Month: November 2016

The Brothers

From “Stereotypical Female”

“You are a stereotypical female.”
I am a member of my school’s robotics team. There are not very many girls on the team, but that never bothered me because everyone was so inclusive. One of our sponsors is this pair of brothers who are very smart and like to teach kids about STEM. This is great but they make many misogynistic comments to the girls in our team (including myself) and some of the boys. It really does hurt to hear “Women don’t belong in STEM” when you are already trying to make it in a field that is predominately men. Their mindset is so stuck in the past. Women do belong in STEM. Women are just as good as their male counterparts. The problem is men like these two brothers bringing engineer hopeful girls down and discouraging them further. It is not okay. It really is sad that sexism is still so evident in my everyday life. It’s almost as if we’ve gotten nowhere in terms of gender equality. I hope that when I get to college and beyond that the atmosphere is much more inclusive because it’s really not okay.

From Anonymous

I’m in a statistics graduate program. I specialize in statistical graphics and data visualization. Today, a fellow grad student asked me a question about how to show some model results in a different way. I made a few suggestions, to which he replied, “That’s actually a really good idea.” The bone I have to pick here is with the word “actually.” Why qualify “That’s a really good idea” with “actually”? It just diminishes my good idea (in a field I’m almost an expert in) and makes it seem surprising that it came from my brain! I like this other student, and I don’t think he was actively trying to diminish me and my ideas. However, this is a microaggression that I face frequently in academia and I find it extremely frustrating. I’m tired of my colleagues sounding so surprised when I have a good idea!