Recently I was asked for my student ID by a young man working at a campus site that provides a computer-related service to students and faculty.
FSP: I don't have a student ID.
Tech guy: Then I can't help you.
FSP: How about if I give you my faculty ID?
Tech guy: Oh.. yeah, OK.
And then we were all set.
Between the ages of late-20's to early 40's, although no longer a student*, I was often mistaken for one** because I looked like I was still young enough to be a student of some sort. In those days, it seemed to me that such things happened more often to me than they did to youthful looking men, but it was difficult to separate the youthful-looking factor from the gender-stereotyping factor.
Now that you can see the wrinkles on my face in Google Earth images, a person asking me for my student ID must be making the assumption that it is more likely that I am a non-traditional student than a professor. That is disheartening because it means that even people in their 20's working on a university campus think it more likely that a woman in her 40's is a student rather than a professor.
I mentioned to the tech guy that if he asked people for their "university ID", it would solve the problem of deciding in advance if an individual is a student or professor. This might not solve the problem, but it would make me happy.
* not counting the fact that I was a student in an undergrad language course for the past 3 years
** even in cases in which there was overwhelming evidence that I was a professor doing professorial things
2 years ago