“IMPORTANT From today onwards The wardens have strictly prohibited short clothes. So please wear clothes at least till right above your knees or longer than that! Please do not walk outside GB in short clothes. You won’t be allowed to walk outside the gate, and you won’t be allowed to walk in at night, with short clothes.” This was the message circulated to undergraduate women of NITK. No such warnings/messages were issued/circulated to the undergraduate men.
I was in my college psychology class and my one professor liked to try and figure out what would bother his students the most. I purposely kept myself guarded around him. He took different approaches, but the one I remember the most is that I was asking questions about the material, digging pretty deep into the theories, and after I asked a question he let out a low whistle, looked at me, and replied with: “Wow. You’re going to be a downright terrible wife. Asking questions like that? No man in their right mind would ever want to put up with a woman like you.” Everyone laughed. Including me. I used this as a funny anecdote for years, but I now look back and realize that this was a horrifically sexist thing for him to say to me.
My housemate went to a quiz night, he’s just walked in and said – ” We won the quiz and we had a shit hot name – ‘Quiz on my face and tell me I’m pretty’. “
I work in a college and a senior tutor just referred to some girls as ‘tail’. I explained – diplomatically – how that would be seen as innapropriate and he laughed. I didn’t. Once upon a time I would, but no more.
I used to work in FE, in a customer service/admin-type role. One of the duties was assisting members of the public and/or enrolled students, who would drop in with enquiries. Another task of the department was to assess applicants’ levels of literacy and numeracy. Certain staff had much more interaction with the public front-line than others (who would be in a side office doing admin, or, lets be realistic,skiving). Over time, I became increasingly aware of some front line staff (usually male, but not exclusively) calling male colleagues from the side office area to come and deal with an ‘assessment’. I found this strange as it was not part of their duties to cover the assessments, but thought nothing more of it. Then, at a Christmas team lunch, one of the team had compiled a ‘fun’ quiz about the team/college. One of the questions was “what does assessment mean?”. I was shocked to learn that it was a code word used to call male staff to the public area, to gawp at / ogle younger female students & members of the public (who were deemed to be ‘fit’ or ‘hot’). Apparently this was an open secret and had gone on for some time. There were line managers and departmental managers (male and female) present at the lunch. No official action was taken! I tried to raise it, but was told I didn’t have any written proof and therefore that I was putting in false complaints against male colleagues. In addition, the ID numbers of ‘fit’ female students were emailed around male staff every so often, so they could check out the online ID photos and timetables, to see when the student/s were due in college. Certain male staff would then hang around the entrance to try and see the student arrive or leave. And all this took place in a publicly-funded FE college, supposedly a place of equality, learning and improving the mind. Shocking!
So we’re having a training session in Entrepreneurship a day Strategic Planning. I’m one of the consultations the University (in Jamaica) hired to facilitate the workshop. Just as I’m about to begin the session with my group (a group of about 5 persons from a community group) one of the men interrupts me. Him: Can I ask you favour? Me: Sure. (thinking it was related to the topic). Him: Can you fix me a cup of coffee? The rest of the group is either laughing from embarrassment or shaking their heads. So instead of just ignoring him or insulting him (like I would usually do to men who are so rude) I decided to ask him why he asked me that favour. I had expected him to say something reasonable or even lazy like ‘oh you’re closer to the table’ or ‘I don’t know how to make coffe’. But instead he says “Oh me like when woman make my coffee.” I was so irritated. Not only with the fact that he was wasting my time but the fact that he thought it was OK to interrupt my session to reduce me to his maid. I became further irritated when a group member told me to ignore him because was on the driver (ie – wasn’t even a part of the class). I was the most educated person in the room but he wanted to reduce me to a server all because ‘he liked when women made his coffe’. #GetOnMyLevel
I am a female full Professor with a Ph.D. at a research university in the United States. A “good old boy” colleague who schmoozed his way to full Professor many years ago despite low research productivity insists on speaking to me in a condescending manner: sometimes (especially after I’ve challenged “good old boy” privilege-taking) he talks to me as if I were an ingenue who needs explanations of the way in which a department in which I have worked for over ten years is run; at other times he issues direct orders, as if he were a supervisor (which he is not) and I were his subordinate (which I am not); when he is asked to negotiate with me as an equal over an issue of shared concern, he insists on making the decision and delivering it to me in writing. Sadly, this behavioral pattern is common at my institution (once, when I chaired a committee at the university-wide level, a colleague of equal rank tried to treat me like a secretary, and doubled down when I called him out on his conduct): and my university’s leadership wonders why there are so few female faculty, let alone full Professors!
In my university where I study art, there are classrooms around our art studios where they teach plumbing, construction, etc. There isn’t one female in any of those classes, all just guys. They frequently catcall, whistle and comment sexual remarks to the females in my class. This happens frequently and it is not okay.