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Archive for September, 2007

wingnut releases memoir! thousands cheer!

Posted by pocochina on September 30, 2007

I’m reading an article right now about Justice Thomas.  Honestly, I don’t know if it’s white privilege, or my obsession with the Supreme Court, or simply that I’m a dyed-in-my-feminist-knickers liberal, but I almsot never think of him as an African-American.  I’m sure if I were African-American that’d change.  However, I always think of him as one of the four wingnuts on the Court.  So reading about him through a race-consciouus perspective is interesting.

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list of things i would tell anyone contemplating law school

Posted by pocochina on September 30, 2007

1.  Law school is an extremely class conscious place, for a lot of reasons.  Partially it’s because of the general skewing of higher education towards the wealthier segments of the country, but also for some other reasons.  I wonder how many people are here cause “my dad’s a lawyer” – and a successful corporate one with money.  I also wonder how many are here because they weren’t sure what else to do, but weren’t done with school.  Now, all those things are fine.  I think it’s great, and I’m NOT slamming anyone who has those opportunities.   However, a school skewed towards those with money, and even more heavily towards people who will be making lots of money in a couple of years, well, you’ve got a situation.  And your professors went to law school thirty years ago, when it was even more so.  Are they going to grade you down because you’re poor?  No, they’re okay with poverty, or else they’d still be in the private sector.  But a lot of groundbreaking cases involve rich people and their rich, rich problems, and your professors might forget that not everyone knows, say, how a trust fund works.  So know that.

2.  Then there’s the groupthink.  No, the dean at that school wasn’t lying to you about the groupthink, and no, you’re not above it either, so stop looking at me like that.  These people will be your entire world, or the vast majority of it, for the next three years, and a significant portion of them will be your colleagues for the rest of your life.  So it’s not a bad idea to want to be friends, to go along to get along when it doesn’t bother you.  That said, know that’s what’s going on.  Your new BFFs are just as nervous as you are, and it’s part of the reason you’re bonding so quickly.  It will be weirdly hard to just not want to do something.  That’s okay.

3.  Now take the groupthink, and drop the class-consciousness into the test tube, and back away slowly.  Now watch it bubble, and sizzle, and maybe if you’d been able to do this six years ago, you’d be thinking about med school right now, wouldn’t you?  Well, too bad.  Yes.   There are lots of people there on partial or whole loans,but a large number of your circle of friends won’t be worried about it.  There’s going to be school-sanctioned social activities, and they will sound fun, and they *will* cost more than a week’s worth of groceries.  Do it, if it sounds fun.  But that’s a place where it’s probably good not to do something just because all the other kids are doing it.  And this, though your 1L Ethics Seminar would probably tell you otherwise, is a place where it’s okay to lie, if that helps you get by.

4.  Nobody was lying to you about the time law students spend studying.  In fact, they’re probably thinking of finals and underestimating.  Sorry.  Don’t be pressured to go into the library, though – if you hate the library (and it’s especially scary when it’s full of 3Ls) go scope out a cafe or something.

5.  There’s ups and downs to living on campus.  I live on campus, and I love it.  It’s made it much easier to make friends, and since it’s much more convenient to be around people, the pressure is oddly a little bit decreased.  It’s also more convenient for classes, and if you do choose to study in the library, it’s going to be safer if you study late at nght.  That said, though, it is ground zero for all the crazy come exam time.  That Guy in your class that you hate?  He’s going to be on your floor.  (And no, That Guy didn’t get a job after graduation.  He’s in law school.  So know that, too.)

6.  Theres going to be a couple of people in your class that you wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire.  (See #5, cf That Guy.)  However, don’t let them poison your judgment of your classmates in general.  Most of them will be hard working and honorable and witty and energetic, just like you.

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…rrrrrrrrr

Posted by pocochina on September 27, 2007

Seriously.  Not okay.

So this morning in Torts, we start off with a case about a woman who gets in a car crash, has an abdominal xray, and later finds out she was pregnant.  The fetus – not baby, asshole Torts textbook, and not child, otherwise liberal dude in my class, the fucking zygote – was dead upon abortion.  The plaintiff sued the doc for negligence.  The judge found for the doc, especially as she’d been to the gyno a couple days before and hadn’t been told she was pregnant.

See, normally, I’d be all into discussion this case.

What I am not into is the way we discussed it.

The first several people to raise their hands, of course, were dudes.  She was maybe one or two days late, they argued, the doc should’ve known.

All the girls in the class looked at them incredulously.  Two days late, our faces said, is nothing, FOOLS.  But none of us were comfortable – well, I know I wasn’t – contradicting them.  And honestly, I know we’re all victims of abstinence-only education, but it’s not my fucking job to go “Hey, Section X, boys and girls have different parts!”  NOBODY – well, not until I mustered up a sufficiently “neutral” turn of phrase – said “it would have been MORE NEGLIGENT not to give her the GODDAMN XRAY!” Because I know if I was in a car crash and was told “take that uterus home, little lady, and don’t come back until menopause for your possibly fractured spine” – I would flip the SHIT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD.  Some probably well-meaning guy argued that it was the 1970s, it was the feminist revolution, so they were learning about pregnancy.  I shit you not.  And God, how many women there have had a pregancy scare?  Been treated poorly by doctors?  One in three of us will have an abortion, and there had to have been fifty of us in that room – let’s all do that math!  FUCK!

Of course, if we weren’t all abstinence-only victims, we’d have known that half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage anyway, plus car crashes have been known to spontaneously terminate pregnancies, so if anyone had been paying attention, they would’ve seen that it totally failed the legal principle we were supposed to be discussing anyway.

Posted in feminism, law school | Leave a Comment »

deep, dark secret

Posted by pocochina on September 24, 2007

Actually, not so dark.  Or deep.  Justice Brennan is my Dead White Dude crush.

I mean, he’s cool.  A legal mind probably unmatched in his century.  Outspoken on civil rights and women’s rights.  Government, including the courts, can and should be a force for good in society, and it should exercise that power when constitutionallly permissible.  So, cool already.

Mostly, though, I love his dissents later in the court, when the balance had shifted to conservative nominees.   He might be with Justice Marshall, or maybe standing alone.  “The majority are totally misconstruing the concept of jurisdiction!  (Cites himself for a half a page.)  Back in my day, we understood jurisdiction!  HEY YOU KIDS!  GET OFF MY LAWN!!”*

Rest in peace, my brother.

*Loosely paraphrased, and not to be quoted as legal precedent.

Posted in tales of the law library cryptkeeper | Leave a Comment »

classism in education

Posted by pocochina on September 23, 2007

Seriously?  I’ve been thinking about this for months.  And I’ll probably be thinking about it until I get my JD, and then when I decide if I’m going to do graduate work beyond that, and then until I pay off my loans.  Otherwise known as when I die.

Our perspective on education is so fucked up.  So, so fucked up.  I want to punch the next asshole who says anything even along the lines of “pulling oneself up by one’s own bootstraps.”  Seriously, don’t say it near me.  Because you will be hurt in a very painful way.

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Posted by pocochina on September 20, 2007

Hate crimes are terrorism.

They are an attempt to force someone, by mortal peril or the fear of it, into living less of a life.

Hanging a noose is not a prank, it is not a game, it is not an isolated incident.

It is terrorism.

Kidnapping a woman and putting her through hell on earth is not an isolated incident.

It is terrorism.

Maybe this time we’re done with it.

(In support of the Jena 6, of Megan Williams, of the countless other victims our society deems below even noticing.  In hope and solidarity.)

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in which our heroine is an embarassment to her undergraduate department

Posted by pocochina on September 18, 2007

So there’s this really interesting coversation at

womens_studies, posted originally by [info]demonista, asking for feminists born after 1970s if they identify as radical feminsts.  And I’ve been going back and forth on it, but I actually have no idea.

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Posted by pocochina on September 17, 2007

Somday, I’m going to run for national office.  Because I am absolutely pining to find out more about this “homosexual agenda” they all keep talking about.  Maybe it’s, like, in the debate prep or something.  And then all the candidates somehow get told what it is.  Is there a meeting?  Will there be a quiz afterward?  But seriously!  What are we so afraid of?  Mandatory hockey in schools?  All those tax dollars spent on dental dams – I mean mouthguards!  No, mandatory theater programs!  Fuckin’ kids, wanting to learn something at school.  No, wait, lots of gender-inappropriate clothing!  And all the time, not just at Halloween, which we all know is Satan’s holiday.  Maybe because of all the cross-dressing.  Maybe lots and  lots of people, over the course of a lifetime,  would at some point experience same-sex desire, and we all know the world would fucking end if that happened.  (If, you know, it wasn’t true already.  Or maybe the homsexual agenda has GOT US ALREADY!!!  WOOOOOOO!)  Oh, my God, that would mean some people are only sorta-gay!  What if there’s a bisexual agenda we don’t even know about yet?  Maybe the homosexuals walked and talked and looked and acted just like us and WE CAN’T TELL WHO THEY ARE!!!  Or maybe that’s just what they want us to think!  Oh, the humanity!!

More importantly, maybe there’s a headquarters.  And I can go sign up.  Because I am all for the homosexual agenda.

Whatever it is.

Posted in feminism, lgbtq, republicans | Leave a Comment »

i heart hillary!

Posted by pocochina on September 17, 2007

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/17/washington/17cnd-clinton.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Way to learn from a mistake and come back and do better.  Way to not be afraid of the insurance companies.  Fight, Hillary, fight!

Great quote:  “The Congressional health care plan becomes the American health care plan,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Damn right it will.  The absolute hubris it takes to enjoy the best health care in the world and vote that down for other Americans has got to go.  Fuck that shit.

Oh, and NYT, it’s not Mrs Clinton any more than it’s Mr Obama.  Senators, thank you very much.  Senators.  People who work in the big white building at the center of Main Street, USA?  Elected by constituents?  With real jobs, like grown ups?  Senators.

It’s not so different from the Obama and Edwards plans, and so at least on this basis it’s not going to determine my vote in the primary.  Why this is different, and why it furthers my conviction that Hillary Is Awesome, is because universal health care is a huge part of why “conservatives”* tried to make her a big scary Boogeywoman (other than, of course, the absolute audacity it took to not bake cookies and sing Tammy Wynette songs for eight years, not that there’s anything wrong with cookies or Tammy Wynette).  And instead of “triangulating” (ie being a fucking politician, otherwise known as doing her job), she fucking went for it because it’s what Democrats want and because it’s the fucking right thing to do.

*People in the US who wave the “conservative” banner tend to be reactionary tools.  And by reactionary, I mean people who think that “suck my big, white, hetero COCK” is a good governing policy.  Clearly, it’s not.

Posted in badass women, clinton, feminism, politics | Leave a Comment »

we the people

Posted by pocochina on September 17, 2007

adopted the US Constitution 220 years ago today.

And in those 220 years, the definition of “we, the people” has expanded, and now we have something a bit…if not more perfect….then closer to perfect.  It’s been expanded past landowners, past whites, past men, past people who lived in the 13 colonies, past the age of 21.

We still have problems.  We still have voter intimidation, especially of brown people.  We still have cycles of greater hostility towards immigrants (when we’re all children of children of immigrants).  We still have hate crime, and misogyny, and people trying to push one narrow interpretation of religion onto everyone else.  We have secret jails and suspended habeus corpus and waterboarding and sex scandals.  We still bar some of our citizens from marriage, and we still have people trying to write discrimination into this secular – yet somehow sacred – document.  We have yet to live up to that promise.

But maybe, just maybe, we’re getting there.

We’re far from perfect, but in the last 220 years, we’ve become a little more perfect.

I hope I forgive myself the naivete, the triteness, the ineffable something that makes me so inspired by that.

May we deserve it.

We, the people.

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