I’ve always been one that likes being different than everyone else. Most people get brain freezes when they drink their ICEE too fast. Well, I don’t. (True story). Most girls don’t lift? Well, I do and I love it. Most girls don’t pursue a mathematics major, and if they do it’s so they can teach. Well, I’m a math major and I don’t want to teach. Most girls don’t take computer science classes. Well tough, because I do. And you can bet that I brag about all these things I do that make me different from the “traditional” female.
Sure, I may literally be the only girl in a coding class, but I don’t see that as something to complain about. I think it’s wonderful actually. I love being the one person that breaks the barriers and stands to change the status quo. It makes me feel like a superhero.
Own it and Prove Your Haters Wrong
Is it just me, or when girls start to dip their toes in fields traditionally labeled as “male fields,” do males egos get inflated tenfold and look down on us girls? I guess you could say they’re our haters then.
Guys, we have haters now, and we all know that having haters means you’re doing something right. In my experience, those who bad-mouth you are just jealous of what you’ve accomplished. As with anything that starts with the three words, “most girls don’t” comes with the predisposed idea that it means us girls aren’t good at it. Um, excuse me? I’m definitely one of the first students to turn in all my math tests and programming projects, and some of the most highly regarded math and stats majors at my university are females.
Despite all the ways I’ve proved myself as a competent coder, I once had a professor ask me in front of the entire class (in which I was the only female), “Is this the hardest class you’ve ever taken?” Mind you, this was an entry-level class on Java, so he was practically implying that I was struggling in the class. I was shocked that he had been so blatantly sexist in front of the entire class. After I overcame my initial shock I composed myself and responded, “No. I’m actually a math major.” Again he looked surprised, but he hasn’t said anything since then.
Now, I don’t think this professor really meant anything by what he said. He’s a bit older, so I think he just grew up in a time where seeing women in a technology field just wasn’t heard of. I don’t blame him for what he said, as he’s really sweet, I just wish people weren’t coddling into thinking females are any less competent than men.
Sexism in the Classroom
Now, while that was the most blatantly sexist anyone has been towards me, I also once had a professor who always implied I shouldn’t be in his class. He would ask the class questions, and when I would raise my hand he would smirk (like he was already ready to tell me I was wrong), but then I would answer correctly and I could tell it annoyed him. And I loved it.
|Caitlyn is a sophomore at Northern Kentucky University where she is studying mathematics and computer science. When she’s not poring over her calculus homework or coding a new program, you can find Caitlyn in the weight room, at spin class, working on her own college blog, or crafting the perfect caption for her newest Instagram post. Subscribe to her newsletter to learn more about Caitlyn and receive weekly motivation every Wednesday!