Jose Carillo's Forum


This section features wide-ranging, thought-provoking articles in English on any subject under the sun. Its objective is to present new, mind-changing ideas as well as to show to serious students of English how the various tools of the language can be felicitously harnessed to report a momentous or life-changing finding or event, to espouse or oppose an idea, or to express a deeply felt view about the world around us.

The outstanding English-language expositions to be featured here will mostly be presented through links to the websites that carry them. To put a particular work in better context, links to critiques, biographical sketches, and various other material about the author and his or her works will usually be also provided.

I hope you’ll enjoy the new selections that will be presented here each week.

Joe Carillo

Fighting discrimination in the workplace against one’s looks

For those who have been discriminated against because of their looks, or for their relatives and friends who have suffered the same fate, Stanford University law professor Deborah Lee Rhode recently came up with a provocative new book that staunchly takes up the cudgels for them. Her book, The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Law and Life (Oxford University Press, 252 pages), advocates legislation and legal protection for workers against appearance-based discrimination unless their looks are directly relevant to their job performance.

In a review of The Beauty Bias in the June 11, 2010 issue of, Lindsay Beyerstein says Rhode argues convincingly that beauty bias in the workplace is a widespread problem with serious consequences. “Rhode does a good job of spelling out why such bias is offensive to human dignity and equal opportunity,” she says. “There’s a tendency to dismiss concerns over looks-based discrimination as frivolous. The Beauty Bias dares us to take appearance discrimination seriously, and for that alone it’s an important book.”

In another review of The Beauty Bias in the May 13, 2010 issue of The New York Times, Emily Bazelon calls attention to Rhode’s observation “that there is no visible gray hair on the heads of any of the 16 female United States senators, ages 46 to 74”—a phenomenon that Rhode attributes to “professional necessity” among women as they age. Bazelon is appreciative of the fact that Rhode isn’t “conjuring up an overlawyered world in which aspiring models sue for losing work,” and doesn’t really think that appearance deserves top billing on the women’s rights reform agenda. “She just wants to talk about the perils of high heels and weight requirements along with the wage gap,” Bazelon says.

Read Lindsay Beyerstein’s “The ‘Beauty Bias’ at Work, and What Should Be Done About It” in the website now!

Read Emily Bazelon’s “Just One Look” in The New York Times now!


Deborah L. Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and the Director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford University. She has a Yale BA and JD, and is a former law clerk of Justice Thurgood Marshall, a former president of the Association of American Law Schools, a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, and a former director of both Stanford’s Center on Ethics and its Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She is the author or coauthor of twenty books and over 200 articles, and is the nation’s most cited scholar on professional responsibility.

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