Article Title

Rip-off Professionalism

Publication Citation

1 (1) IUSTITIA 80 (1973)


In the February 1972 issue of PRO SE (National Law Women's Newsletter) an article entitled "Professional Rip-off" criticized the Women's Liberation Movement for producing what the authors call "grasping opportunists," "pleasant, reasonable, charming, and eternally submissive sell-out[s] " (page 4). They are referring to professional women and posit that because, in a capitalist society, professional status is a privilege enjoyed by few, the claim that all women will benefit from an improvement in the status of professional women could not be farther from the truth (page 4): "Instead of making women more 'equal,' the new female professionals make themselves more special and other women more powerless than ever" (page 4). The implicit conclusion of the authors is that the women's movement must adopt socialist goals. Socialist change is necessary because rip-off professionalism originates in the capitalist education structure and because it is perpetuated by liberal consciousness. My purpose is to examine both the origin and perpetuation of rip-off professionalism and to propose admittedly reformist, but non-rip-off, methods of dealing with the problem.