Why She’s a MAKER: Badass can get overused in feminist circles, but the title applies 100 percent here. Marcia Clark was on trial for being a woman while arguing the biggest murder case of the 20th century. The verdict went against her, but history has given her a victory as younger generations no longer judge her, but the sexism she faced during the case.
Type Cast: Marcia Clark was raised to believe girls could do anything they wanted. She graduated from UCLA with honors and fluency in four languages. And yet, when she applied for a job at the State Department, “They asked me if I could type. Really? That was my first headbanging right into the cement wall of sexism.”
Women on Trial: After law school, in 1989, Clark became an L.A. County District Attorney and won 19 out of 20 first-degree murder trials. Then came O.J. Simpson—and a shift in focus from her skills to her skirts. “It was suggested that I wear pastels, that I speak more softly, that I smile more. And I thought, that’s ridiculous. This isn’t a dinner party; it’s a murder trial.”
Clark’s Day in Court: Justice wasn’t blind to Clark’s gender. Her biggest objection was to Judge Lance Ito who was “dismissive, condescending, and downright rude in a way he never was to the men.” Now Clark isn’t alone in her frustration. “I was interviewed a lot by millennials. The reporters I spoke to—both male and female—were outraged at the sexism they saw as they studied the case. ‘Did you really go through that?’ That’s a whole new world we’re living in. That’s progress.”