Example 1: A significant portion of my students address me as “Mrs. ScienceWoman” despite my repeated email signatures, etc. to the contrary. On the other hand, the lecturer with an M.S. next door to me is constantly addressed as “Dr. Lecturer.” Guess what gender “Dr. Lecturer” is?
Example 2: I had a meeting with the daycare director this morning and I mentioned that I teach at Mystery U. She said she’d heard that, but didn’t think there was anyone in the education department with my name. Hmmm, maybe I’m not in the education department.
I don’t think my students or the daycare director are trying to be overtly sexist; I’d guess they don’t even realize what they’re saying. But these examples remind me how entrenched sexual stereotypes still are, and they make me wonder how many generations of professional women will have to hear them. What examples of subconscious sexism have you heard/seen lately? Have you responded to any of it?