Inherently sexist, honey

“Asking for Coffee Not Grounds for Sex Harassment Suit”:

[Judge Berle M. ] Schiller found that plaintiff Tamara Klopfenstein failed to allege even a prima facie case of sex discrimination because she cannot show that she was treated differently from any “similarly situated” male employees since there was only one receptionist in the office and the job had always been held by a woman. . . .

Plaintiffs attorneys . . . said in an interview that they intend to appeal the ruling, and that Schiller erred by failing to recognize that some tasks are “inherently more Immaculate receptionoffensive to women.”

Not that there’s anything circular about that. If the plaintiff were to win such an appeal, it would amount to a ruling that by virtue of a job usually being done by women, it is inherently offensive to ask women to do it.

Such a ruling would surely do wonders for women’s employment prospects. Did President Clinton have any idea a person who would pass up the opportunity to craft such a doctrine was his nominee for this federal judgeship back in 2000? When are we going to break free of these sexist chains? Man, just wait till the next time someone asks me to move a refrigerator.

And it wasn’t just the coffee that stained Klopfenstein’s experience at this shop:

According to court papers, Klopfenstein worked for six weeks as a part-time receptionist and data entry clerk. In her suit, she claims that the office environment was tinged with sexism from the very beginning when a vice president of the company made a note after her initial interview that she “looks nice, dresses well.”

Well, who would want that in a receptionist?

After just a few weeks on the job, Klopfenstein claims that a male co-worker invited her to lunch in an e-mail that said “I feel bad you have been working here for a couple of weeks and we haven’t gotten to know each other yet.”

In her deposition, Klopfenstein testified that she found the invitation “very offensive” because “there is no reason why a man and a woman should go out to lunch together without any other party around. To me that’s a date.”

Being asked to lunch — “very offensive” indeed! And the guy actually was going to make everyone else leave the restaurant! Please, do we have to connect the dots?! Yet the law would not take notice.

Okay, I know what you’re wondering, but you’re afraid to ask. Given all this offensiveness and tingeing, I can hardly blame you, but I’m here to bring it all on home. What you want to know is: Judge Berle M. Schiller… uh, what kind of name is that? “Berle”?

It’s a boy’s name. (Hat tip to Overlawyered.)

Originally posted on Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog, Likelihood of Success.

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