Tag Archives: University


I work in Japan in one of the top international universities in the country. In a public seminar at my workplace with attendees in the room and on Zoom, one of the younger male staff wanted to ask a question through Zoom. There where a few technical issues with accessing the questions on the chats, so they ended up putting the chat on the shared screen from a different account. On the screen there was something about how to ask questions through zoom, and then a comment about one of the speakers: “X you look so skinny!”. I was livid, one of the other speakers appeared shocked commenting something like “Oh my God he actually said this”, but no one else commented on how innapropriate that was, including older staff present in the room or the target of the comment. In Japan, given that body diversity is highly problematic and there is a huge social pressure for women to be thin and small, it is shocking that these kind of comments are seen as just part of everyday life or are seen as a joke, and women just have to deal with it and get over it.


Today two male colleagues emailed me on separate topics. Both emails started by instructing me what to think on the issue they thought was important in that moment. Then the emails instructed me where and how I should share that opinion, which, they explained, I would be able to do more effectively than them (at least in part because speaking as a woman it won’t seem like I am imposing that position). In addition to being a waste of my time, these emails put me in a bad mood. Not to mention (shock, horror) I already have my own well formed opinions on both topics.


FB Post Those of you who follow my posts would know that they are fairly happy. Not today. Today I’m having a rant. I feel astonished at how people assume I have no identity or ability of my own. Never mind that I have a law degree from Cambridge, am a triple qualified lawyer as a barrister at Middle Temple Inn, an advocate & solicitor in Singapore and Malaysia, a masters in shipping law from Southampton University, and numerous papers as well as co-authoring a book on ship finance law in Singapore and Malaysia (the more boring it is, the more intellectual 😁). None of this appears on my forehead naturally. What does appear on my forehead apparently is ‘I am with him ➡️’. To my guy friends, when we are next out-and-about getting something done, please remind me to wear my ‘I am NOT with him ➡️’ t-shirt. Even though I am with you. I mean, getting coffee or stuff. I mean, … Forget it 😅 This is not a showing-off post. This is a post to show experiences of societal perceptions of single women. If any of you think to report me to the tax authorities, as I’ve already told an fb ‘friend’ who said I’ll be audited by the ‘new government’ for undeclared income, I’ve already been audited by the ‘previous government’, and I have no undeclared income 😁 True to my K-drama lockdown obsession, and as a nod to my English drama past, my rant is in the form of a script. Here it is: I AM NOT WITH HIM Act 1 Scene 1 Me: (entering yacht club to book yacht for party) Yacht guy: (talking to a group of guys about some yachts) Me: (waiting for my turn) Yacht guy: (talking some more to group of guys about other yachts) Me: (still waiting) Yacht guy: (talking even more to same group of guys about further yachts) Me: Excuse me, do you have a brochure or something about yacht hire rates? Yacht guy: Oh I thought you were with them! Me: No I am not with them. Act 1 Scene 2 Me: (entering Sentosa Cove building management office) Office lady: Are you with him? (Pointing to Caucasion guy on the other side of the room) Me: No. I am not with him. Act 1 Scene 3 Me: (entering used Porsche shop) Sales guys: (talking to other guy customers) Me: (browsing the used Porsche cars) Sales guys: (talking to some more guy customers) Me: Excuse me, does this 718 Cayman include a sports exhaust? Sales guy: Oh I thought you were with him! (Pointing to guy customer sitting with his wife and kids). Me: No. I am not with him. Sales guy: To drive this car you must place your hands on the steering wheel 10:10 and use the clutch pedal simultaneously with the brake pedal and accelerator. Me: I know that. Sales guy: You must earn at least $12,500 a month. Me: Oh ok. (Slowly dawns on me that 1. He thinks I can’t afford it 2. I can afford a brand new one) Where’s the brand new Porsche showroom? Act 2 Scene 1 Me: (entering brand new Porsche showroom) Sales guy: Madame, how may I help you? Me: I’m interested in your 718 Cayman. Sales guy: Please follow me. (I’m taken to a room, am given excellent service, plied with food, none of which is halal though 😅 It’s the same price as a one-yr-old car. Good call.) Me: (I do not buy because I don’t like how it drives, my daughter gripes ‘It’s flexing mummy!’, and in this pandemic that cash is better put to use helping others.)(I might still buy though. Just out of ego.) Act 2 Scene 2 Me: (buying a horse) This is a totally different episode. With a whole host of other issues. Like all good K-dramas there are 16 episodes. But I won’t bore you with the rest. Thanks for listening ✌🏼

Hello :)

This is such a great idea i’ve only just heard of! Public spaces: I’m a 30 year old woman and i’ve had countless times where a man/group of men have catcalled or wolf whistled etc in the street. There are a few that come to mind most: – Once in my mid twenties i was walking along a quiet street on my own and walked past a parked van which had it’s window down and a guy was sitting in the driver’s seat. He said loudly “jiggly tits” as i walked past. It took me a few moments to register he was talking about me and was shocked and annoyed at myself for not going back and confronting him. – Another time in my mid twenties i was walking past a pub alone with a group of middle aged men standing outside. One of them said something along the lines of “how are you today love?” I ignored him and carried on walking past him. He then said loudly “oh don’t be so miserable.” – Once at around 8pm i was walking home alone and a man who was drunk started shouting in my face about how ugly i was and following me. There were loads of people out on the street and no one stepped in and said anything, everyone just looked away. – Walking home from school at age 16, in school uniform, a group of builders started wolf whistling me. – I have a small tattoo on my ankle. Once i was walking along the street and two men walking nearby started talking really loudly about my tattoo and then asking me questions about it. Would they have done this if it was a man? In the workplace: – I worked in retail when i was a teenager and for many years in my twenties and there were countless times when men have commented things like “smile love” when i’ve been minding my own business. This also happens if i’m a customer. – A male colleague started asking me what my favourite sex positions were. I’d worked with him for about a week and barely knew him. When i told him that’s not something i wanted to speak about with him he replied “you English women are so cold.” – A male colleague told me how great my tits were. – A male colleague who would spend most his day standing about at the printer in the very large office trying to chat up all the young women. Nights out: When in university and out at pubs/clubs- – When dancing with just a small group of women, men would surround the group and almost try to pick off each one of us to separate us from each other and make it easier to ‘pull’. They would take offense if we showed no interest because the idea of a group of women just wanting to go out and have fun and not spend time with men is apparently crazy? Media: – Women are sexualised everywhere. It particularly infuriates me in sport – women parading around in hardly any clothes whilst the men play sport (think F1, wrestling, basketball, darts etc.) Even when they do get their foot in the door and actually play the sport they’re completely sexualised (think tennis, wrestling..).


Sometimes when I think of sexism, I think of the big obvious things that have happened; my driving instructor (who I didn’t know and who thought I was a minor) describing a graphic wet dream about me and telling me all the things he would “do to me” if he had known me when he was younger, a man following me home when I was 16, a 40 year old coworker asking me when the last time I “had my p**** sucked” as soon as I was 18, my best friend being raped and the police not even trying to investigate, a guy I had never met following me around campus and grabbing my face, and then threatening to bring a gun and “blow his brains out” because I told him not to touch me. I also think of sexism that is less obvious to some; ads about women and girls being portrayed as sexual toys non stop, men feeling entitled to make comments on your body, the constant fear you experience walking by yourself, especially at night or in a parking lot… And then I think about the sexism no one even notices, like the way we tell boys “don’t do xy and z, that’s for girls” or the fact that we refer to humans as “man” kind, or automatically say “he” when we don’t know the gender of a person. I am so happy to have married a man who isn’t afraid to correct other men about their sexism, who isn’t afraid to embrace his traits that are traditionally feminine, and who isn’t scared to talk about the suffering that women endure. It seems too many men are quiet in the face of sexism, or make arguments to down play it, such as “Men are raped too” or “One time I was scared when I was walking home”. Interesting how they only seem to care about men’s issues when someone wants to talk about women’s.


In preschool, the boy who didn’t play with the other kids was assumed to be smarter and the teachers taught him how to read early. I also didn’t want to play with the other kids because I couldn’t relate to them much and was more mature. I was written off as “shy” In third grade my male friend was one grade level ahead in math. He was sent to a tech oriented school so he could continue to move ahead. I was reading at a college level but nobody cared at all. I wasn’t given help or special treatment or even advanced books. In middle school I sat next to a boy. We could both do the math calculations mentally. The teacher accused me of cheating off his paper. When I asked her why she thought that, she said something to the effect of, “he’s really smart so it all comes naturally to him, anyone else would have to write out all the work to get the same answer.” That teacher had me held back a year in math. I didn’t know how to do anything about it at the time, though I now realize there was certainly a way. In high school I had a 4.36 GPA, and was constantly praised for my “hard work”, “dedication”, “work ethic”, and worst of all, “grit”. My high achieving male friends were praised for “genius”, “brilliance”, and “talent”. The catch is, I didn’t study, I didn’t do the assigned reading, I didn’t review the notes, I just showed up to class, and wrote down the answers later. Yet my work was still held up by teachers as an example of what happens when you study hard and take notes, and read all the extra textbook chapters. A substitute geometry teacher said that female students might have a harder time with a problem, but that it was ok, because we “naturally are worse at visualizing 3D objects” Despite top scores in science, literally not one single adult ever suggested that I consider a STEM career. In college I was having a bit of trouble in physics, mainly because everyone else had taken physics in high school and I hadn’t (due to the snowball effect of being held back a year in middle school math). The professor reassured me by saying, “the good thing about this class is that you don’t have to be particularly smart to pass.” A third level calculus professor told me very pointedly that “some people just aren’t smart enough to understand this” I was constantly questioned about my choice to switch my major from a liberal arts subject to engineering. I was laughed out of department offices, asked to justify my choice repeatedly, and told I didn’t know what I was getting into. One professor tried to “test” if I was “ready” to take higher level math by making me graph a line, something usually taught in middle school. I was forced to take a whole semester of engineering courses before officially switching my major to prove that I could pass. None of my male engineering major friends went through this. I hate the stereotype where men are geniuses and women are hard workers. If men don’t do well they’re wasting their talent, if women don’t do well, they just aren’t smart enough. The sad part is that I am a middle class 20 year old white woman attending a liberal leaning college in America. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone, and much worse too. I’m probably just screaming into the void here. But if anyone else feels like their intelligence has never been recognized because women are seen as rule oriented goody two shoes who can do *almost* as well as men if they work reeeally hard, then I am truly sorry.


In university, our whole class decided to bunk class on Friday because we had holidays on both Thursday and Saturday. So the whole class agreed to just miss Friday’s class and celebrate a long weekend. On Monday our professor walked in class and was extremely angry at boys for not taking their classes seriously because unlike us girls who are there to just get good husbands, they have to make their careers.


I used to work as a student help at university and my boss/lecturer liked to stand in the office and just talk for hours on end. I got used to that, kept working and mostly just noded, but one day he started to talk about the position of women in our research field and that there are slim chances for me. Especially because our professor is gay and because of that I wouldn’t be able to sleep my way up the corporate ladder. He meant it as a joke and kept droning on about other things. Don’t think he realizied what he’d just said.


Males are much more concern as students as compared to girls in my university. Infact, all the HODs are males mostly, the names of teachers are written in the order of male staff followed by the female staff irrespective of their teaching experience.