There are a few things you get used to being a woman in a male dominated field. You get used to the fact that sometimes you will hear things you really wish you couldn’t unhear. You will accidentally find yourself a casualty in a fart war. You will never get to have the girly discussions in the office, even when you’re pregnant (which is a great time for fart war revenge). You will get accomplished at “that’s what she said”. I have always been “one of the guys” and it is where I find myself most comfortable most of the time.
The thing I never get used to is the sexism, and I’m glad I’m never going to get used to it. I will never get used to having been told by a manager that the whole reason that someone was promoted was because “their wife was pregnant, again”. I will never get used to having a manager (not mine) tell me that women should always stay home when their kids are young. I will never get used to having people assume that I can’t do long hours some days because most days I make my kids a priority.
I have short hair. I love my short hair. I’m keeping my short hair even though it isn’t my husband’s favorite. I also have boobs. Big ones thanks to weight gain and having kids. (40D, on my way to 38D) I also have a small amount of facial hair because of an unfortunate confluence of genetics and a hormone imbalance. But make no mistake, I have womanly curves. I wear feminine glasses. I wear clothes that accentuate the best of my girly body. I also have a feminine voice. Just since we’re listing off all of the ways I am most definitely NOT a dude.
I am not a “gentleman”. Also, the correct response to me correcting you about my gender is, “I’m so sorry.”, not defending or reiterating that you thought I was a man. Especially not coming from a teacher in a class that my company paid 3k for me to take.
I’m in the process of trying to calm down, to relax so that I can get work done from home. I can get used to a lot of being around guys all the time. I just can’t get used to being called a guy to my face.
Maybe it is having grown up with buck teeth and a boy haircut. Maybe it is because my first name is a guy’s first name. Maybe it is because I’m still bearing the scars of having my gender preference questioned by bullies my whole childhood. I don’t care what it is. I shouldn’t have to put up with it.
I am, most definitely, not a dude.