A Sting You Don't Forget: Women Share Their 1st Experience of Gender Bias
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24-05-2016, 06:42 PM
RE: A Sting You Don't Forget: Women Share Their 1st Experience of Gender Bias
My first experience of sexism was, of course, in RCC church when I asked if I could become a priest!
I must have been about 4 or 5, and I remember asking why women couldn't become priests, and not getting a satisfactory answer. I also remember asking why we could eat cows and chickens but not dogs and cats, and what about rabbits. Still no satisfactory answer.

I remember hating dolls and never playing with the barbies I was given. I have pictures of me in the backyard playing "scientist" and conducting mud "experiments".

One of my earliest feelings is one of the unfairness of being a girl, refusing to be a girl, fiercely wanting to be the best, i.e. a boy.

Going to Catholic school reinforced that feeling, from being teased by the boys for whatever reason, to actually beating up a boy for deliberately getting mud on my dry-clean-only school uniform, which I hated, and then being chastised by the nuns for fighting, only because I was a girl and I wasn't being "ladylike". Which just infuriated me more. Angry

Fortunately, I turned that fury into a drive for academic excellence: I'd show them that success was the best revenge.

Of course I was sent to an all-girl Catholic middle school, which was just torture to someone like me. I had no interest in fashion or boy bands or "girly" topics. I was reading Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. When my dilapidated Catholic girls school lacked the facilities to even teach senior physics, I finally had the excuse to switch to a public school, and never looked back.

Driven as I was by that raging sense of injustice, I hated puberty and all the "female" changes going on inside me, resented it when guys hit on me at high school dances or swim practices, etc. It wasn't that I wasn't attracted to them, it was that they were relating to me as a "female" and therefore, as an inferior.

I remember visiting an acquaintance, a notary public. My father bragged to the notary that I was getting straight As. The notary replied that since I was that good in school, I should think about becoming a legal secretary, there was good money in it. My father thought that might be a good idea.
I was so furious I couldn't speak: no way would I ever consider aiming for a job that wasn't at the top of my profession.

That driving sense of injustice was so strong that it pushed me way out of my comfort zone to try public speaking, debating, even drama classes. I attended model UN, leadership courses, air cadets, all kinds of "masculine" stuff just to prove I was not only as good but even better than the rest. I aced all the STEM courses, and all the arts courses, and decided I wanted to be an engineer because it was a profession dominated by men (back in the early '80s)

Since my parents had very little money, the armed forces were my ticket to a college education, so I applied and was chosen to be among the third class of women accepted into RMC, Canada's military college (like West Point, but with tougher academics). 800 guys and 80 girls. Of course, that was misogyny on a whole other level.

Following graduation and years of harassment and abuse, the military culture did wear me down enough for me to realize that if I stayed in the military, I wouldn't like the person I would become. Thankfully, by then I had met a truly remarkable person, my husband, who respected me and understood me as an equal, and who helped me come to terms with how I became the person I am today.

Now I deliberately stay away from discussions on this forum and others about misogyny and feminism: it's too raw a topic for me to discuss, even now.

Suffice to say that I am still, and always will be, an amazon. The rage is still there.

Your faith is not evidence, your opinion is not fact, and your bias is not wisdom
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24-05-2016, 06:49 PM
RE: A Sting You Don't Forget: Women Share Their 1st Experience of Gender Bias
(24-05-2016 06:42 PM)Reducetarian Wrote:  My first experience of sexism was, of course, in RCC church when I asked if I could become a priest!
I must have been about 4 or 5, and I remember asking why women couldn't become priests, and not getting a satisfactory answer. I also remember asking why we could eat cows and chickens but not dogs and cats, and what about rabbits. Still no satisfactory answer.

I remember hating dolls and never playing with the barbies I was given. I have pictures of me in the backyard playing "scientist" and conducting mud "experiments".

One of my earliest feelings is one of the unfairness of being a girl, refusing to be a girl, fiercely wanting to be the best, i.e. a boy.

Going to Catholic school reinforced that feeling, from being teased by the boys for whatever reason, to actually beating up a boy for deliberately getting mud on my dry-clean-only school uniform, which I hated, and then being chastised by the nuns for fighting, only because I was a girl and I wasn't being "ladylike". Which just infuriated me more. Angry

Fortunately, I turned that fury into a drive for academic excellence: I'd show them that success was the best revenge.

Of course I was sent to an all-girl Catholic middle school, which was just torture to someone like me. I had no interest in fashion or boy bands or "girly" topics. I was reading Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. When my dilapidated Catholic girls school lacked the facilities to even teach senior physics, I finally had the excuse to switch to a public school, and never looked back.

Driven as I was by that raging sense of injustice, I hated puberty and all the "female" changes going on inside me, resented it when guys hit on me at high school dances or swim practices, etc. It wasn't that I wasn't attracted to them, it was that they were relating to me as a "female" and therefore, as an inferior.

I remember visiting an acquaintance, a notary public. My father bragged to the notary that I was getting straight As. The notary replied that since I was that good in school, I should think about becoming a legal secretary, there was good money in it. My father thought that might be a good idea.
I was so furious I couldn't speak: no way would I ever consider aiming for a job that wasn't at the top of my profession.

That driving sense of injustice was so strong that it pushed me way out of my comfort zone to try public speaking, debating, even drama classes. I attended model UN, leadership courses, air cadets, all kinds of "masculine" stuff just to prove I was not only as good but even better than the rest. I aced all the STEM courses, and all the arts courses, and decided I wanted to be an engineer because it was a profession dominated by men (back in the early '80s)

Since my parents had very little money, the armed forces were my ticket to a college education, so I applied and was chosen to be among the third class of women accepted into RMC, Canada's military college (like West Point, but with tougher academics). 800 guys and 80 girls. Of course, that was misogyny on a whole other level.

Following graduation and years of harassment and abuse, the military culture did wear me down enough for me to realize that if I stayed in the military, I wouldn't like the person I would become. Thankfully, by then I had met a truly remarkable person, my husband, who respected me and understood me as an equal, and who helped me come to terms with how I became the person I am today.

Now I deliberately stay away from discussions on this forum and others about misogyny and feminism: it's too raw a topic for me to discuss, even now.

Suffice to say that I am still, and always will be, an amazon. The rage is still there.

Thanks for sharing. You were very strong and courageous to take that on and kick it's ass. I'm sure you made it easier for then next gen. Great story! Smile

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24-05-2016, 10:50 PM
RE: A Sting You Don't Forget: Women Share Their 1st Experience of Gender Bias
(24-05-2016 06:42 PM)Reducetarian Wrote:  My first experience of sexism was, of course, in RCC church when I asked if I could become a priest!
I must have been about 4 or 5, and I remember asking why women couldn't become priests, and not getting a satisfactory answer. I also remember asking why we could eat cows and chickens but not dogs and cats, and what about rabbits. Still no satisfactory answer.

I remember hating dolls and never playing with the barbies I was given. I have pictures of me in the backyard playing "scientist" and conducting mud "experiments".

One of my earliest feelings is one of the unfairness of being a girl, refusing to be a girl, fiercely wanting to be the best, i.e. a boy.

Going to Catholic school reinforced that feeling, from being teased by the boys for whatever reason, to actually beating up a boy for deliberately getting mud on my dry-clean-only school uniform, which I hated, and then being chastised by the nuns for fighting, only because I was a girl and I wasn't being "ladylike". Which just infuriated me more. Angry

Fortunately, I turned that fury into a drive for academic excellence: I'd show them that success was the best revenge.

Of course I was sent to an all-girl Catholic middle school, which was just torture to someone like me. I had no interest in fashion or boy bands or "girly" topics. I was reading Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. When my dilapidated Catholic girls school lacked the facilities to even teach senior physics, I finally had the excuse to switch to a public school, and never looked back.

Driven as I was by that raging sense of injustice, I hated puberty and all the "female" changes going on inside me, resented it when guys hit on me at high school dances or swim practices, etc. It wasn't that I wasn't attracted to them, it was that they were relating to me as a "female" and therefore, as an inferior.

I remember visiting an acquaintance, a notary public. My father bragged to the notary that I was getting straight As. The notary replied that since I was that good in school, I should think about becoming a legal secretary, there was good money in it. My father thought that might be a good idea.
I was so furious I couldn't speak: no way would I ever consider aiming for a job that wasn't at the top of my profession.

That driving sense of injustice was so strong that it pushed me way out of my comfort zone to try public speaking, debating, even drama classes. I attended model UN, leadership courses, air cadets, all kinds of "masculine" stuff just to prove I was not only as good but even better than the rest. I aced all the STEM courses, and all the arts courses, and decided I wanted to be an engineer because it was a profession dominated by men (back in the early '80s)

Since my parents had very little money, the armed forces were my ticket to a college education, so I applied and was chosen to be among the third class of women accepted into RMC, Canada's military college (like West Point, but with tougher academics). 800 guys and 80 girls. Of course, that was misogyny on a whole other level.

Following graduation and years of harassment and abuse, the military culture did wear me down enough for me to realize that if I stayed in the military, I wouldn't like the person I would become. Thankfully, by then I had met a truly remarkable person, my husband, who respected me and understood me as an equal, and who helped me come to terms with how I became the person I am today.

Now I deliberately stay away from discussions on this forum and others about misogyny and feminism: it's too raw a topic for me to discuss, even now.

Suffice to say that I am still, and always will be, an amazon. The rage is still there.

Damn! I hate to see stories like this, but admire what you have done, given the challenge of shit-head misogyny. My wife has a B Sc in Physics, same as me. When we got married, she wanted to drop classes and support me while I finished. I wouldn't have it. She graduated the same year I did. I'm also glad for you that your husband supports you. That's big, in today's culture.
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25-05-2016, 03:01 AM
RE: A Sting You Don't Forget: Women Share Their 1st Experience of Gender Bias
(24-05-2016 10:50 PM)Fireball Wrote:  Damn! I hate to see stories like this, but admire what you have done, given the challenge of shit-head misogyny. My wife has a B Sc in Physics, same as me. When we got married, she wanted to drop classes and support me while I finished. I wouldn't have it. She graduated the same year I did. I'm also glad for you that your husband supports you. That's big, in today's culture.

I have a friend who married a guy, they both were students at the time studying Chemistry - IIRC they were both about to get their masters. Anyway this guy was a big Christian and all that goes with it. So *at the wedding* it was announced that wasn't she being a good girl and giving up her studies to support hubby through his PhD. Fast forward a few years later, she got her PhD before him. I hope it grates him every time he thinks about it, the fucker.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-05-2016, 05:42 AM
RE: A Sting You Don't Forget: Women Share Their 1st Experience of Gender Bias
(24-05-2016 10:50 PM)Fireball Wrote:  
(24-05-2016 06:42 PM)Reducetarian Wrote:  My first experience of sexism was, of course, in RCC church when I asked if I could become a priest!
I must have been about 4 or 5, and I remember asking why women couldn't become priests, and not getting a satisfactory answer. I also remember asking why we could eat cows and chickens but not dogs and cats, and what about rabbits. Still no satisfactory answer.

I remember hating dolls and never playing with the barbies I was given. I have pictures of me in the backyard playing "scientist" and conducting mud "experiments".

One of my earliest feelings is one of the unfairness of being a girl, refusing to be a girl, fiercely wanting to be the best, i.e. a boy.

Going to Catholic school reinforced that feeling, from being teased by the boys for whatever reason, to actually beating up a boy for deliberately getting mud on my dry-clean-only school uniform, which I hated, and then being chastised by the nuns for fighting, only because I was a girl and I wasn't being "ladylike". Which just infuriated me more. Angry

Fortunately, I turned that fury into a drive for academic excellence: I'd show them that success was the best revenge.

Of course I was sent to an all-girl Catholic middle school, which was just torture to someone like me. I had no interest in fashion or boy bands or "girly" topics. I was reading Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. When my dilapidated Catholic girls school lacked the facilities to even teach senior physics, I finally had the excuse to switch to a public school, and never looked back.

Driven as I was by that raging sense of injustice, I hated puberty and all the "female" changes going on inside me, resented it when guys hit on me at high school dances or swim practices, etc. It wasn't that I wasn't attracted to them, it was that they were relating to me as a "female" and therefore, as an inferior.

I remember visiting an acquaintance, a notary public. My father bragged to the notary that I was getting straight As. The notary replied that since I was that good in school, I should think about becoming a legal secretary, there was good money in it. My father thought that might be a good idea.
I was so furious I couldn't speak: no way would I ever consider aiming for a job that wasn't at the top of my profession.

That driving sense of injustice was so strong that it pushed me way out of my comfort zone to try public speaking, debating, even drama classes. I attended model UN, leadership courses, air cadets, all kinds of "masculine" stuff just to prove I was not only as good but even better than the rest. I aced all the STEM courses, and all the arts courses, and decided I wanted to be an engineer because it was a profession dominated by men (back in the early '80s)

Since my parents had very little money, the armed forces were my ticket to a college education, so I applied and was chosen to be among the third class of women accepted into RMC, Canada's military college (like West Point, but with tougher academics). 800 guys and 80 girls. Of course, that was misogyny on a whole other level.

Following graduation and years of harassment and abuse, the military culture did wear me down enough for me to realize that if I stayed in the military, I wouldn't like the person I would become. Thankfully, by then I had met a truly remarkable person, my husband, who respected me and understood me as an equal, and who helped me come to terms with how I became the person I am today.

Now I deliberately stay away from discussions on this forum and others about misogyny and feminism: it's too raw a topic for me to discuss, even now.

Suffice to say that I am still, and always will be, an amazon. The rage is still there.

Damn! I hate to see stories like this, but admire what you have done, given the challenge of shit-head misogyny. My wife has a B Sc in Physics, same as me. When we got married, she wanted to drop classes and support me while I finished. I wouldn't have it. She graduated the same year I did. I'm also glad for you that your husband supports you. That's big, in today's culture.

Yes, it happens, my sister and her husband met in college and when they got married a year before they graduated (which my dad about had a stroke since he paid for my sisters education out of his own pocket) she gave up her college to support him to finish first. Then she supported him while he got his masters. Then he dumped her for another woman he'd being seeing for the last year while she supported him and got his master degree. He went off and got a hot job at a hospital while she remained a lab tech, slowly working her way up over the years. After 25 years she finally went back and got her masters degree and now she'd the director over one of the biggest medical libraries in the world.

btw, since she threw away her schooling on him, my dad kindly told me (actually he screamed it at me) that if I wanted any schooling besides HS I'd better pay for it myself because he wasn't pissing away another damn dime on some bitches education for her to just go out and support someone else. Gasp

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25-05-2016, 06:33 AM
RE: A Sting You Don't Forget: Women Share Their 1st Experience of Gender Bias
Really, my first exposure was my mom. She grew up on a farm. One of 11 girls, gramps kept trying for a boy to inherit the farm.

She was extremely gifted in math, and she was offered the unthinkable - a stipend to go to university. Pretty much unheard of for women at that time.

Gramps would not let her go. He needed the extra help digging potatoes.

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25-05-2016, 07:04 AM
RE: A Sting You Don't Forget: Women Share Their 1st Experience of Gender Bias
(25-05-2016 06:33 AM)Dom Wrote:  Really, my first exposure was my mom. She grew up on a farm. One of 11 girls, gramps kept trying for a boy to inherit the farm.

She was extremely gifted in math, and she was offered the unthinkable - a stipend to go to university. Pretty much unheard of for women at that time.

Gramps would not let her go. He needed the extra help digging potatoes.

Sad

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