Imagine your doctor, your lawyer, your mayor, and your professors were all women. How would you feel? In modern society, most positions of authority and power are held by men. Female professionals are often belittled for their choices regarding their personal lives and sexually harassed   by male co-workers. Many working women are viewed as hostile and cold, especially those with many achievements. Whether or not we acknowledge these stereotypes, they affect our expectations of men and women, especially professionals, every day. 

Diversity in communication styles within each gender group further intensifies the gap between male and female. In mixed gender settings, men tend to talk more than women. Men are more likely to interrupt another speaker, but when women do interrupt, they are more likely to interrupt another woman than a man. Women also allow for more interruption than men. In a study of trial witnesses in a superior court, undergraduate student observers saw witnesses, whether male or female who used powerful language as being “more competent, intelligent, and trustworthy” (Vanfossen). Gender bias in the law profession begins within the courtroom. 

Demeaning speech and attitudes toward female attorneys and litigants are far too common in today’s justice system. The biases go too far, however, when judgments are made based on these stereotypes. Clouded judgments have scarred the lives of many Americans. For example, gender stereotypes often play a significant role in the division of property upon divorce. Unfortunately, a decision that seems “fair to the judge may actually be a poverty sentence for the party who has not consistently, if at all, worked outside the home” (McCurley 3). 


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