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Character Unite: Suits Exposes the Dangers of Sex Stereotypes

Suits is really going in on this gender discrimination storyline – are you as obsessed with it as I am? Last night, the drama escalated: in addition to litigating a class action against Folsom Foods, Pearson Hardman has the table turned on itself as an old partner from the firm names Jessica Pearson herself in a gender discrimination suit.

Here’s where it gets interesting: Daniel Hardman, the scheming lawyer leading the charge, relies on the same sexist stereotypes about women to make his case against Jessica. He accuses her of being jealous of the younger associate and of thinking less of female employees who choose to have children. Women in the workplace often get caught in this double-bind: either thought to be un-ladylike due their ambition, or accused of being not committed enough when they have children. Hardman’s argument also relies on an equally tired story about women managers discriminating against women in the workplace.

Regardless, women should not have to depend on the luck of the draw in a manager to be guaranteed protection in the workplace. That’s why the National Women’s Law Center is fighting for policies like the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act, to protect women across the board.

I hope you caught the PSA we worked on with Suits and Characters Unite at the end of the episode (shout-out to Sarah Rafferty, with whom I share an alma mater!).  Tune in next Thursday for more of Folsom Foods, and more firm-on-firm dramaAnd to learn more about the stereotypes women face in the workplace, check out our fact sheet here.

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