Tuesday, October 17, 2017

me too?

It's almost certainly idiotic of me to chime in at all, and my normal policy is to avoid gender issues at all costs, but I'm apparently feeling stupid today... 

What do people mean when they say "me too"? 

Yes, I've been catcalled and I've been creepily followed. I've been aggressively hit on to the extent I was concerned for my safety on many occasions, most recently last month. I've had to physically resist men who didn't take no for an answer. I have only compassion for those who have experienced worse.

On the other hand, every male who has ever been in a position of authority over me has been very overtly very concerned with not doing or saying anything that might possibly be interpreted as harassment*. When I quit the one real job I ever had I had at least four meetings with different people terrified that I would accuse someone of harassment (while nothing could be further from the truth). In my current job I have senior male colleagues who actively look out for situations in which women are inadvertently being taken advantage of. And people say economics is particularly bad for women! The only time I've regretted being a woman in economics is when I have to be on committees because it's required that there be at least one woman on every committee...

Maybe I'm exceptionally lucky, but I believe I'm in the first generation of women for whom this is generally true, and I believe that's amazing progress. Assholes will always be assholes, but they're a small and inevitable minority.

(Being an extreme introvert, now that's something I wish I could change...)

~~~

* I particularly like to tell the story of how uncomfortable my mentor looked when telling me, at age 16, about the source extraction software called "sextractor".

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