When I was an undergraduate working on a senior thesis, my male advisor once asked me to retrieve his keys from his front pants pocket and open his office door. I objected. He matter-of-factly replied, “You have too. My hands are full, I can’t do it.” I was still hesitant, he maintained that there was no other way. I think he had some reason why he couldn’t transfer his burden to me. The samples were too fragile, maybe. He was acting like it was no big deal and I was being unreasonable. I began to doubt myself. Maybe I’m making a big fuss over nothing. I reached in his pocket, so so carefully, oh my god so carefully, and got the keys.
That was 15 years ago and I am only now realizing how inappropriate his request was.
I left that field largely because male bad behavior was celebrated, i.e., cheating on wives, having multiple girlfriends, what happens in the field stays in the field, etc. This same advisor told me, “This is the real world and you need to get used to it.” Nope. No I do not. I left. He couldn’t believe it when I went to graduate school in a different subfield (incidentally, a more STEM-y one).