Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Great idea! (Or not.)

The scene: I'm at the opening reception of a multi-week international seminar for graduate students in my field and associated fields, chatting with strangers, eating unidentifiable canapés, being charming, trying to remember names, and drinking a magically-refilling glass of wine. 

Editorial note: Despite the fact that the relevant fields are about 50-50 men-women at my university, and quite possibly majority female on a national level, women make up less than a third of the cohort of seminar participants.  

The great idea: Male graduate student from another university declares, "I have a great idea!  Since we're all staying in adjacent flats, why don't you girls just cook us all dinner every night?"

Me: Dumfounded. "Ha! Or not."

Editorial note: What a comeback, hmm?  And here's the thing: even if he didn't mean anything by it, even if he was just trying to be funny, he wasn't.  It's not about the cooking.  It's not even about the comment.  It's about his assumption: we do the work, you do the cooking.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. sorry-- accidentally deleted my own comment. But basically I said you should have called him a sexist son of a boll weevil right then and there.

  3. Yeah, here's the problem, though: it's a small group and I've got to interact with him for several weeks. Assessing proportional response is tricky. I don't want to use a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito, you know?


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