Society

Federal Judge Cautions Women Lawyers Not To Dress Like Ignorant Sluts

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Kopf is in hot water after blogging about being “a dirty old man” and how a female attorney shouldn’t dress like “an ignorant slut.”

The 63-year-old Bush-appointed judge says he's a self-professed "dirty old man," except when it comes to his own daughters. 

“In candor, I have been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man. Except, that is, when it comes to my daughters (and other young women that I care deeply about)," Kopf wrote on his personal blog.

He argues that it's natural for men to be "pigs" and that woman should avoid wearing low-cut blouses or high skirts around them. 

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“You can’t win. Men are both pigs and prudes. Get over it,” he writes.

He described a female attorney who is brilliant but, more to the point, sexy.

“Around these parts there is a wonderfully talented and very pretty female lawyer who is in her late twenties,” he said. “She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes.”

Kopf suggests while he thinks women should dress modestly he likes when they don’t.

“I later learned that word had gotten around about this lawyer’s dress,” he added. “Acknowledging that the lawyer was really good, the consensus of the sisterhood was uniformly critical. ‘Unprofessional’ was the word used most often. To a woman, the law clerks seethed and sneered. They were truly upset."

“It is not about you. That goes double when you are appearing in front of a jury,” he cautions. “Think about the female law clerks. If they are likely to label you, like Jane Curtin, an ignorant slut behind your back, tone it down.”

Organizations like the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and A Is For say this kind of body-shaming is the basis for blaming victims of unwanted attention and sexual harassment.

A female prosecutor in Douglas County, Neb., told the Omaha World-Herald the post was "demeaning and distasteful."

"Are you kidding me?" prosecutor Brenda Beadle said. "This is a federal judge."

Sources: ThinkProgress, New York Daily News