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Monday, June 16, 2014

Male Judges with Daughters Are More Likely to Treat Women Like Human Beings

Posted by on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Adam Liptak at the New York Times writes:

It turns out that judges with daughters are more likely to vote in favor of women’s rights than ones with only sons. The effect, a new study found, is most pronounced among male judges appointed by Republican presidents, like Chief Justice Rehnquist.

This is something you see anecdotally proven again and again. Ordinarily misogynist men behave differently when their daughters are pulled into the equation. But the thing I don't understand is, why does it have to be daughters? Most of these male judges have wives, too; why is it that wives don't seem to influence men to make smarter choices when it comes to women's rights? Or, for that matter, mothers? What is it about having daughters that makes men suddenly decide to treat women like equal human beings? The report (PDF) has no answers, but it certainly makes a convincing case that daughters, more often than not, create the biggest change.


Comments (13) RSS

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Conversely, male judges with daughters are less likely to follow logic, the constitution, stick to facts and are more likely to have emotional rulings.
Posted by A member of the Tim Hortons crowd on June 16, 2014 at 2:36 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 2
Lots of questions. Stupid to expect answers from us Sloggers. Your cocky ass shit style of writing proves that your answers are always better than ours.
Posted by dnt trust me on June 16, 2014 at 2:37 PM · Report this
fletc3her 3
I think this could be seen as a natural corollary to the protectiveness many fathers feel about their daughters. The same tactics they used to woo her mother are not seen favorably by the father when they are applied to their daughter.

It is a rather sad testament to the lack of empathy many people fell for others' situations. It should not require personal experience to understand where others are coming from, but it does.
Posted by fletc3her on June 16, 2014 at 2:37 PM · Report this
This is a good question. I have two sisters and lots of female cousins, and I always have considered my mother and grandmothers to be resilient, capable and skilled personalities that deserved more respect than they received because of their gender. (Though I did have my first "society is messed up" moment with respect to my mom - she didn't get a raise after her first year of working as a salesperson for a retailer in consumer electronics, even though she sold more stereos and TVs than the next best salesperson, solely because she was female.)

I think the difference for me is that, for my female relations not my daughter, my first reaction was to defend them on their behalf directly (and did, once or twice at risk to life and limb). With my daughter, I knew I couldn't guarantee that I could always be there for her, so making sure that society treated her fairly mattered more to me.
Posted by palamedes on June 16, 2014 at 3:26 PM · Report this
@3 may be onto something. Having a daughter probably doesn't transform someone into a feminist, but they may extend their patriarchal ideas into a zone that overlaps with feminism.
Posted by wxPDX on June 16, 2014 at 3:40 PM · Report this
I think it has to do both with being responsible for someone and being directly involved in her development. Her obstacles become your obstacles. I also think it's no small matter that your daughter is not (generally) someone you are distracted by in a sexual way and may be easier to see as a more fully formed person.
Posted by Korinthia Klein on June 16, 2014 at 4:41 PM · Report this
"It should not require personal experience to understand where others are coming from, but it does."

But unfortunately, it does. Sometimes that personal relationship is the only thing that breaks through the shell of them v. us. Also unfortunately, a wife/female partner doesn't have the same effect,
Posted by sarah70 on June 16, 2014 at 4:53 PM · Report this
@1, citation needed
Posted by GermanSausage on June 16, 2014 at 4:55 PM · Report this
I would guess that the men may view the wives as "other" but the daughters as as least half themselves and therefore an extension of themselves.
Posted by heartfelt on June 16, 2014 at 6:45 PM · Report this
Sexist men typically view their wives and girlfriends as their personal property, and snotty little boys think their mothers exist for their benefit. Fatherhood is different. Parents typically have ambitions and hopes for their children and want to arrange the larger world to be more welcoming to them.
Posted by Always east coaster on June 16, 2014 at 6:52 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 11
Just more of the empathy gap among conservatives.

If it doesn't happen to someone they personally know and feel protective about, it doesn't happen.

Reagan attacked "welfare queens", but he'd cut personal checks to people who wrote in with their sob stories.
Posted by Max Solomon on June 16, 2014 at 8:13 PM · Report this
that one's easy, male judges are lawyers who excelled in their profession and are likely to marry other lawyers and doctors and whatnot OR have the stay at home wifey wife if conservative; they are not married to marginalized women who are harassed at work. they are married to women who own the company or would file suit if harassed. their daughers though in being kids or teens facing rampant male hormones, they are in need of protection. iow, the male judge's wives are not hte kind of women who need a longer statute of limiations they're quick off the bat to sue, or just get another high powered job. we're talking about the tippy top elites in america here -- not in pay but status, education and power -- people who all went to the ivy league or at least the stop state university and not the state college. if you can't grok these distinctions then you're just not familiar with the tribal rites and attributes of the upper 1% in power prestige and education. judges are not married to the waitress at the coffee shop working two shifts, duh.
Posted by lemme splain you man on June 17, 2014 at 7:32 AM · Report this
Fistique 13
Wives generally support and facilitate their husbands' worldview (they were selected for this trait). Children are unpredictable.
Posted by Fistique on June 17, 2014 at 8:20 AM · Report this

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