Concrete Examples.

“Women are socialized to…”

I’ve had many friends basically say they don’t believe “women are raised to…” and use this skepticism to put the burden of gender inequality on women. Here are some concrete examples I can think of that support the idea that, currently, women are brought up in society to…

“Be quiet.”

I was actively reprimanded for speaking too much in class — in every single year from 3rd grade on, my teacher eventually condemned me to “two comments per class” to give others a chance to speak. I see this as a delightful gift that has endued me with empathy and a holistic, team-oriented perspective, but I also have been given feedback now, professionally, that I am not aggressive and not self-serving enough to get ahead.

“Yield to others’ wishes.”

When I was in preschool, I had a friend named Kayla. Kayla was, and is to this day, just about the sweetest girl that has ever existed. She is kind and thoughtful and adventurous and by all metrics a great friend to have for a three-year-old to eat sand with. But I was a little bitch-demon of a babe and so when Kayla one day asked me “hey do you want to play with me?” I said “NO. I DON’T LIKE YOU.”

“Put others first.”

When I tried out for the school jazz band, and made it my sophomore year, I was pumped. As a life-long band-nerd, getting into the school’s highest musical ensemble was an accomplishment of which I was sincerely proud. But one boy, who I grew up playing next to, wasn’t as excited.

“Aim low.”

My junior year of high school, I had the choice to take all AP classes, plus the hardest musical ensemble (plus some other extra-curriculars). My brother did this his junior year. He got into CalTech. I wanted to get into a good school. I also was tired of dealing with the bullshit that comes in public high school — side conversations, drama, dumb kids not paying attention or not caring. That shit drove me nuts. I was so excited to be in only AP classes and put that behind me.

“Act dumb.”

In 7th grade, I cried when I got my report card. I cried because I had gotten a 4.0, and I didn’t want to be a nerd. I don’t know why exactly I cried, or what led to the crying, but I remember I cried and distinctly remember three different responses.

“Let someone else be in charge.”

Also in 7th grade, in algebra class (for 8th graders, get on my level), we took tests as a group of four. I love this style of test-taking, because it encourages collaboration, teamwork, and a shared sense of belonging. It also demands confidence — “I know I’m right, so that’s the answer we’re putting down.”

In Conclusion…

I don’t know if these experiences are unique to me, but I have shared these stories quite a few times.

PhD Student at University of Glasgow. Likes robots, the outdoors, and guacamole. She/hers.