male attorneys can no longer call their female counterparts "darling" or "honey"

In a win for every woman who’s ever entered court, the American Bar Association has officially banned sexist language in courtrooms.

by Amy Campbell
11 August 2016, 3:25am

Ben Thomson

For women in the American legal system, going to work just got a whole lot more enjoyable. In a move set to go down in the history books, the American Bar Association has passed a rule that forbids any form of discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, religion, age, disability or sex from taking place within the courtroom.

While most American industries have rules against harassment and discrimination, until now, the legal profession has been without a nation-wide code. Female lawyers in the US have long tolerated demeaning remarks and sexist behavior, like being called "honey," and "darling" by male lawyers and colleagues when at work. It's pretty shocking to note that many women in the field are "accustomed" to insults like these, and choose not to speak out in fear of harming their careers.

But after the ruling was passed in the form of a unanimous voice vote at the A.B.A.'s annual meeting in San Francisco on Monday, the ladies upholding the US legal system won't have to grin and bear sexual misconduct any longer. The A.B.A. says that from now on, penalties for such behavior will include fines or suspension from practice, depending on the severity of the offence.

Around two-dozen state bars have already adopted similar rules, but this is the first time a national code has been established. A recent A.B.A. sponsored study shows that only 18 percent of partners at top American law firms are female. But we bet the new ruling will have women feeling a lot more comfy about aiming for leadership positions within the legal profession. 


Image Ben Thomson