Sexual Harassment — Part 2

I just read that a female judge in Hawaii ordered a young man to write 144 compliments about his ex-girlfriend as a part of his sentence after he sent her 144 “nasty” texts and calls in violation of a protective order. She also specified he can’t repeat any words in the writing assignment. What a badass woman. I met so many fantastic women when I attended law school in the late 1970’s, most of us plugging through the sexism, typically from male professors, not fellow students.

For example, I remember Carol who was older and the wife of a minister in a rural town in southern Delaware, who drove up to Wilmington to attend class every day, then back down again to care for her special needs daughter. She aced just about every subject every semester.

Then there was Dina. She remains my quintessential badass heroine to this very day. She was short and slight and she headed up the school’s Women’s Caucus. And here’s what she did to right the wrongs in her unique fashion:

We were studying the First Amendment in Constitutional Law class. One of the dicey issues was, and continues to be, the legal term obscenity, and within its realm, pornography, which is the erotic content of books, magazines, films and recordings. Long story short, the First Amendment does not protect obscenity in its purview of freedom of speech and press. The question then becomes what defines obscenity and that’s been bandied about judicially ever since.

On the second day of pondering this concept, I walked into the lecture hall with my friends, both male and female, to find pictures of nude women à la Playboy Magazine hung on all the various blackboards. It was uncomfortable to say the least. Our male professor then appeared at the podium and with a twinkle in his sexist eyes, happily announced his question, “Is this obscenity?” (Obviously he had pulled this stunt before but this was pre-Dina.)

On the third day, I again walked into the classroom and lo and behold, there were photos of nude men on every board, wall, door and across every inch of the podium. I didn’t know men came in so many sizes, shapes and colors, and whereas the naked women were coiffed, these guys were scruffy in most cases. There was a large sign on each picture that said, “is this obscenity?” Soon the professor came in and he was livid. And to add to his chagrin, the entire class stood up and applauded. He stormed out the door under a picture of a big, hairy, naked man.

Dina had spent the entire night buying every Playgirl Magazine in Wilmington, Delaware and posting them accordingly.

I don’t know where she ended up but I am sure she blazed some trails on her journey — my guess is she’s rendering justice in some capacity, beating sexism one case at a time!