Eons ago, I wrote about suggested phrases for obnoxious questions commonly asked of Female Science Professors. In the past 2+ years, I have made intermittent additions to this list. It occurred to me to collect some of these (with thanks to commenters), expand the list, and request additions of both questions and answers.
For each of these questions and comments, there are many possible answers that vary in their degree of sarcasm, politeness, and profanity, depending on mood/context.
Question: So they had to hire a woman..?
Answer 1: Yes, but only because a woman was the most qualified for the job.
Answer 2: Yes, but only because all the male applicants were mediocre.
Answer 3: Yes, they finally realized they had hired enough mediocre men.
Answer 4: No, but they did anyway. Why do you think they did that?
Question: So you're going to get a Ph.D.? Couldn't you find anyone to marry you?
Answer 1: Why would I want to get married when so many men are just like you?
Answer 2: That's right, and I want to be a professor so that there are fewer people like you saying things like that.
Question (said to male person): Who takes care of your kids when your wife travels?
Answer: The cats.
Question (said to married/partnered female person): Who takes care of your kids when you travel?
Answer: The cats.
Question (said to academic couple): Which of you is the trailing spouse?
Answer: Our cat.
Comment: You don't look like a professor. (variations: You don't look like a scientist. You don't look like an engineer) * thanks to commenter Helen for this suggestion *
Polite answer: But since I am one, I must look like one.
Somewhat rude version of polite answer: But since I am one, I must look like one. Welcome to the 21st century.
Somewhat polite answer that is too subtle for some people: I don't? What does a professor look like? (pretend to be confused, making the questioner realize that it was a rude question based on a stereotype)
Rude answer that is not highly recommended but that may be useful and satisfying in certain circumstances: And you don't look like a [insert unflattering word such as moron, sexist, ignorant fool], but you are.
Question: Are you a real professor?
Answer: (said while pinching yourself) Ouch! Yes, I guess so.
6 months ago