Am I a victim of sexism?

I’m a Chemical Engineering major at my university. The classes are ridiculously hard and I study all day and night to make sure I get an A. In a class of 200 there are only 3 girls, including myself. The class is very interactive and involves a lot of Q n A’s with the professor. Some of us are in his office after class. He ALWAYS calls on me last, for whatever reason. The vibe I get from him is very negative and even the others have picked up on it. This confuses me because I have done nothing to provoke him and one of his top students.

One day in class, I asked a question and he looked at me like I was the dumbest person in the world. 5 minutes later a white guy asked the EXACT same question and he commented how ‘astute’ an observation he had made.

I swallowed my pride and after class I went to his office for some individual tutoring. Halfway through he stopped and asked me what I was doing here. “I want to be a Biomedical Engineer.” I told him. “Do you really think that would be appropriate? Maybe you should consider something more appropriate to pursue.” The professor is a Middle Eastern immigrant so I inferred it was because of my gender. I left his office extremely hurt but as I drove home I became to get ANGRY!!

Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot pursue? I am one of the TOP students in his class. I DESERVE to be treated with respect just like anyone else.

Am I a victim of sexism or am I overreacting?? Is so what should I do. I feel extremely insulted.


9 Answers

  • judo
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you feel that you are the victim of any type of -ism at all, guess what you can do about it ?

    bring it up to the person who made you wonder !!!!!

    When I was working, one of my supervisors felt it necessary to put his hand on my thigh while giving me my next assignment.

    Guess what I did ?

    I told him to get his ******* hand off of my thigh.

    And i continued working there.

    Empower yourself.... and don't worry about if you are the victim of anything.

    If you feel that you are...

    speak up and change your ******* lots.

  • 1 decade ago

    Look at the facts.

    200 students 3 girls, you are 1 of 3. Your .5% of his class so him not picking you could simply be the odds.

    You accuse him of sexism because his race thus your also being racist. 2 wrongs and all that sort of thing.

    Now also Profs will look at the students physical appearance along with how they phrase things and do in class and exams (especially written). Maybe your dressing a bit to "pretty" or "girly" which won't win you respect especially his. Dress professional and covering. Maybe even dress / act a bit geeky. Sounds odd but Profs will fair better against those who seem more as geeks vs jocks / hotties. If that doesn't apply move on. Also look at how you phrased a question vs the other guy. You may have been vague while he was detailed and pointed which the prof accepted more. Profs like details and ideas, not just blurted questions seeming semi abstract.

    That aside be honest when thinking "why" isn't there so many females? Its not because of the profs but has more reasons to it. Things such on average women won't grasp such things the way men will. Its scientific and proven men on average think more logically while women think more emotionally and gut feeling. The differences in how men and women think. Its the 80/20 rule. 80% follow a norm and 20% stand aside being the odd group out. That 80% before you proved him right maybe that women don't belong while you being part of that 20% could be great (but he just see's off the majority).

    Lastly he could be pushing you through bullying you which is often a common tactic especially in other countries. Its to push you further then the rest because you have a chance at real success. Kind of tempering the metal. It sometimes feels mean but it often is meant to encourage through high pressure to reach your goals.

    You mentioned others noticed it.... yes it COULD be true but the others who noticed were there significant men who noticed or just other females (or your bf/best male friend in class who tbh can't trust as they will always side with you).

    In the end I'd say just accept it and keep going. If he didn't want you there he could surely come up with stuff to have you out by now instead of you being a top student. Don't give in to the screwed up society that wants to blame everything on sex or race. If he is being sexist unless takes a major turn for the worse let it go. Keep your respect, no one wants to be around a person who wants to play the race/sex card.

  • 1 decade ago

    Reading some of these answers is disturbing. A lot of middle eastern men are very sexist and that is not a bigoted statement, it is a fact. It sounds like you may be of some color or you wouldn't have mentioned that a "white" guy asked the same question and got and answer. Your write up does protray some attitude that may need to be toned down, and your spelling is atrocious for a college student. It seems by the info you provide that this problem may have several factors that need to be expanded upon. On one hand the guy does seem to be a jerk, but then again, he may know you better than you think and is trying to advise you without the proper social skills in place due to his ethnicity. Bring this to your advisor.

  • 1 decade ago

    his comment was your chance to say "really? why do you think it's inappropriate?" never let a comment like that pass unchallenged. that lesson is worth a year's worth of university classes.

    could be sexism, could be something else entirely. i wouldn't necessarily infer it's about gender, though it's possible. it's a good idea not to leap to conclusions with serious allegations like that. but it's also a good idea to stand up for yourself. if he does something that's off again, call him on it.

    but the best revenge is acing his class.

    *it is not, however, "scientifically proven that men think more logically" or that "on average women won't grasp" engineering in the way men will. good grief. to put it mildly.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Maybe you come off as an absolute idiot and you're socially annoying. He probably picks you last because you not only ask questions that need an hour long answer, but continue to ask the question over and over because you are dumber than most students. Trust me, as a college graduate, I have been in many classes with girls AND guys who get straight A's because they put the work in but are dumb as dirt. You might be an idiot and not realize it. Do you constantly ask questions in class every 10 minutes and raise your hand high so he sees you participating? You're probably annoying and don't belong as a Chemical Engineer. The field is dominated by men and always will be. You are going to be just as likely to get hired, with your good grades, but far less likely to get promoted or make as much as your male counterpart. It's a fact. Maybe hes trying to save you the embarrassment of coming to that reality once out in the field and making questions either on Y!A or filing a suit against your work because you think you are a victim of sexism.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would go to the dept head or dean and just tell then what he said. His question/opinion is inappropriate. Sexual or not. Your PAYING for an education, not for someone's opinion on your choice of careers.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    No your a victim of a society that always looks for a reason to cry victim.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    "The professor is a Middle Eastern immigrant so I inferred it was because of my gender."

    You're a bit of a bigot yourself as well, but, take it up with the department head.

  • 1 decade ago

    need to put out more girl.

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