In an interview with The Daily Beast, Judge Judy discusses her television success and personal life. But we're wondering why a self-proclaimed "common sense girl" doesn't consider herself a feminist. (As you may remember, last May we anointed her anyway.)
The 67-year-old TV judge—and mother of five, grandmother of 11—said, "I never felt I didn't have equal opportunity as a woman," despite the fact that she mentioned that she was one of only six women enrolled at her law school, where, she admits, the professors didn't have much regard for the female students:
Some of the professors treated you as if you were a skunk at a lawn party…and you were there as a hobby. Sometimes that takes your spirit away, and sometimes it makes you tougher. It made me mad and tough. There were a lot of schmucky guys in my class who were going to be very mediocre lawyers at best.
That sounds an awful lot like the sentiments of a feminist. As does her description of her marriage, which she says initially played into traditional domestic roles at home before she realized that "it was wrong."
We didn't have enough money, so I cleaned the house. I did the cooking. This 'sharing of stuff' didn't start until much later, unfortunately for me.
However, JJ says that she wasn't really on board with the second wavers she encountered in the '70s.
I believe in the individual spirit. It was hard for me to put my heart into organizations that were trying to tell me something that I never felt.
It seems as though JJ is one of those women who feels alienated by a movement that, unfortunately, isn't always as inclusive as it should be—a problem that's existed in all of its waves and incarnations. Perhaps it's the political-correctness of some feminisms—which many women (myself included) find kind of suffocating at times—that has turned her off from the f-word.
There may be a small nucleus of people who are very verbal, who will PC you to death, but if I call someone an idiot, they're an idiot. I don't care if they're a boy or a girl or black or white or green or chartreuse.
JJ thinks that her political incorrectness is also part of her success, saying that, "At my age, I've heard it all…I think that's the reason [my show] has legs and longevity." And with her results, who can argue with her? In 11 of the past 14 weeks, she's been number one in her time slot, beating out Oprah in the ratings game. JJ says she has no intention of quitting her show anytime soon, and is signed on, definitely, through 2013.
But success aside, her particular brand of dispensing justice—through cut-and-dry insults—doesn't appeal to everyone (especially when coming from a woman). Former People's Court host Judge Wapner called JJ "a disgrace to the profession." Naturally, she has an opinion about his criticism:
I think that you take political correctness sometimes to an illogical place…and the fact that I'm on for 14 years and Wapner is not…Bottom line is, I'm here and he's not.
But for someone who felt like she's always had equal opportunity as a woman, JJ also admits that, "life isn't fair…But at least for an hour a day, as long as I'm around, I like to think the right thing happens."
The Real Queen of Daytime [The Daily Beast]
Earlier: 10 Things You May Have Missed On TV This Week
Judge Judy On Sarah Palin, Creationism, And A Woman's Right To Choose
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Judge Judy Vs. Feminists
Judge Judy Vs. Feminists, Part 2