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Lady justice: blind or not?

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Written by   76
1 year ago
Topics: History

Most of you have noticed the erected statue of a female at the entrance of several courts around the globe.

With a sword in one hand and a scale in the other, the daring woman looks as if imposing her authority on the place. That allegoric statue is known universally as "lady justice", a personification of the moral force of justice. Although not limited to courts alone, it is extended to judicial systems as a whole.

But how come justice is portrayed as a woman?

In a matter of fact, depicting justice as a female figure stems from ancient Greek mythology , where the goddess Dike, Zeus' daughter, and her mother Themis were worshipped as deities of Justice. In most depictions, Dike is portrayed with a scale suspending from her hand, while Themis, an embodiment of divine law and order, is often delineated as a woman wielding a sword. Therefore, it is no speculation to assume that lady justice is a merged personification of the two goddesses.

However, it is worth noting that the word " justice" is derived from the name of Roman deity "Justitia", the equivalent goddess of "Dike" in the Roman Pantheon.

As I mentioned beforehand, lady justice is associated with the sword and scale she carries in each and every statue of hers. The sword is to symbolize power; it is a reminder that justice is to be swift, decisive and crucial. The set of scales, on the other hand, denotes the balance between truth and fairness sought from justice. It is also a reference to the weight of gathered evidence given to justice, and whether or not they are significant enough to stand on their own during trial.

Even though this is a slight digression, I believe it is important to point out that depicting the scale as a symbol of justice is not limited to Romans and ancient Greeks alone. A similar depiction was found in a scene of "the book of the dead", a "scripture" which delineates ancient Egyptians' conception of what happens after death. In this particular scene, and for the deceased to make it to the eternal life, his heart is to be weighed on the scale of Maat, the goddess of truth and balance. If the heart weighs equally as much as the "feather of truth", the deceased shell pass to the afterlife. If not, he will be devoured by Ammit, a beast that is a mix of hippopotamus, Nile's crocodile, and lion.

As interesting as it is, this discussion is out of the original topic. So I refrain from taking it any further.

Other than the sword and scale, and starting from the middle of the 16th century, lady justice has been often depicted blindfolded. What does the blindfold represent, you might ask? Well, it is to emphasise the fact that "Justice is blind".

The expression " justice is blind" is to highlight justice's impartiality and objectivity. These notions are of utmost importance in any judicial system; they denote justice is to be applied under whatever circumstances, which, of course, shell take place after a fair trial based on facts and evidence. For that specific reason, justice has to be "blind". Otherwise, there would be no guarantee that acquaintances and relatives will not be treated better than strangers, and the same to be said about rich and poor people.

Then, allow me to ask the unavoidable question: is this really the case in nowadays' judicial systems?

The answer, in my humble opinion, is as clear as the sun in summer. Although I'm by no means an opthalmologist, but I don't think "medical diagnoses" are needed to tell that lady justice's sight is rather fine, but only under certain circumstances. To put it in words of one syllable, lady justice suffers from a rare and advanced case of colourblindness, where the severe visual issues "she" is dealing with has affected her vision of colors, rendering her blind to all but one particular color: green, the very distinguishable color of money and power.

Unless you are living in a eutopia of which I have never heard, it is not that hard to confirm that this "disease" is sadly chronic; it gnawed and is gnawing at each and every judicial system that has ever existed, even in places and countries we assume are most "civilised". The vast majority of those systems has harmed the poor in an acute, inordinate fashion. In most cases, lady justice has been turning her "blind eye" to the poor and wretched, while the rich and powerful got all of the attention.

To sum it up, and despite being the merged personification of ancient "goddesses", lady justice is not much different than a stripper: With a pile of money stacked on her scale, you would be the center of her show and she is all yours. Mind you though, the more zeroes printed on the banknotes, the clearer her vision becomes and the merrier you render her. After all, there is a reason why contact lenses has the same shape as zeroes.

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Written by   76
1 year ago
Topics: History
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Comments

At this time, justice is for the rich people.

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1 year ago

Justice is owned by the wealthy. She's property, a slave that's clear. Her instinct is no longer important, either is the truth or justice.

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1 year ago

This is a complete analysis of how and where justice originated from but I'm a little more confused as regards why justice must be portrayed as a woman though I believe according to my own instinct that it should be portrayed as a woman in the sense that a woman is seen as one who shares her love amongst her children impartially without taken sides and that's how justice is

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1 year ago

"To sum it up, and despite being the merged personification of ancient "goddesses", lady justice is not much different than a stripper: With a pile of money stacked on her scale, you would be the center of her show and she is all yours. Mind you though, the more zeroes printed on the banknotes, the clearer her vision becomes and the merrier you render her. "

That is a beautiful depiction of atrocity, well composed.

The reality is that 'justice' is a word salad repackaged as a candybar.
"Justice" is merely verbal fiction
concocted to legitimize violating someone to satiate
whoever successfully manipulates the community.

On any given day more people are murdered for "justice" than by common criminals.

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Government-Genocide-Murder-Since/dp/1560009276
https://reason.com/2014/05/15/be-antigovernment-and-proud/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democide
= https://archive.fo/wR8ew

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1 year ago