So, I was looking at myself in the mirror yesterday, considering my long hair. I've always liked my hair long, and now that I'm not in a "traditional" legal environment, that's how I choose to wear it. But, when working as an associate full-time in a private law firm, I felt as though I had to cut it short in order to appear "professional."
I also took great care to dress conservatively, especially when appearing in court before a male judge. I would wear knee-length skirt suits, as opposed to shorter skirts or pant suits, minimal jewelry, conservative pumps and tops that were anything but low cut.
My rationale behind these decisions was based, in part, upon comments made by many male lawyers about female lawyers--the gist of the comments being that it was distracting when women wore their hair long and pushed it out of their face, or wore short skirts, or low cut shirts or sparkly jewelry or--well, the list goes on and on.
So, as I stood before the mirror, looking at my now-long hair, it occurred to me, for the first time that I've never once heard of a male lawyer who gave a second thought to his appearance when appearing before a female judge.
I've never heard a guy appearing before a women judge say:
- "I tried to downplay my alpha-maleness by wearing a pink tie so she wouldn't feel that I was trying to challenge her."
- "I tried to speak in a softer, slightly higher voice, so she wouldn't get unintentionally turned on by my manly, deep voice."
- "I didn't comb my hair over my bald spot when I appeared before her so that: 1) she'd feel superior to me, in that she had more hair than I do, and 2) would be repulsed by my baldness and thus not overcome by her lust for me."
- "I pulled out the ol' earring from college and popped it into my left ear, just so that she could relate better to me."
Can you imagine? Yeah, I thought so. Me neither.
So, suffice to say, I won't be cutting my hair anytime soon.