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1454 posts tagged gender

Good girls don’t get raped.

Said by my estranged mother to me during our first phone conversation in months.  I’m a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and assaults committed later on, and have never disclosed to a family member.  She said it in response to a comment about the fact that I was teaching a class on sexual assault.  Made me feel awful and scared about what’s happened to me, even though I know it’s not my fault.

Meatless Mondays are a healthy addition to your week - the issue is just convincing your husband!

Said by a female newscaster on a major network morning show - in Massachusetts, where same sex marriage has been legal for *years*. Because all women are married, and only to men - and men must love meat, not veggies. 

I just assumed you were my nurse.

Said by countless patients at the hospital where I work as an Emergency physician, despite introducing myself as their doctor.  As a young woman physician, I am rarely taken seriously. People seem to think there is something cute or quaint about me being their doctor, like I’m playing dress up or something. 

I said ‘shit’ in front of my chemistry teacher, after feeling really stressed about an exam. He replied by saying ‘That’s not how proper young ladies act!’ It wouldn’t have been so bad if he had simply told me off. 

Dear Sirs…

The beginning of a cover letter sent to the recruiting department of my office. The entire department is women. It made me feel angry that the sender felt competent business people couldn’t possibly be women.

My freshman year of college I made a single friend on my floor and for a while she was my only friend. The next year, my floormates were my closest friends and I would go out with them if I ever had extra money (which was very rare).
One day, out of nowhere, I got a text from her calling me “fucking bitch”, saying that I was racist because she was white and I only liked Asians, and I would turn her down every time she wanted to go to our favorite restaurant.

I was getting by on loans and scholarships and what little my widowed mother could send me while she had two working parents and was upper middle class. She wanted me to go out to eat with her every single week.

I’m Latina (non-white passing), She’s white. My friends and floormates were Chinese, White, Black and mixed. I felt humiliated, sad, angry, like our friendship only counted if I could afford it.

You should pierce your ears so people know you’re a girl.


He tells me I should dress “cute” and wear different things, that maybe he should go with me to pick out “more appealing clothing.” I should get a new bathing suit because he thinks a different kind would look better on me. He’s just a friend. Makes me feel like I exist for someone else’s enjoyment.

Lol, Asian gay guys are too girly, I suppose.

I’m at my campus bar and a male student starts chatting me up. I casually disclose that I am queer and have a girlfriend. Later that night, as he is leaving, he takes my hand, looks deep into my eyes and says, “Just so you know. I don’t believe that you’re gay. You’re too girlie and pretty.”

What hurts the most is that he thinks this is a compliment; as if the only reason I’m not with men is because I don’t think I’m ‘pretty’ enough for them. Another typical conflation of gender presentation and sexual orientation.

At work in an all-male work environment. Get called up to the front. There’s cupcakes hidden on top of a cabinet and they think I can’t get it down. I pull it down and open it up to get a cupcake, excited because I overslept and skipped breakfast earlier that day. One of my much older superiors says, “Can’t keep a woman away from her chocolate.” I eat the cupcake anyways, but spend the time feeling alienated.

I’m a PhD candidate, 25, and the only woman in my lab. Today, during lab meeting, my professor is discussing a collaborator. He’s describing what a great time he had visiting this collaborator’s lab, and suddenly stops. He says, “He’s very funny, but it’s not appropriate for me to talk about it in front of Hannah.”

This type of comment is commonplace in my office. Makes me feel ashamed, excluded, frustrated.

Smile! Smile! Come on you’re too pretty for me to see you not smiling!

An older man who is yelling (rude and forcefully) at me, in my face, randomly on the street. My grandmother had just passed away, and I was in no shape or form in a ‘smiling mood’ but was forced to do so because I felt so weak and he wouldn’t leave me alone until I did so. I’m not here to please you aesthetically, I am allowed to walk around with a straight face, or even a frown. And I don’t take it as a ‘compliment.’ Made me feel awkward, upset, scared and uncomfortable.

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