It's no secret that STEM fields are male dominated. There are a number of reasons for this, including the systematic indoctrination that science is for boys. This bias is rooted in old-school sexism, but even today with scientists becoming more open-minded, it's still very difficult for many women to excel in these areas.
Jared Mauldin, a mechanical engineering senior at Eastern Washington University, understands that his female classmates have faced challenges that go far beyond what male students in the program need to overcome.
He penned a letter to the editor in the school's paper, The Easterner, detailing the ways that his female classmates are not his equal.
The full letter reads:
To the women in my engineering classes:
While it is my intention in every other interaction I share with you to treat you as my peer, let me deviate from that to say that you and I are in fact unequal.
Sure, we are in the same school program, and you are quite possibly getting the same GPA as I, but does that make us equal?
I did not, for example, grow up in a world that discouraged me from focusing on hard science.
Nor did I live in a society that told me not to get dirty, or said I was bossy for exhibiting leadership skills.
In grade school I never had to fear being rejected by my peers because of my interests.
I was not bombarded by images and slogans telling me that my true worth was in how I look, and that I should abstain from certain activities because I might be thought too masculine.
I was not overlooked by teachers who assumed that the reason I did not understand a tough math or science concept was, after all, because of my gender.
I have had no difficulty whatsoever with a boys club mentality, and I will not face added scrutiny or remarks of my being the "diversity hire."
When I experience success the assumption of others will be that I earned it.
So, you and I cannot be equal. You have already conquered far more to be in this field than I will ever face.
Senior in Mechanical Engineering
This guy. He gets it.
By shining a light on this system of inequality, hopefully things can change and this type of appeal won't be necessary in the future.
[H/T: A Mighty Girl]