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The Judge Aquilina Backlash: How Can Anyone Criticize Our Hero?

Next Tribe judge aquilina backlash

How many of us cheered inwardly or actually jumped up and down when we heard Judge Rosemary Aquilina sentence Larry Nasser, the former doctor for the Olympic gymnastics doctor? Who thought anyone could find fault with her strong words to a creep convicted of serial sexual molestation of young girls?

Guess what? There are reports of a backlash against the judge for “grandstanding.”

Some legal experts wrung their hands about the professionalism of making statements from the bench that smack of vigilantism and vengeance.  “A case can be made that, with that same sentencing statement, she hurt the cause of justice,” said a writer in Time Magazine. The national correspondent for the Atlantic said, “The dignity of the proceedings was diminished by a few words.”

Unfortunately professional women are all-too familiar with these criticisms and the double standard. Judges often add personal bits of outrage or perspective when they sentence a criminal. The judge sentencing Bernie Madoff called him “extraordinarily evil.” The difference in this case seems to be that the scathing comments were coming from a female judge. The tone and demeanor of powerful women are constantly open for critique. How often is a tough woman dismissed as “shrill?” Hello Hillary.

But if ever someone needed a dressing down by a strong woman, if ever young girls needed to see that their sex can punch back, it was in this case. Judge Aquilina was delivering the collective primal scream of those gymnasts who had been violated and their parents, and was channeling the building rage behind the #Metoo movement. Some people may not like it, but we say, Get used to it.

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