Feminism as an Engineering Student

Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2016 01:01 pm
Hi there

I'm a student studying engineering (which is an extremely male dominated subject). Not only that but I'm part of a huge engineering project within the university (again, extremely male dominated) and I'm in a position of leadership where lead a group of 6 male members and me.

I've encountered a lot of sexism within this team, who are made up predominantly of my closest friends. One of my best friends was called a feminazi by one of the people in my group, simply for talking about feminism and calling up sexist behaviour. The same person said we should not hire a candidate "just because she is a girl", without knowing anything about her, only by knowing her name.

I tried to start this discussion with my boyfriend today, to which his response was "yeah, you've probably been called a feminazi behind your back, but what can you do about it? You can't change anything, you'll just have to live with it."

I've had people look down my top when discussing engineering, I've seen people on the term being referred to only as "tits", and I've felt like I have to agree with hugely sexist things being said within the team just to fit in.

There's a million more things I could say but I'm trying to keep this brief. Is there anything I can do? I want to start a serious discussion about this with my male colleagues, but feel like I'll be called a feminazi and not taken seriously.

Thanks for your time!
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2016 01:28 pm
Yj, recent statistical analyses reveal that about 1/3 of us are sexist. I've long maintained it's because of inadequate ed. which should start in first grade

Thanks for your time!
You're welcome for what it's worth; but willing to chat
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2016 02:22 pm
I agree completely, I don't understand how we can have come so far in society in terms of mens and womens rights, yet still blatant obvious sexism is still normal.
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2016 03:39 pm
Why are young people even using the term "feminazi"?

Why does anyone keep listening to someone who uses terms like that seriously?

Why are Rush Limbaugh's neologisms suddenly part of millennial men's vocabularies?
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Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2016 03:40 pm
Go to your professor.

Yeah, yeah, I know you want to be on the team, etc., but this behavior is out of line. If you were in the working world I would tell you to get your butt to HR and complain.

You do not need to be treated this way.

I went to law school in the mid-1980s and women were about a 1/4 to 1/3 of the class. We were a far smaller minority in terms of lawyers/law students overall. But I don't recall anyone looking down my top or referring to me by a body part although perhaps it happened and I wasn't aware of it.

When I graduated, male lawyers would routinely (at depositions) ask if I was the court reporter. When I took male colleagues out to train them, I was asked if I was doing well for 'the boss' (meaning the male colleague with me). My response (which was true): "I'm his boss."

It was also at a law firm where my secretary was being harassed by one of the paralegals (there were three as I recall, one was male). We went to our boss, who promptly fired the guy.

Tell your professor. This **** will not change until these boys (and they are not men) start suffering consequences. This is utterly inappropriate and in later life it should cost them their jobs. They'd better learn this lesson now.

Don't just go along to get along. That way lies madness and it is a surefire way to get you to hate your job in short order.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2016 09:28 pm
In addition to what Jespah said.
Sexual harassment is illegal. Report it to your professor and the college president. S/He should now allow this kind of harassment at any public place.
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Reply Sun 2 Oct, 2016 11:30 am
yet ... sexism is still normal
Yea Yj, mysterious indeed

The lack of early ed. however is clearly a right-wing phenom; they can't distinguish learning about something from advocating it

One of my few political views
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Reply Sun 2 Oct, 2016 01:07 pm
I have a different take on this.

The guys are just as much a victim as you feel. I think it's rare that third wave feminist take into consideration the make human condition. Our society has placed the burden of romantic relationships up to makes to initiate. A make who isn't aggressive enough often gets ignored by women so this creates a reinforcement behavior of blatant sexual tension. He behaves this way because some women to respond to it in the way he is wanting.

You can't blame him but our entire society has structured itself this way for hundreds of thousands of years. It's biological and social behavior that you can't do a way with by making him feel guilty. Although there should be respect and a place for it. Getting him in trouble doesn't solve this.
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Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 12:49 pm
I think it is completely fair to say to your "closest friends" that they are full of **** when they are making those comments. I never saw this during my college days (when women were just starting to make strides in engineering) so either I was sheltered or someone is pushing you to see how you respond. You don't want to be a "feminazi" or find out that these friends are making comments behind your back, I get it. The alternative appears to be allowing yourself to be a doormat. As you point out, you are in a male dominated field and if you don't set the expectation that you expect equal treatment and opportunity based on your accomplishments, I can say from experience (and the experiences of my wife), that you won't get them. I do think that you should call your friends out before filing a complaint.
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Grim Reaper
Reply Mon 26 Jun, 2017 05:55 pm
Well for one, don't wear such revealing clothes and might I add, "tits" is not a sexist comment and never will be in my book because it is slang for boobs, if you don't like it, buy some ear plugs. And if engineering is so male dominant than show them you can do it without being bothered by it and pave a way for women who might feel like they cant because of it. use it as motivation, your problem is you see yourself as a victim to sexism and inequality because you don't know how to deal with people, ignore them, prove them wrong. you cant change anyone but yourself so better yourself before complaining they are the ones causing you to be "triggered" or whatever you call it, and quite frankly, men are horny, all of us are, all of us like sex, and we all aren't going to respect you when all you do is blame men for youself being insecure. Grow up. Grow some thicker skin. And DEAL WITH IT LIKE AN ADULT NOT A CHILD.
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Reply Mon 26 Jun, 2017 06:10 pm
Overt sexist talk, looking down someone's top, referring to someone as "tits"... these things have nothing to do with "feminism". They are offensive abusive behavior and in most professional workplaces would resort in people being fired. I have seen people fired for sexual harassment. I agree that this behavior should be reported to the professor (and higher up if need be). These things would not be tolerated in a professional workplace and they should not be tolerated in a class project.

But you raised a different issue here (and I am not entirely sure that the same people are involved).

Feminism is a political ideology that some people feel has gone too far. If someone talks about feminism in a college engineering group, or in an engineering job, they will likely get push back. This is the same as if someone started talking about supporting Trump or why people should believe the Bible. Most people choose the safe route and don't push their personal beliefs on co-workers.

It is best to keep these things to yourself in a professional setting unless you are willing to discuss it openly and accept when people disagree with you. In some engineering teams people can get into these types of heated discussions without taking it personally and part of engineering culture enjoys it.

These are two different issues.
Reply Tue 27 Jun, 2017 03:15 pm
Max you write well

Wish I could say same 'bout me

One thing I do you don't is use " ' " for ' " '--so you're to be congratulated for bothering w/ that superfluous Shift; but don't think it's the reason I keep gettin' deleted

Keep up the Good Work Cona
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