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Victoria Pynchon

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The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

Should We Sell Out Our Girlfriends to Further Our Careers?

Because I write for ForbesWoman, I get email and telephone calls. Not the frightening women-bashing kind, but the reaching out for advice-kind. It’s one of the many great benefits of blogging there.

Just a few months ago, I received an email from a new lawyer who was in the job market after working in the public sector for a few years. She wanted to start a blog and was curious about the effects the expression of her political opinions might have on her career trajectory.

If Carrie Bradshaw were framing the issue she might write:

Should We Sell Out Our Girlfriends to Further Our Careers?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know my deal with the devil already.

Long story short – I was extremely active in the Second Wave women’s movement, working full time as a Vista volunteer (for the $200/month stipend) at the Center for Women’s Studies and Services in San Diego.

First week of law school, I made my way to a classroom in the basement where the Women Law Students Association (now the Feminist Forum) was having an introductory meeting for new students.

“I don’t want to ally myself with women anymore,” I thought. “I just want to be a law student, not a woman law student. I want to be a lawyer, not a woman lawyer.”

And that was the end of my involvement with women’s organizations for thirty years.

So, yes, I did stop supporting my women friends to further my career. But did I have to?

Is it Worth It?

When the young woman lawyer who wrote me for advice called, I answered her question the best way I knew how.

“Yes, you will limit your market if you express your political opinions publicly. There are people who will not hire you as an associate attorney in their law firms and others who will not retain your services as a lawyer. It’s a personal moral decision – one only you can make.

“No one can tell you what to do. If you have something important to say about the status of women in the law and you don’t say it, it might not get said. And the women who need support, whose spirits are flagging because they don’t hear your voice in the desert, might suffer a spiritual death from the thirst.”

Continue reading here ->>

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