Thursday, December 14, 2006

Daily Stereotype

Example #57,892: My husband and I were riding in a taxi in a major west coast city and the taxi driver said to my husband "Are you in town for the science conference, sir?". My husband said "Yes, we are." The taxi driver said "Since you brought your wife, it looks like you'll be mixing science with being a tourist." How nice that my husband 'brought' me to this conference with him! Maybe while he is doing whatever it is scientists do at these meetings, I can shop! My husband needs a new sweater and I'd like to get some new kitchen utensils for myself. If I weren't chairing a session, going to other talks, meeting with my fellow journal editors, attending my students' talks and posters, and meeting with colleagues, perhaps I would have time for that.

7 comments:

MsPhD said...

This made me laugh.

I heard one today myself. From a young, cute grad student telling a story about identifying herself as a scientist to a guy in a bar: "You don't look like a scientist!"

btw, I hate blogger beta. The 'choose an identity' function doesn't work correctly for me, I don't get it.

gs said...

How nice that my husband 'brought' me to this conference with him! Maybe while he is doing whatever it is scientists do at these meetings, I can shop! My husband needs a new sweater and I'd like to get some new kitchen utensils for myself. If I weren't chairing a session, going to other talks, meeting with my fellow journal editors, attending my students' talks and posters, and meeting with colleagues, perhaps I would have time for that.

Oh to see the driver's face change if you replied that! (While that's easy for me to say, I dislike confrontations and do them only when necessary.)
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Like msphd, I've had trouble with logging in to comment. My Blogger info is no longer accepted, but creating a Google account worked.

Katie said...

I also had an experience that luckly made my day instead of pissing me off. I had met an older male colleague for dinner after the meeting sessions were over to discuss a possible collaboration. A colleague from his department (where I did my PhD) came over to say hello and didn't even look at me. My dining companion said something along the lines of, do you remember ___, she graduated from our department a few years ago and is now doing ___. He said hello and continued to pretend I was not there.

The good part about it was that after he left, my dining companion and I had a long conversation about what had happened. He couldn't believe people still behaved that way. He has always been very supportive of me and all graduate students and had been blind to how some of his peers behave. More eyes being opened can only be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

was husband the one who asked for the destination, spoke first to the driver?

Female Science Professor said...

Are you saying that maybe I asked to be stereotyped by being a bit too feminine and submissive? I don't remember who spoke to the driver, but I do recall that I dealt with the luggage. Does that get me some anti-stereotype points?

Pixelle said...

I got quite a laugh from this one. I stumbled across your blog via who knows how many links I wander through. What a delightful surprise it is. I definitely will be stopping by again and again.

Dr. Shellie said...

I try to tell myself: these are not necessarily bad people. They are not necessarily sexist, they are just not used to certain possibilities. And then I try to (preferably with some humor) educate them. But that's just when I'm in a good mood and have the energy...

By the way, when I tell strangers what I do, I'm surprised by how often they remark, "There must not be a lot of women in your field" in a interested, curious, sympathetic sort of way.