By Gina Barreca
The Hartford Courant
So Judge Judy calls and says, “You’re the feminist, right?”
This is not the start of a joke; this was the start of my day.
Judy Sheindlin, known to the world as the most successful woman on television, is known to me as the girl next door. In Brooklyn, N.Y., her family’s house was scooched in right next to ours. Her tiny, ancient grandmother used to yell at me if I played too long in their yard or picked honeysuckle off their vine.
Judy Blum was the first girl I knew who went to college or, for that matter, graduated from high school in a timely manner. To say I admired her would be an understatement, and our neighborhood was not known for understatements.
We’ve remained friends and allies. After all, not only do we share a history; we both have strong opinions, decisive manners and voices that sound like traffic. But my days don’t often begin with a call from Judy’s CBS/Paramount trailer in L.A.
“I want to rant about Huckabee’s speech,” Judy says. No hello or how are you; she gets as directly to the point in real life as she does on television.
She launched into her argument. “So we want to free the women of America? You know what would free the women of America? Make men accept responsibility for birth control. Forget the glass ceiling. Let ’em use condoms. Then Huckabee wouldn’t have to worry about spending too much money on women’s reproductive process. Women could stop inserting or injecting birth control, both of which can have terrible effects on our bodies. Guys can just put on a raincoat.”
“It also helps prevent disease!” I piped up, always the chorus to Judy’s aria.
Right before clicking off, Judy said, “Remember, a Trojan is more than a horse.”