My name is Christie, and I am your resident blog facilitator here at Ms. Esquire. You can see the sidebar for a bit more information about me personally, but that is not the focus of this introduction. My experiences and observations as a female attorney led me here, to the first post on this new blog. What makes this not EXACTLY the same as Ms. JD or Corporette (both of which I LOVE and read religiously)? Well, two things: first, I intend this blog to be a collective, with me as a mere facilitator. Second, the scope of it is much more broad. Each experience serves as inspiration for an objective of this blog. So, what where those experiences and observations, you ask?
When I was in law school, I didn't experience much chauvinism from my classmates. Overall, I went to law school with some pretty amazing individuals, male and female alike. When I began my career as a public interest attorney, I worked largely with women, and also found antiquated views of women as attorneys were few and far between. Then I embarked on a brief foray: landlord-tenant litigation. This is an area of law dominated by a Good Old Boy's Club of older, male, private attorneys. Not that there is anything wrong with that IF they are polite and respectful. But oh, no, they were not. They purposefully gave me a hard time, and one of them even told my male co-worker that it was his intent to do so for the sport of it. Another flat out sexually harassed me DURING settlement negotiations. A true professional (SARCASM). Working in this area of law opened my eyes. While women make fabulous lawyers and are generally well respected by the gentlemen of our own generation, there is still a large percentage of lawyers who believe women don't belong in their club, ESPECIALLY young ones. So how do we handle this, ladies? Do we whine about how unfair it is? No! We abide by the first objective:
OBJECTIVE ONE: share our experience with this sort of disrespect (whether it comes from men OR other women), and advice on how to handle it and establish professional respect in our communities by supporting one another.
Working in this profession, I met many incredible lawyers, male and female. Some work for top law firms, some for superb non-profit legal organizations, some for government agencies, and on and on. They have inspired me to become a better person and a better advocate for my clients, while showing me the value of having women in all areas of the legal profession. This leads me to objective two:
OBJECTIVE TWO: Spotlight one amazing reader, MALE OR FEMALE, every month (with their permission, of course) so we can get to know one another better, and inspire each other, rather than allowing the competitive nature of the business to serve as an excuse for tearing one another down. While this blog is substantially geared towards women, I think readers would agree that we welcome respectful gentlemen to participate if they feel so inclined. Gentlemen, your support in our endeavor here is encouraged and appreciated!
The inspiration for our third objective stems from pain, misery, and frustration: finding professional looking AND well fitting, stylish suits and professional wear WITHOUT having to buy different stock size pants and jackets or embark on a 15 store suit safari. Yesterday, I accompanied a gentlemen to Brooks Brothers in San Francisco so he could buy a new suit. Like me, my gentlemen in a lawyer. He walked in, and at his disposal were 3 sales associates, 2 tailors, and racks of all different suits organized by actual body measurements. The entire ordeal took 15 minutes. Being a lady, I decided I would peruse the women's section of the very same store. Can you guess how many WOMEN'S suits Brooks Brothers carries? The answer is TWO. Don't get me wrong, companies like Ann Taylor are a savior for professional women, especially women who are pint-sized like myself. Yet, the ease and selection that is afforded to the male suiting process doesn't exist for women. I realize there are some excellent online custom suit manufacturers for women. That being said, I don't know a woman in her right mind who will pay $600 for something she has never been able to try on. Women can't just walk into a store and have a tailor and a sales associate assist them by trying an endless variety of suits based on their actual body measurements. We are left to our own devices, sifting through arbitrary sizes, such as "2", "12", "10Long," etc. This kind of sizing and limited selection often produces one of two results: either women get discouraged because there is not a single suit in "their size" that fits them and they leave with nothing, OR they end up buying an ill-fitting suit because they need it for court on Monday and it's the best of what is there. Without undue delay.....
OBJECTIVE THREE: This is actually a two part objective. First, exchange ideas and advice about who has the best selections of suits, shoes, dress pants, etc., where to find the best tailors, and for those of us brave enough to venture into online custom suiting, whether those experiences are successful. Second, we will be proactive by talking to retailers and companies, and encourage them to offer real, professional suit selections AND onsite tailoring for women based on actual body measurements. The idea is, if we show these companies and manufacturers just ho big the market is for these services, they will acquiesce to our requests. (Gentlemen readers, you can benefit from this as well! If you need a lady's fashion perspective, feel free to solicit advice in the Comments, or suggest your fashion conundrum as an open post topic!)
Finally, the last of my experiences indicates that I hold no magical authority to come up with interesting objectives on my own. So onto the fourth, and final:
OBJECTIVE FOUR: The free-for-all. I want to hear from readers. I want to talk about what is interesting and helpful to YOU! Whether it's maintaining healthy relationships while working in a busy profession, managing stress and anxiety, fast workouts that blast calories, good locations for business lunches, political climates, ANYTHING!
Well, that is all I have for today. I look forward to your participation, and what we can achieve together.