“What’s the difference between a female lawyer and a pitbull? – lipstick.”

Pretty cruel, huh – but was it an accurate quip when I practised as a barrister some years ago?

The early female barristers had to be as well as look pretty tough, as they then were competing as a small minority in a man’s world.

But by the seventies, things had changed somewhat. Girls could be girls in a more equal world and it was a pleasant feeling to be able to observe a pretty female face under the grisly, prickly wig.

I even kissed one once, although not when she wearing a wig I hasten to add. On this subject, my lips are sealed (excuse the near pun) which may save her reputation if not mine, as the lady is now a distinguished judge!

Mind you, for many years ladies still weren’t allowed to let their hair down – it had be bundled up underneath the wig, and trousers were absolutely verboten!

Charlie, in my novel Wig Begone by Charles Courtley mentions one particular harridan called Evelina Scarrow, who bore the moniker Scarrow the Shriek, so named due to her shrill penetrating voice in the courtroom.

Such a person did exist in real life, as I well remember one hot summer forty years ago. The “Shriek” was prosecuting a case in the depths of Kent and her howling voice drove everybody to near distraction. So much so, that the defendant, rather than be screamed at in cross-examination, decided to plead guilty during the course of the trial instead.

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