Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm a sexism machine

I have a small back log (or "blog") of posts that I wrote a while ago but didn't bother to post. This one's quite old, so if you know me in person you've probably heard it already.

A few months ago I was leaving class with another female science student and we passed a poster for a Women in Technology panel discussion. I turned to my friend and said, "Women and technology? Do they ...mix?"

That little remark got big laughs (from me) and a solid glare from her. I later found out that she was a featured speaker at the event. And that's when I learned (in theory) that I should keep my big mouth shut because a lot of people don't love jokes about sexism.

Here's an old conversation I had with a co-worker shortly after I finished my math degree. I'm not sure if it's more a testament to how prevalent sexism is, or how much of a jerk I am. In any case, it got big laughs from my family:

"I heard you graduated. So you have a math degree now?" my co-worker asked.

"Well, it's a women's math degree, but yes, it still counts," I replied.

"What? What's a women's math degree?"

"You know women aren't as good at math as men, right? So they can't give us the same exams, obviously."

He laughed, then said, "really? I knew men were better at math, but I didn't know they had seperate degrees."

"Of course. You golf, right? So you know that women get to tee off closer to the hole. Same idea. If they gave the men's exams to the women, we would all fail."

"Whoa. I didn't know that. Give me an example then."

"Well, for our final number theory exam, the men had to prove Euler's Theorem, and the women just traced it with a crayon."