Friday, October 26, 2012

Academic Men Explain Things To You?

Then post away.

One of my experiences isn't an "explain things" experience per se, but more of a micro-aggression experiences from a former job I held about 5 years ago. 

At my supervisor's request, I had agreed to supervise a summer legal intern who had just completed his first year of law school. Let's just call him Entitled Well-Connected Kid ("EWCK"). The internship was his due to his connections (yay invisible affirmative action for privileged white guys!) but he had sent his resume to our HR Director anyway, who then forwarded on the resume to me.

I noticed in the email that EWCK had very respectfully referred to our HR Director and my supervisor both as Mr. HR Director and Mr. Supervisor, granting them a formal level of deference. When I emailed him to schedule an interview, something I did mostly as a courtesy to give him practical interviewing experience, he emailed me back and casually addressed me by my first name.

Now, personally, while I think it's appropriate for grad and professional school students to refer to internship supervisors and professors by their first names, I did note the disparate, and less formal, way he referred to me compared to my male colleagues.

During the interview, he also inexplicably asked if I was an attorney.  He seemed to be under the impression that I was maybe my supervisor's administrative assistant. Despite the degree and job title that was in my email signature.

Lawyering while lady often means that one is assumed to be an assistant until proven otherwise.

It's also The Best and Definitely My Favorite when Internet Mansplainers (try to) explain legal concepts to me under the assumption that they automatically Know More Things about the law than I do. It's kind of sad how many instances of bigots and sexists making that assumption that I could cite over the years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem as a lady researcher with a PhD in engineering. Despite having "PhD" and "researcher" in my email signature. It is very frustrating.