February 24th, 2004

no melodrama

puzzle piece

found this link on forioscribe's journal.

i was in college in 1983. oh yes i was.

i think the above says a lot about why I would never major in anything subjective, anything where the professor had to judge your work. because even when it didn't get "that bad", favoritism clearly, obviously went on. it wasn't so much the fear of unwanted harassment; i knew from my mother's stories of sleazy professional men and attempted rape, let alone from Cosmo, that a woman was bound to run into that crap in life sooner or later. my concern was more that i wouldn't take the chance on having my fragile (then) confidence in doing something i loved destroyed at some jerk's whim, whether the destruction involved sex or just emotional abuse or misunderstanding.

on the other hand, with math, "love" and praise had nothing to do with it. the answer was Right, or it was Not. you were graded accordingly. The end. And nobody needed a grant or a recommendation or to kiss butt for their career, because at that time companies were standing in line to hire and pay you, especially if you were a female, and even if your grades were not stellar.

i remember a made-for-TV movie that aired sometime in 1984 or 85, about the very subject discussed in the above article. the main character was a female grad student, English major or lit major or something like that, being hit on by tenured professors. i remember my female suitemates and i gathering to watch that movie and catcalling and making fun of it. three engineers and a business major. things like that didn't happen to us, and we couldn't understand why anyone would put up with it.

i, being the type who plans ahead, had my strategy all ready in case it ever did happen. i would first laugh, and then if it continued, probably punch. (and if i had dropped the ball somehow i know my mother would have badgered me till she got the full story (she sure can badger) then my parents would probably have driven to the offender's office and yelled at him and maybe even hit him with mom's purse and dad's cane. you can see where my family doesn't exactly fit in around the Groves of Academie, we lack the proper respect.) but it never did happen to me, not even after i started working, although i was pretty then. dunno whether it was the wrong kind of pretty (the working-class kind), or some kind of warning vibe i gave off, or just dumb luck. never did happen. never even close.