September 2011

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Month: September 2011

I'm a sucker for legal shows. Some that were out in the summer include Suits and Drop Dead Diva. I'm a sucker for the latter. Drop Dead Diva is about a model who dies and, because of a mistake, ends up in lawyer's body. This lawyer is also overweight. (So, not only is this a legal show, it's also a female-empowerment show too). In the latest episode, Bridezilla, there is a contract dispute between two parties. In the contract is an arbitration clause stating that parties must arbitrate using medieval (English) law. The judge obliged and ordered the parties to duke it out in a sword fight. In the end, justice prevailed and the victimized party had her day in court. I'm not sure if this is a coincidence, but it reminded me of one of my previous blog entries in which a Florida judge ordered two disputing parties to arbitrate their case according to Islamic law pursuant to the contract they entered into.

I had a few feelings about this. Firstly, I couldn't help but to wonder if the episode was at all influenced by that Florida case. If so, what kind of message were was the show trying to send? Was it supporting the Florida judge's decision? Or was it mocking it? Was it comparing Islamic Law to European Medieval law? (I hope not because that's highly inaccurate). Interestingly enough, after the victim wins under Medieval law, one of the attorneys asked ...
Last Wednesday, September 14, 2011, the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network hosted an event to present Women of Influence Lilly Ledbetter. I, along with other members of the Muslim Bar Association of the Chicago attended the event. Check out our photo with her. It was an honor meeting her and hearing her powerful story. For those who may not know, she is THE Lilly Ledbetter of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. To make a long story short, she found out she was a victim of gender discrimination in her employment with Good Year Tires. After losing in a Supreme Court Decision 5-4 because of statute of limitations, and a scathing dissenting opinion from Justice Ginsberg, she took her case to Congress, that passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

Most of the attendees were female attorneys which I found so refreshing. I must say, I grew up a relatively cushiony life. I've always been aware of gender discrimination but it never really hit me until about 2 months ago when I was at the courthouse. I walked in the courthouse's attorney resource center (where many attorneys sneak for a break) and found myself the only female attorney in the room. There must have been at least 20 other attorneys. I saw a couple of women walking in and out, but I never felt so left out and... different. Women have always outnumbered men in my classes as far back as I remember, but for some ...