Being Female In A Man’s World

Photo by MariusBoatca

I don’t really see any uptick in the amount. The only difference I see is that many men now feel that they can be misogynistic openly and get away with it.

My degree, electrical engineering, was earned at a school where women made up 5% of the college of engineering. I was routinely discriminated against, put down, and relegated to the back burner on projects.

And you know what? It didn’t come from the professors. It came from my fellow students.

I learned an important lesson about being a woman in a man’s world.

The only time discrimination was ever an issue was when a man was threatened by my knowledge or skills.

This can be extrapolated: any time a man is a mysoginist, it is because he is threatened by women’s knowlege or skills.

I don’t work in engineering now. But I still work in a male-dominated field: information technology.

And nearly all the time, my colleagues and clients treat me well. Some even seem to forget that I am female. The tolerance is much more the norm than any hassling.

But there are still those who are threatened. But it isn’t just the men who hassle. I have been hassled by two female clients as well.

So the misogynism isn’t new. It’s just an airing of something I have never seen go away.

Fear is one of the strongest forces on earth. And unfortunately it will never go away.

I would pity those whose fear causes them to act in misogynistic or racialistic or just plain ol’ stupid other ways. But they’re too dangerous.

Photo by MariusBoatca

Muslims, Jews and the Rest of Us Non-Christians

Photo by HerryLawford

I’m just going to state it outright: I am sick of having the current hate-filled brand of Christianity shoved down my throat. Right now too many people in the US seem to think that we need to bring the country to what they consider a Christian viewpoint. As a result, dark-skinned people are being murdered in cold blood. Jewish cemeteries are being defaced. Bomb threats are happening against schools and community centers. Mosques are being burned down.

I know a lot of good people who are Christians. I know those who quietly go about feeding the hungry and clothing the naked and giving comfort to those imprisoned. But they’re not the only ones doing it. I also know a Hindu whose family make it their life’s work to feed anyone that is hungry. I know an atheist whose entire family was murdered in the concentration camps after he was sent to safety in England…and I also know his tireless work in social justice.

Jesus was a good dude. His message was not one of hate. His message was not one of fear of outsiders (think Good Samaritan). His message was one of taking care of the sick and poor and outcast. His message was of love and forgiveness and hope.

And so I wonder how all these radicalized Christians in the US can call themselves Christians while they preach intolerance and mysoginism and racial hatred and priveledge.

I am aware of my priveledged position: because I am white, and I openly attend a church, everyone assumes I am Christian, and I am left alone.

But the truth is I am not a Christian. Yes, my church welcomes those who are Christian. They also welcome Jews and Muslims and agnostics and atheists and Hindus and Buddhists and pagans and those who just don’t know.

I have not called myself a Christian since the night Mrs. Delaine said in confirmation class that if we weren’t 100% sure of our faith, we shouldn’t be confirmed. That night, I argued it out with my father, ceased confirmation classes, and that was the last time I called myself a Christian.

It never bothered me that people assumed that I was Christian before. After all, I have never corrected anyone in that assumption.

But now, looking at what is going on, I don’t want to be even assumed to be associated with Christianity. I don’t want people assuming that I believe as they do.

And I certainly want no part of the radical Christians who are spreading fear and hate in this country.

Photo by HerryLawford

The PS/4 Deal

Photo by Neo Love

It was a simple deal. My daughter wants a different gaming console. We wanted her to pass the auditions and get into the music magnate school (and away from the disturbing lack of discipline tolerated at her high school. Yes, I can say that, because I worked there for a year. Anyway).

So the deal was she had to do the auditions for, and be accepted by, the two organizations: the youth orchestra, and the Governor’s School for the Arts.

The youth orchesta was her first audition, and taken after one lesson on tympani. Her teacher cautioned that she would probably be placed in the lower group. She flew through the audtion and was placed in the upper orchestra, the only percussionist, and one of the few lowerclassmen in the group.

The audition for the Governor’s School was later. There are a lot of applicants, and she auditioned before a panel. She even had to request a snare drum, and fix the mallet instrument before she could audition.

The letter came. She’ll be joining the Governor’s School in the fall. This will mean much longer days – three classes at her high school every day, and then bused to the nearby city and sometimes the university. But it will be better to be among those who are gifted once again.

This weekend, we will be buying a PS/4. She held up her end, we will hold up ours.

And I’m proud to do it.

Photo by Neo Love