Kat

I was an a house party and dancing with friends when I suddenly was grabbed by the hips and this random guy started grinding on me. I immediately pushed him away but I still felt gross. He didn’t even apologize and walked away looking insulted.

Jaded as F!

Where do I begin? When I started studying physics I was oblivious to sexism. I knew I was treated differently (like I was a dumb infant), but I thought it was because I was 18, 19, 20 years old! I’m 26 and feel like I have not been treated with respect and like I am the intelligent person that I am. More recently, in graduate school my advisor was in the physics department and my coadviser was in the materials science and engineering department. A graduate student peer in my lab was extremely sexist towards me, but I put up with it because I needed to learn how to use a type of microscope that was built in the lab (no manual or help desk). I hardly learned anything from that ass because he would tell me he couldn’t teach me certain things because I “would not understand it” (his words). Then, I developed a chronic stomach illness from the harassment from him, causing me days of work lost due to painful bouts of nausea and cramping (this was in addition to the depression – yay grad school). I told my advisor about the illness, but he and my coadvisor did not inform me that I could sign up with disability services for help. NOPE! After a colonoscopy, lots of meds, and psychiatry appointments, I figured out on my own that stress and harassment were causing my illness and started yoga/meditation. After a year of illness and a couple months of self-care, I cured myself, but my advisor told me “I wanted to fire you, but it would take too long to train someone new.” Fast forward a couple months, I taught myself how to use the microscope instrument and modified it to image using a different technique. I started getting real results! I presented at a conference! I was working 50-60 hr weeks! I was on track to advance to candidacy! I was doing REALLY WELL! And my advisor and coadvisor stopped helping me with my project, told me repeatedly to leave and “GET A JOB”, that my personality wasn’t that of a researcher (WTF does that even mean?!?), told me they did not have funding for me but hired a post-doc for me to train, told our collaborators I was not making any progress, and gave me two unsatisfactory grades so that I could not apply for funding through a TA or some other avenue. (Did I mention I earned a fellowship ALL BY MYSELF the previous year to support me, saving my advisor lots of money?) After doing everything within my power to stay in grad school and change my grades, I left because my health and happiness needed saving. Now, I work as a researcher at a company. I love my job, but my coworkers (male) do not like that my boss put me in charge of their team after one month at the company (because I am that legit and experienced as a coordinator/leader; I have skills). They had a secret team meeting without me last week where they discussed how to work AROUND me instead of with me (yes, I listed to their conversation through the door. no, they do not know I heard them… YET! I get to have that fun discussion about how to be professional in the workplace when I hold the team meeting this week.). I have been literally sick and tired from sexism; it is everywhere I go in my young, budding career, and I am getting Jaded as F! dealing with these situations EVERY WEEK. I love science. I love my job. I am good at science. I am good at my job. WHY DON’T THESE MEN WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT THAT I AM SMARTER THAN THEM?!? Instead they belittle my work and accomplishments and plot behind my back to get rid of me. Also, I am pissed that I know so many smart women who believe that what they experience does not matter. Too many women underestimate themselves and don’t live out their full potential because they believe when someone tells them they cannot do something. I have done things professors and students and advisors told me NOT to do, and that is how I got to graduate school in the first place, and why I have amazing leadership skills and experience across many disciplines. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do!!

Gloria

Though this was a long time ago, it still makes me angry. I went to a store that sold flooring to get an estimate for sheet vinyl for our bathroom floor; we were building a new house and doing a lot of the work ourselves. When I first went in, the woman at the counter said that the manager was at lunch and maybe I should come back later with my husband. I thought that was kind of odd, but I told her I’d wait for the manager. He gave me a price for the flooring, but when I asked about seams, as I’d only put down flooring squares and not sheet vinyl, he ALSO told me to come back with my husband. When I asked why, he said, “Because if I explain it to you and you go home and tell him, you’ll get it wrong.” I was 25, a college graduate who had also done a summer at Oxford. No one had ever talked to me like I was stupid before. BTW, his store went out of business a few years later.

di

went out for drinks with some coworkers. it’s a typical occasion for three of us (I’m the only female) but two other male coworkers around my age joined us. my normal buddies are like older brothers to me. these two newbies were absolute creeps the whole time, asking me to go to the strip club with them, asking my boob size, to what extent I’d experimented sexually,etc. i was able to signal to one of my buddies to save me, but when he came over they kept at it. he had to kiss my forehead and order me a drink for the other two to back off. getting really tired of having to be rescued by guys because my wishes aren’t worth validating.

Lauren

When I was in Middle School, I was in the mall by myself. I was walking when a man who worked a kiosk asked me to come over. I said no but he kept making a fuss. I went over and kept telling me how beautiful my hair was. He even ran his fingers through it! I was so scared and humiliated. In that crowded mall, nobody tried to notice or help me. After he did that I ran away to the other side of the mall, feeling ashamed of myself. My favorite feature is my hair, and he made that feel dirty to me. But luckily I emailed the manager of the mall and assured me he would be taken care of. I’m glad I got help, but to this day I avoid kiosks

Lauren

During Middle School, I liked to hang out with the boys in my class. The girls didn’t share the same interests I had, and seemed to not want me there either. I was eating lunch with the boys when the most annoying prick in my class walked up to me and asked in a condescending way, “What are you doing?” I looked at him with an ‘are you serious’ face and told him, “I’m eating lunch.” He glared at me and said, “You’re a girl. You can’t sit here.” I let it slide at first, but then he started talking about how women were weaker then men. So I stood up, and chased his ass around the playground, trying to slap him. The other guys were totally on my side, which I was grateful for. Unfortunately, a teacher (who was a guy if I might add) pulled us aside and asked what we were doing. I told the teacher what he said, but all he said to the boy was, “don’t do it again.” Are you serious?!?! I understand that I didn’t handle things in a mature way, but he should at least be talked to about this. The teacher didn’t give a shit how I felt, he said I was “overreacting”

Hidden

1) I told my friend about being raped and she replied with ” oh that’s normal every ones been rape, I’ve been raped twice” and all my other friends supposed my rapist and ex because he was popular 2) my whole school thinks I’m a slut because of him and guys try to touch me without my permission because “you’re easy anyways” 3) my parents found out when we were aguing, my mom thinks I had to do something and my dad thinks I’m lying. If I don’t scream and fight I’m obviously hiding something 4)the security at my school made a pass at me in the hall while I was wearing a pencil skirt and blouse. The other gaurd didn’t say anything. The next week a female gaurd and some female administrator decided that my outfit was inappropriate though it was to taste with the dress code. I was told to cover up , stay in the office through all of lunch and put on dirty lost and found short and huge jacket though the shorts were shorter than my dress. The same gaurd told me I couldn’t have gone out of the house dressed like “bait”. A female gaurd accompanying him said nothing.

Becky

I work as a caregiver for a disabled veteran. We transferred his care to a new VA medical center nearly 3 years ago, and the new place is understaffed, undereducated, and is trying to deny all the diagnoses he’s had since 2007. Any time I bring up malpractice or policy violations, or even that his digital medical records were being altered without consent, I’m dismissed as being “hysterical” or “over-emotional,” even though I present everything professionally, with dates, times, and relevant staff involved. That’s only when I’m recognized as his legal caregiver, and not assumed to be his nosy wife.

S

This year, a bunch of girls have gotten concussions in my class. The boys assume that we’re just making a big deal about it, and that we’re all wimps. Then one day, a boy got a concussion. He was crying as much as any of the girls did, and no one called him a wimp. One girl even got a serious concussion, and was having migraines, but one boy simply dismissed this, and claimed that he’d had worse. Mind you, the girl was at quite an early age to be receiving migrains. So, it seems that if a girl gets seriously hurt, their a wimp, but if it’s a boy, it’s totally normal. This makes me feel insulted, and kind of afraid that if I get injured, people will assume I’m overreacting, or I’m skipping out. The boys also don’t care about the girls safety, so they are pretty careIess around us. I wish this would all change.

Jessica

I was long-time employee at a company that has social justice as a major part of its mission. They pride themselves on being a diverse and woman-friendly workplace, especially touting their generous maternity leave package. I had a baby while working there, and a couple weeks into my maternity leave they called to tell me I was part of a round of layoffs. I’d always been marked as one of the highest performers, so it was surprising to me to be included in the layoffs. At the time, I hadn’t slept more than a couple hours at a time in weeks and was dealing with both my and my child’s health problems, so I just let it go and didn’t fight it. A month later, my old boss called me up and asked if I would take a role on the board in a volunteer capacity. The company was struggling, and apparently my long years of service made me “uniquely qualified” to fix their problems. I politely declined. My industry is small, so I’m afraid to be honest about how sexist I feel like their treatment of me was for fear of burning bridges.