The is-my-comment-appropriate? test

Take your comment and change any gendered words from male to female and ask yourself “Would I say this to or about a man in the same situation?”

For example:

  • “This office is a lot prettier than when I was here” [to a male graduate student, while thumbing the female grad student hard at work] doesn’t change,¬†and your answer would likely be no.
  • “Little girl, you will have to work a lot harder to keep up with the men!” [to a student in the first tutorial of first year physics] becomes “Little boy, you will have to work a lot harder to keep up with the women!”, and your answer would likely be no.
  • “Be careful, you wouldn’t want to be mistaken for a secretary.” [to a female postdoc as she consults a dictionary to settle a disagreement] doesn’t change and your answer would likely be no.
  • “You should be at home, raising children. That is what women are good at.” [to a female professor in her own office] becomes “You should be at home, raising children. That is what men are good at.”, and your answer would likely be no.
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5 thoughts on “The is-my-comment-appropriate? test

  1. Suresh

    You’ve heard the first two being said ? I continue to be amazed at the unmitigated gall people can have and the kind of crap they can dish out without thinking.

    1. Glencora Borradaile Post author

      Oh yes. Those are a sampling from my own life covering undergrad, grad, postdoc and present.

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