Yes, I’m tired. I’m a grad student. Shocking, right?

From Sam:

I just wanted to post this here because I wanted a forum to scream that I’M SO TIRED OF MALE STUDENTS IN MY DEPARTMENT TELLING ME I LOOK TIRED.  Usually, it happens on days when I don’t wear makeup, which ironically are the days I am least tired, since I probably slept in too late and so I didn’t have time to put on makeup.  But recently, it happened to me when I was just walking down the hall, in a full face of my usual make up, and I’d only spoken to the guy who made the comment once or twice before, so I was especially uncomfortable with it.

Now, I’m willing to accept that the people who make this comment think that they’re showing a caring or empathetic side of themselves. Maybe they’re thinking, “Oh, she looks so tired today, I hope she’s doing okay,” or “Man, she looks super stressed this week. I’m having a rough week, too. Maybe we can commiserate together.”  If so, okay, but just ask, “How are you doing?” instead! Then, I know that you care about my feelings and not just about my appearance.

By just telling me I look tired, however, you…
a) assume that my outer appearance must always show my inner thoughts and feelings.
b) assume that my natural state must be to never look tired in order to keep up the facade of beauty and perfection that the media and the patriarchy have forced on women.
c) are basically saying to me, “Wow, you look like total shit today.” (So you can imagine why I would find that insulting.)
d) are treating me as an object to be gazed upon instead of a person with all the same emotions, struggles, and stresses that you have.

I mean, we’re all in the same PhD program, for crying out loud! You know what it’s like to be taking classes, teaching classes, and doing research all at the same time! So empathize with me when I’m having a rough day, and celebrate with me when I’m having a good day, and I’ll do the same for you! Just please, don’t make it about my appearance.

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