcheck makes bad decisions and my eyesight is wonky. At least it didn’t change “wonky,” which could be bad. I am assuming saying that academia aspires to enlightened behavior is some sort of meta-irony. A few years later in grad school (boy I made bad choices), it was the lesbian professors who got away with being predatory on female undergrads and grad students. One literally had a student squirming on her lap on a couch during a feminist theory class I was forced to take. We also were pressured to do that mirror thing to meet our vaginas, though it was optional. At least the sittee was over 21. Can you imagine trying to complain to the administration about any of that?

Progress is so regressive.

Bill said...

think she'll be able to sell it to God, to Satan, or just rot in her grave?

cacimbo said...

Another topic self proclaimed feminists do not agree on. Half want strippers made obsolete and the other half are fine with strippers as long as 50% of the strippers are male. The first Chippendales opened in 1979 in LA. Plenty of upper class women were vying to tuck their dollars into men's g-strings.

Lurker21 said...

At first I read that as "she refused to teach 'Gender and the Law,'" and thought, "You go, girl! At last a breath of freedom in academia!"

That could well happen today, but I guess things were different 40 (can 1979 really be that far back?) years ago.

P.S. I am reminded of protests in the eighties/nineties about a "French in Action" video course in which one of the characters appeared to be attracted to and wanting some "action" from the other. It wasn't so much the tape (for tape in was back then) that angered the students, as the fact that instructors kept showing the same leering parts over and over again.

Big Mike said...

As for strippers in elite culture, remember that the 1967 movie "The Graduate" had a scene in which the main character deliberately degrades a young woman by subjecting her to a strip show. The woman cries and the man knows he's been an absolute jerk, and millions of Americans completely got it.

@Althouse, "The Graduate" was fiction. And if I'd been so uncouth as to take any of my girlfriends to a strip club back in the 1960s, they'd have at least stormed out of the club and most would have kicked me in the nuts on their way out the door. I can picture DBQ or Freeman or mockturtle doing the same. I dated a better class of woman than the (fictional) type who'd just sit there and weep.

And your comment at 9:06 tells me that you don't know and can't be bothered to learn whether the party with a stripper actually happened. A female law professor alleged that it happened, and that's good enough for you. The question is, should it be good enough?

Shouting Thomas said...

@Tina,

I’ve spent a lifetime in the arts, mostly as a pro musician.

Long ago, I realized that musicians bitch so much about the rottenness of the world because the world of the music business is so damned rotten.

Of course, your chances for advancement in the music business decline precipitously if you actually bitch about the rottenness of the music biz.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...and invited a stripper

Wait, all you have to do is invite them?!? I always assumed you had to hire them.

Hang on, I've got some invitations to write...

Tina Trent said...

Thanks Shouting Thomas.

Interestingly, to me, my husband also attended Georgia State Law a decade later and he hit the sweet spot where some really competent female faculty who had been traditionally trained were running things fairly and the school was really excellent. Second wave feminists personally, I suppose, but they didn’t bring their politics into the classroom. Althouse’s generation: it was harder for them, not easier for them as it became in the next generation.

A few years later, it all descended into gender and transgender and gay activism garbage think when that generation of women and men began to retire.

tommyesq said...

But the institution itself is striving toward enlightenment

Assumes facts not in evidence.


They believe in their own enlightenment and model their lofty values.

That is one of the major problems with academia - they believe in their own heightened nobility, and the rest of us are just trash.

Howard said...

Back in the late 80s and early 90s working in Atlanta, whenever our big oil clients came to town they always wanted us to take them to the Gold Club.

stlcdr said...

John henry said...
...
Speaking of exploitation, I ran across a fine British show on YouTube a few weeks ago.

Naked Attraction. Not cable, broadcast TV.

...
John Henry

1/19/21, 9:11 AM


Ah, the epitome of civilization. /s

Brits have accepted a police state along with the requisite 'your papers please'. You can read all about the tier 4 lockdown on their government web site.

We are playing out the modern gladiatorial games; keeping the proletariat happy.

tim maguire said...

the course she wanted to teach was women and the law.

No, the course she wanted to teach was "gender and the law." Maybe that distinction wouldn't have been important, but I see a real distinction and am not going to assume that they did not.

There's no legitimate reason to conclude that strippers are per se wrong. You have to look at the circumstances. If it was a university-sponsored party that faculty was expected to attend, then it's a fair argument that the entertainment should have been designed to entertain everyone. But if it was merely a private party that she snagged an invite to, then it is not. Why should the man of honor not have a harmless thing he wanted merely to assuage the fragility of some attendee who was free to leave if she didn't like it? Let's not lose sight of who the party was for.

I haven't seen The Graduate in many years (and wasn't impressed when I did), but it seems absurdly narcissistic for this woman to decide she'd had enough of her career path because there was a stripper at a party thrown in someone else's honor. The best that can be said in her defense is that trail-blazers are pretty much by definition irrational and narcissistic. ("The reasonable person changes to fit reality, the unreasonable person tries to change reality to fit them; therefore, all progress is made by the unreasonable person.")

Jupiter said...

"Justice needs no adjective."

Well, that's a bit of a stretch. The theory of justice is long and complicated, but I think it fair to say that justice is about the allocation of winning and losing, not the elimination of winning and losing. The question is, which criteria for that allocation are we willing to regard as "just"? I would say, that there is an argument from utility, that certain criteria better serve certain ends. But that would hardly be dispositive. "Justice is the interest of the stronger". Thrasymacus, was it? I thought he was daft, 40-odd years ago. I have a more nuanced view now.

Jupiter said...

I mean, why should I want something other than the thing I want? What possible argument could there be, that would convince me that what I really want is what I don't really want? Must I be driven mad, to see justice?

Jupiter said...

Is it just to withhold food from someone who is hungry? It's certainly legal. What's that, systemic malnutrition?

Skeptical Voter said...

What the heck was wrong with Stanford Law? Getting just its second female law professor in 1979 means that they were way behind the curve.

Stanford Law and the late lamented Boalt Hall Law School (now Berkeley Law) were the two leading law schools in California from maybe 1930 on. I was at Boalt from 65 to 68--and we had two female law professors, plus one professor emerita. Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong had taught at Boalt for at least a couple of decades beforehand. Babette Barton and Herma Hill Kay were teaching. I took Conflicts of Law from Professor Kay. She was sharp--and she could cut to the chase--or to the quick depending upon what she needed to do with or to a student. OTOH I can't recall whether there was a family law course at the time. Now Berkeley Law has 31 flavors of social justice and gender courses.

Michael K said...

The indoctrination centers seduce your kids into homosexuality and transgerderism.

I have always believed that most gay teens are born that way. The rest are sucked in by age 19.

Jupiter said...

"What the heck was wrong with Stanford Law? Getting just its second female law professor in 1979 means that they were way behind the curve."

Perhaps you could explain why it is unacceptable that Stanford Law had only one female professor in 1979, but it is entirely acceptable that the company that picks up your garbage does not employ a single female driver in 2021?

Jupiter said...

And while we're on the subject, why is there a separate league for women in chess? Men have more upper body strength?

Readering said...

Not surprised Rhode was only second woman on SLS faculty in 79 but a little surprised there were only a handful of women in student body at YLS in mid-seventies. I only recall taking a class from one woman law prof in that era but there were plenty of women in my class.

Readering said...

The thing about Contracts, the course of the fictional HLS professor in The Paper Chase, is that as a required 2 semester first-year course some folks on the faculty have to teach it, but few academics make it their specialty, get hired to teach and research it, or want to. So I had a contracts professor who was acting as the Reporter for the Restatement (Second) of Contracts, but I also had a contracts professor who was a legal historian and taught from a hornbook instead of a case book.

Readering said...

A sign for the future of the legal profession? Over the weekend I judged three rounds of a college mock trial tournament. Saw six students playing lawyers per round and six witnesses. The witness roles tend to attract actor types and prelaw types the lawyer roles. A good mix of men and women for the witnesses but virtually all the lawyers were women.

Ps conducted over zoom and went very smoothly. It will be interesting to see how zoom and similar programs become embedded into litigation post pandemic.

Tina Trent said...

Geez, Howard, if you’re still in Atlanta, I do invite you to meet me at the loading docks under the CNN Center so we can discuss your politics on my turf. Be careful parking though, brave guy.

You do know the really classy business evenings ended up at Leather and Lace. The Gold Club was predictable. Strip clubs with all you can eat buffets— that is just beyond sad and gross. Want some warm potato salad with those tits?

Shouting Thomas said...

@Tina

The Biggus Dickus thing, along with “you guys,” are Howard’s trademarks.

Readering said...

When the obituary of a prominent public figure is not ready to go for some time, and contains a statement that the cause of death is undetermined, that usually means it has been undetermined if it was accidental or intentional. A reminder that major depression can afflict anyone.

Sebastian said...

"You might be encouraged to test the hypothesis that there is systemic sexism . . . Obviously, there's potential to do that badly, but it can be done well."

Like, who has done it well? Has any legal scholar ever "tested" such a hypothesis? Does any legal scholar have the skills to test it, with, you know, like, statistics? Precisely how did any of them operationalize "systemic" racism as opposed to other kinds?

At least in media coverage of these issues, I do not recall seeing any reference to any serious effort along these lines. What did I miss?

Readering said...

Howard, in Phoenix in the eighties it was Cheetahs. These were the days before opulent establishments like the places in NYC that caterer to Wall Street and would manage to sneak six figures onto some poor drunk's Amex card.

Readering said...

Salt Lake City in the eighties on the other hand....

wholelottasplainin' said...

Ann Althouse said...
As for strippers in elite culture, remember that the 1967 movie "The Graduate" had a scene in which the main character deliberately degrades a young woman by subjecting her to a strip show. The woman cries and the man knows he's been an absolute jerk, and millions of Americans completely got it. Back in 1967. That was 14 years before that Stanford party.

Spare me the bullshit.
********************************

Male strippers at the 80's "Golden Banana" north of Boston could not be reached for comment, nor could their all-female clientele.

Bullshit, indeed.

Howard said...

What can I say, Tina? The fellows from Houston were impressed.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"But if you got a wake-up call and decided, no, things are really retrograde here and I'm not going to pretend there's not a gender problem, you might say "to hell with contracts.""

*******************
If you took that attitude you would be forsaking teaching Law and substituting for it activist politics and propaganda. You would have been advocating change, not analyzing the cases but instead criticizing them for not reaching conclusions you preferred.

And that's where law schools are today.

And given the Great Purge of conservative professors, their principles and ideals going on across all of academe, all law schools will become Progressive Propaganda mills.

Pathetic.

Howard said...

I never liked strip clubs or bachelor parties. One, it's depressing like the zoo and Two, who wants to stand or sit next to a bunch of guys getting wood?

Joe Smith said...

Why are women so weak and insecure.

Women make up more than half of the population.

And that's just the ones without dicks.

What's with all the whining?

Rabel said...

"Perhaps one of her books has more detail on the story, but what may be more important is who the alumni were and how the whole thing was talked about."

In her book "What Women Want" Rhode wrote that the stripper "simulated" her routine. The Dean's wife was in attendance.

I would guess that it was more of a joke than a strip tease and less raunchy and nude than the Times pretends.

Rabel said...

"I was there."

I thought you were at UW.

Rabel said...

It's a joke!

Mikey NTH said...

Getting outraged over boorish behavior from forty years ago is pointless.

n.n said...

Sex is male and female. Gender is sex-correlated physical and mental (e.g. sexual orientation) attributes: masculine and feminine, respectively. Transgender is a state or process of divergence from normal. Social refers to community standards (e.g. clothing) intended to normalized a favorable state and outcomes. Class dismissed.

n.n said...

Feminism is masculinism is a chauvinistic ideology. Men and women are equal in rights and complementary in Nature/nature. We're not children anymore, reconcile. #HateLovesAbortion

chickelit said...

n.n said...Men and women are equal in rights and complementary in Nature/nature.

Borrowing a term from chemistry, men and women are equivalent.

Lurker21 said...

What's the connection between a particular law school course and that party?

It was the 80s. Her response makes sense in the context of the time. I could even imagine it happening in a 70s/80s movie.

About "cause of death undetermined": Sometimes people just die. They lie down and just don't get up. Maybe an autopsy discovers a reason, but the obituary appears before it's finished.

n.n said...

Sometimes people just die. They lie down and just don't get up

Chaos ("evolution").

n.n said...

men and women are equivalent

That doesn't capture "complementary in Nature/nature."

Owen said...

R.I.P. Deborah Rhode. We were at law school together but never spoke. It sounds as if she lived a full life, albeit one whose political outlook would not appeal to all. And personally I would not want to build my career around a grievance.

Zach said...

A law school dean is well within his rights to tell a new hire they have to teach a core course, though.

"Gender and the Law" might be fun to research, but Contracts is on the bar exam.

Zach said...

"She agreed to teach contracts instead, but changed her mind two years later when the dean retired, and several alumni threw him a party — and invited a stripper. 'I said to hell with contracts earning my salary,' she later wrote."

Fixed.

Zach said...

(Contracts was supposed to be striken through in that joke.)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Assistant Village Idiot said...

If here experience was that different from yours, I would guess her memory is not accurate. It has changed over time to fit her beliefs.

The other possibility is that your memory has changed. But I'm not seeing an especial motivation for that.