From Anonymous

My first experience with sexism in academia came in one of the first core classes of my major (a sort of applied physics/engineering degree). I was excited to start the class as it was taught by the head of the department. Unfortunately, this was merely one of many disagreements and experiences I would have with him based on my gender over my 3 years under him.

In the very first class, he offered us an opportunity to earn 5 extra-credit points towards our first quiz. He posed us a question and the first person to give him the correct answer either in person or over e-mail would receive the points.
I went to Google immediately after class and looked up the answer to his question. Then, I sent him an e-mail with the answer and a link to the site I had found the answer off. As it was minutes after class, I was fairly confident I had been the first to submit it.

In the next class, he makes a point to tell me (in front of the rest of the class–2 girls vs. 12 boys for those keeping score, and this was my entire graduating class) that while I had been the first to submit the correct answer, I had not done it with enough confidence. The points were instead awarded to the person who had sent the second e-mail, surprise surprise, a boy.

It feels silly to still be so angry over a few extra points when I got a great grade on the first quiz anyways, but it’s always bugged me that the professor somehow thought the tone of a female’s e-mail was less confident than that of a male’s, and that this somehow meant their answers were less valid.

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