I just attended one of the plenary lectures at the APS mid-atlantic meeting, which was given by a female physicist. During the Q&A section, the second question was an undergrad who asked what is a graviton. Her answer was pretty concise and along the lines of “A graviton is a particle that carries gravity. It’s analogous to a photon, which carries electromagnetic force. For this project, we are studying things on such a macro scale that we don’t need to think about these particles. Instead, we just focus on gravitational waves.” She paused and then asked him, “Did I answer your question?” To which he replies, “Sure,” in a somewhat condescending way. The next person to ask a question was a much older. He began his question with, “Now, you’re going to have to listen carefully to my question in order to answer it.”
I somehow suspect that if she were a man, neither of these people would feel so comfortable being condescending. She’s well-established in her field; what kind of condescending remarks should I expect as a researcher who is just starting out?