***Warning!!!***This post may contain some highly offensive material to women who dislike being put down and laughed at for being a woman. Don't worry; I was offended too.
Today I went to a graduate student society activity at BYU. It was a "what every grad student should know" lecture, and I thought it would be very informative, which it was. There was one speaker who talked about student debt, how to decide how much to take on, and how to manage it. He also talked about how getting out of debt as soon as possible allows you to start investing your money in ways that makes interest work for you. All good advice.
The second speaker started out good too. He talked about how students need to balance their lives as graduate students. There needs to be a balance in pride and humility. There needs to be a balance in patience and desire to achieve. And there needs to be a balance between hard work and enjoying life. All of this sounded like good advice too.
It was when he started to illustrate these points individually that the offensive stuff came out. He was talking about how he thought he was really cool when he was a graduate student. He was accomplishing lots of stuff and getting good grades. He thought he was important in his field. He was "The man." Then he said that the more he interacted with professionals, the more he realized how stupid his pride was. He wasn't "The man." He wasn't even "The woman."
I couldn't believe he said that! Oh no, it's bad to realize that you're not the man in your field. But the humiliation to realize that you're not EVEN a WOMAN!!
I know that he didn't mean to say it this way. He probably had no idea what he was saying or how some people could take it. So I was willing to let it go and listen to the rest of his speech. But I was surprised to hear quite a bit of giggling coming from the female portion of the audience that thought that the degrading statement about women was actually funny. Wow. There are some women who will laugh at anything. That's all I have to say.
(Dave's thoughts: Having become closely acquainted with a woman over the last couple of years, all I can say is: she really is "...always a woman to me..." Cue Billy Joel...) (Oh, and don't mess around with Merry when she's feeling feministy.)