(yes, I know this is not wine related.. You don’t need to read this, if you don’t want to.. So, don’t complain about it and change channels)
Teacher: “what a girl like you are doing here (in the Engineer Course)?”
Me: “what do you mean- a girl like me?”
Teacher: “you are not ugly, and you look happy. That’s not normal for a girl here.”
Me: “Why you keep call me – girl?”
Teacher: “you’ll find a nice husband here before graduate.”
(awkward smile +looking the other way+ pause)
Me: “what about my test? Can I see it now?”
Teacher: “I can’t give you A+ I wrote in the test. I can see now that you had free time, so you didn’t study enough.” (he pointed to my hands and made a comment about my nails)
Me: “you’re taking points off my test because I have red nails polish?”
Teacher: (creepy smile)
Me: (rampage of protests completely ignored by the Teacher)
I do remember, like was yesterday, that outrageous feeling bursting in indignation.
Everything felt so wrong, nevertheless nobody saw any point on my protests.
At that point I was really pissed off by been called a girl. What the hell!!
I was not a girl. I was a 19 years old woman in her studies to be an Electrical Engineer, MSc, MBA.
That’s when a senior undergraduate pull me apart to tell me that Teachers only give good grades to ugly girls. That’s how it works.
Yes, I took my red nail polish off, a very old pair of glasses on and my worst outfit to look ugly enough for that teacher’s girl-student-standard.
I changed my voice tone to sound “serious”, projecting an women-in-power stereotype altitude.
I had learnt how to deal with the girl-factor in a male environment. That’s what I thought back then. In the next test I got A+. The teacher made a comment that I looked like I had studied more.
I was unsettled. I was too fresh. I was young.
After I left the Engineer University, I could be myself again.
I didn’t have to camouflage myself to be seen as a serious professional.
My work talked louder than my female looks.
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard some sort of variation of that Teacher jest.
Every single time his cynical smile came to my mind.
That memory is there to make me stronger, to remind me men like that are insecure and easy to deal with.
And that is a powerful tool to work any self-esteem up high.
Be yourself, chin up and go ahead live your life using your past lessons as powerful tools for success.
#sexism #businesswomen #womeninbusiness #ingenieurinnen #womeninamenworld #collegelife