Blatant Sexism? (From a guy's pov)

k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love.2^<3Registered User regular
edited April 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay, so anonymous Internet people -- please don't make fun of me (or make fun of me but acknowledge the merit of what I am saying). I am at the end of my wits here.

I'm in a otherwise happy relationship with this girl for just about over a year. We're mostly intellectually, sexually, and emotionally compatible, but there is one catch. We're in the same department. Usually, this is a great thing, as most people are green with envy when they discover that I'm with a pretty and intelligent girl who is also into Y. Now, even before we were in a relationship I've noticed that she gets an excessive amount of attention from faculty and professional contacts in department Y. This always grated on me, but lately it's really been getting out of hand. Yes, since girls are really rare in the technical field Y, it is often the case that professors shower them with undue flattery and attention. Especially if they are bright, and even more so if they are private-schooled and know all the secret social cues to get ahead. But it's getting to the point where it's actually hindering my educational/professional progress and an already brittle emotional state.

Before you judge me as a jealous, chauvinist, negative nancy, please consider the following scenario:
1. We both enroll in class in department X which has a concentration in Y.
2. The class is comprised of weekly homework assignments. Since the class really is about Y, we both blaze through it with.
3. We work together on the homework at high level. So we figure out the solutions together, but then write them out separately.
4. As a result get very similar grades +/- 0.5 points out of ten, sometimes to my benefit and vice versa.
5. I find out the professor has an internship available over the summer for people to work in his lab.
6. We both sometimes engage in small talk after class with the professor, I sometimes approach him and ask engaging/smart questions about the HW and his research. (I guess you can't ascertain that, but trust from the grades I'm getting on the homework, I'm not saying anything dumb)
7. We both engage in small talk with him one time after class. He seems to mostly ignore my presence and focus just on her. He asks her what her plans are after she graduates, they have this inexplicable back and forth substance-less conversation about how wonderful she is (this is the subtext of the conversation, the details are tedious to reiterate). Then he asks her about her senior project (something everyone in department Y needs to do) and whether she'd like to do it with him (you usually need an advisor). Now, we already told him that we're doing a senior project together as a group. We remind him, but in response he asks her, in front of my fucking face, whether if it's too late to change her mind (I.E ditch this douche, and come work for me). When this little special moment ends, he begrudgingly asks me what I'm planning to do when I graduate, not leaving enough time to answer as we're walking with him and have just left the building.
8. I swallow my pride, and try to put this situation behind me (this takes a good few days to recover from).
9. Since I really need a job (I'm running out of money to pay for the last semester in college) I outright ask him if he's offering an internship this summer. He's kind of reluctant, but says something along the lines of "Oh yeah, I thought offering you or [girl's name] a job this summer, but I thought you were about to graduate." That made me feel a little bit better, as I thought he had some plausible deniability in thinking I was graduating (which I did tell him I was close to doing). I told him that I still had two more semesters to finish up, and that I'm really interested in taking that job. The conversation concluded with him saying that he's busy, but he'll get back to me in two weeks.
10. Okay good, feel a little better. Now I wait.
11. Two weeks pass. After class he asks my gf to come see him in his office, we're sure it's about the job.
12. Now I'm pretty sure we can both still get hired, as my gf would obviously want that as well, and there is enough funding to go around.
13. The Present : How am I supposed to feel about this situation? It's one thing if this was an uncommon occurrence, but it happens ALL THE FUCKING TIME. To the point where I can't get a job/internships/academic opportunities because of it.

tl;dr - I'm on the wrong side of constant favoritism for my gf in my department. It's a technical field, and technically we're equally qualified. It's making my life a living hell, because I want to be happy for my gf and not resent her. Is this sexism, and if so, what should I do?

k-maps on

Posts

  • DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: dodgeblanRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    uhhhh

    let me think about this one. Okay here I have my advice:

    deal with it, be happy for her, and if you're so smart find another job.

    DodgeBlan on
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  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Maybe your girlfriend really IS that great... (jk)

    I dont think this is sexism, I think you're just jealous that she gets more attention than you

    You maybe want to search for other opportunity where you dont have to compete with her

    flowerhoney on
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Maybe your girlfriend really IS that great... (jk)

    I dont think this is sexism, I think you're just jealous that she gets more attention than you

    You maybe want to search for other opportunity where you dont have to compete with her

    For real. Surely there is more than one opportunity out there, and even if there weren't and she got it, then deal. Maybe she is just smart and more attractive to the generally male field. Maybe it is sexism. If it is, then you probably can't change it. If it isn't then you are being overly emotional. Either way, you should probably just try to be happy for her.

    edit: what not to do: let this ruin your relationship. dont get all emotional and angry at her. It isn't her fault.

    JebusUD on
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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It's not chauvinism or sexism. It's just straight-up jealousy on your part, that you've wrapped up in a sexist rationalization. This is actually quite common in many relationships of all kinds, but you need to recognize it as jealousy, plain and simple. You should discuss this with your partner, but don't say it like "I think you are getting better opportunities because you are a woman." You should say it like "I think I'm becoming jealous of your success, and it's tearing me apart. Can we talk about this?" You won't get very far in the relationship if you let jealousy burn inside you, and even more so if you hide it in a rationalization. You can't blame other people by thinking "Well, it's just other people who favor her because of X" (chromosome in this case, oh ho!), and if you do, that's probably just another form of denial.

    On another note, school performance is not necessarily a good indicator of candidacy for a position, especially for a lowly one like an internship. It sounds like you two actually want to stay together, which is a good sign that you should be thankful for. A lot of folks sacrifice their relationships for their career. If you don't want to sacrifice your relationship, you should consider your priorities together and think about which is more important, career or relationship.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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  • CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Yeah gonna go with the prevailing opinion here, get over it. This is life. Yeah the guy probably did decide that between two equal candidates he'd rather spend time with a cute girl but frankly you'll find that damn near impossible to prove.

    Furthermore if you act like an ass about this all you'll achieve is losing a partner you obviously like in to the bargain. So put a smile on your face, tell her she did a great job and that you're happy for her. Then drop the whole thing and move on.

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  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited April 2011
    The problem here is that you're assuming all things are equal. It's entirely likely that your girlfriend is just more pleasant to interact with than you are. I'm basing this largely on the fact that you're on an internet forum complaining that it's bullshit that a loved one is doing better than you. That's the kind of stuff that tends to bleed out into your personality.

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  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It's entirely likely that your girlfriend is just more pleasant to interact with than you are.

    You've stated nothing in the OP that leads me to believe favoritism is due to sexism.

    oldsak on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2011
    I can see how it could go either way, and without actually being there it's hard to tell. It could be, or maybe she really does just come off that much better than you. People are right that it will probably be hard to prove, so what I would do if you suspect this is the case is to try and get a third-party opinion, preferably someone who knows you, your girlfriend, and the professor involved. They will have a clearer view of things than internet strangers, and in this case that's probably what you need to hear.

    As has been said, absolutely do not treat your girlfriend differently, because it's in no way her fault.

    ceres on
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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The problem here is that you're assuming all things are equal. It's entirely likely that your girlfriend is just more pleasant to interact with than you are. I'm basing this largely on the fact that you're on an internet forum complaining that it's bullshit that a loved one is doing better than you. That's the kind of stuff that tends to bleed out into your personality.

    Tube may not post here a lot but when he does he tends to be spot on.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Hi

    As a girl in technical field Z, I'm here to tell you that yes, it's very likely that your girlfriend is getting more attention because she's female and in a technical field. The reason isn't because your prof has a crush on her, or that oooh boobs, but because there's a gigantic gap in technical fields between the number of men and the number of women, and there are numerous ongoing initiatives on the unversity-based and industry-based levels to encourage women to a) get a technical degree and then b) use it.

    So essentially, get over it.

    Usagi on
  • TechBoyTechBoy Registered User
    edited April 2011
    K-maps, short for Karnaugh Maps are technique for getting boolean expressions out of truth tables. They're used extensively in electronics design to simplify logic, and thus lessen the amount of parts and effort it takes to get some electronics to do what you want.

    So going off your name, I'm going to assume that him and girlfriend are CompE majors, or perhaps EE or CS.

    In my experience, people that are in these majors are smart and very hardworking. They're in one of the toughest majors in school, they have to be. They also tend to be very analytical and perceptive. They can very accurately asses their own competency and that of those around them. OP says he's every bit as good as his gf? I don't doubt it.

    The issue here isn't your competency, the issue here is your perception of what that competency entitles you to.

    You're thinking, I'm a smart guy, I worked pretty fucking hard, why are people bending over backwards for my gf and giving me the cold should when I'm just as good? Well, in a just world they wouldn't. But it is what it is.

    As a woman, your girlfriend will get more attention and favoritism from the CompE department. Fact. You know that the department is skewed something like 90-80% male. You know that few women do engineering, for whatever reason, and that simple fact will make every professor, TA, and administrator do everything they can to encourage and foster the success of what few women are in the program. Even if it is to the detriment of the male students. By their calculus, she's about 4 to 9 times more important than you :P

    Your perception of the situation isn't wrong, but your entitlement towards equal treatment is leading you to these hard feelings. You're taking it as an affront to your abilities, as an affront to YOU. The person. That somehow you are made lesser by your gf being made more. This thinking is destructive. You're causing yourself misery, and you're going to lead your relationship down a dark path if you don't control it.

    I would know, I destroyed a fantastic relationship by taking it down the very path you're heading.

    You're not going to change the way the department acts towards your gf. In general, you have almost no control over the actions of other. People will continuously do things that piss you off, but that you can't do anything about. This situation is just a sophisticated variation of life's annoyances. Getting cut off in traffic, obnoxious teenagers on the subway, Firefly getting canceled. And like those situations, how you feel about it is entirely in your hands. You can get irate, angry, pissed off at how wrong the world it, but really, does that help? Does it right the wrongs? No, it does nothing but make you feel like shit. It's a waste of energy, it just drags you down.

    Let your emotions go. And then, with a cool head, please carefully consider your feelings. While I do wish your relationship the best, know that there is a particular peril to these kinds of relationships. When both partners work in the same field, it is very tempting to compare yourself to one another and to see yourselves as equals and peers. But if one gains more success than the other - real or perceived, jealousy as you know is a very natural but also very powerful reaction. Please consider carefully how you will deal with such situations, both now and in the future - or if you even want to.

    TechBoy on
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  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Usagi wrote: »
    Hi

    As a girl in technical field Z, I'm here to tell you that yes, it's very likely that your girlfriend is getting more attention because she's female and in a technical field. The reason isn't because your prof has a crush on her, or that oooh boobs, but because there's a gigantic gap in technical fields between the number of men and the number of women, and there are numerous ongoing initiatives on the unversity-based and industry-based levels to encourage women to a) get a technical degree and then b) use it.

    So essentially, get over it.

    As a white male in a science field, I have to completely agree with this - the up-side of affirmative action (even if it's not outrightly stated, it's at least a subtle goal of many fields to become more diverse in terms of the students in the field) is that you get a much more diverse culture, but the downside is that certain groups (i.e., white males in particular) are not really going to be on equal footing as a minority or woman candidate.

    And, at certain level, that is the only answer - deal with it. Either work harder so that there's just no way that people can deny you're better, or accept the fact that when you're in a field where 90% are male, equally talented women are going to be in higher demand (and vice versa - for a long time male nurses were in much higher demand because they were far rarer)

    Gdiguy on
  • DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: dodgeblanRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    know all the secret social cues to get ahead
    they have this inexplicable back and forth substance-less conversation about how wonderful she is (this is the subtext of the conversation, the details are tedious to reiterate)

    These things here- You think they're cheating or something? They're not. They are the reasons why in the real world this girl will surpass you.

    Since this is an advice forum, I'll go you one better and note that if you can learn from this that people who are enjoyable to be around will almost always do better than people who are not you will be in a better position than 90% of CS graduates.

    Your professor enjoys talking to your girlfriend more than you? Maybe that's just because she's girl or maybe it's just because she is nicer than you. Until she makes a post and I can compare your level of insufferable entitlement to hers I can't say.

    So think about it: If you were the professor and you had a choice between the smart pleasant girl and the smart guy who seems to think you owe him a job who would you choose?

    DodgeBlan on
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  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Gdiguy wrote: »
    Usagi wrote: »
    Hi

    As a girl in technical field Z, I'm here to tell you that yes, it's very likely that your girlfriend is getting more attention because she's female and in a technical field. The reason isn't because your prof has a crush on her, or that oooh boobs, but because there's a gigantic gap in technical fields between the number of men and the number of women, and there are numerous ongoing initiatives on the unversity-based and industry-based levels to encourage women to a) get a technical degree and then b) use it.

    So essentially, get over it.

    As a white male in a science field, I have to completely agree with this - the up-side of affirmative action (even if it's not outrightly stated, it's at least a subtle goal of many fields to become more diverse in terms of the students in the field) is that you get a much more diverse culture, but the downside is that certain groups (i.e., white males in particular) are not really going to be on equal footing as a minority or woman candidate.

    And, at certain level, that is the only answer - deal with it. Either work harder so that there's just no way that people can deny you're better, or accept the fact that when you're in a field where 90% are male, equally talented women are going to be in higher demand (and vice versa - for a long time male nurses were in much higher demand because they were far rarer)

    I just wanted to add that the further along in your career you progress it will become less of an issue, sadly far fewer women (in my particular discipline, mechanical engineering, for example) will progress past Eng I/II to become a project lead, or program lead, or department director, or VP, or CEO.

    For example, I work for a medium sized heavy manufacturing business and of approximately 1700 employees (both admin and union) we have two female in positions of technical importance - myself and one of the directors. Of 1700 people.

    As an industry we need all the diversity we can get and that starts with encouraging young women to pursue science/math/engineering degrees, and encourage them further to progress their engineering career despite the shitloads of blatant sexism we face (often accidentally) on an ongoing basis. How many times have I asked to get coffee/make copies and then oops, I'm the one running the meeting asshole.

    Usagi on
  • k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. 2^<3Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Duders, you got this all wrong. I aint saying my gf isn't awesome-smart-fantastic-likable person, who may very well be more qualified than I am. Hell, you know what, she's definitely a more confident and pleasant person to be around than bitter old jealous, indignant me. I love this person, remember? Never have I said that I want her to feel bad about it. Is this what this thread was even about? *sigh*

    Anyway, before you pigeon-hole/reduce me into a sore loser, you could at least give me a marginal benefit of the doubt. Maybe just an iota? You guys are making so many presumptions I don't even know where to start. At the very least you know I'm a good student who is trying to get a job and failing.

    First off, I'm the minority in this relationship. For some reason I get the sense that if I said I was black/woman/crippled you guys would take a different tone in your collective shitting on me. I'm not a native English speaker, and moved to the U.S like 5 years ago. I worked my ass off to go and do well in college. She is a preppy private school girl who's been given the world on a silver platter. Not holding that against her, but at least acknowledge that this alone puts me in an awkward/unfair position. Being in a relationship with someone who is from a privileged background already has its challenges.

    We've known each other for over 4 years and been together for over a year now. We know our respective strengths and often work as a team, as we complement each other well. I don't have a very privileged background, but I'm very good at technical field Y, and can often solve difficult homework problems for both of us. She is very talented/intelligent and helps me with stuff I missed out on in a formal education (writing papers, talking to professors etc). In this class, I happen to excel when it comes to very difficult problems we both wrestle with. At other classes, technical or otherwise, she excels just as much. I need a summer job to support myself. She does not. I expressed interest about the job. She didn't. I'm finding it difficult to explain this situation because it is so absurd.

    I wasn't even the one to bring it up. She pointed out the absurdity before I even mentioned it! ugh. This is futile, there is no possible way I can convince you that this was a purely sexist decision without coming off as a douche. There is one part I don't understand. This is a help forum. I feel really shitty about this situation. I did not say I'm going to break up with, or take it out on my girlfriend. I love her, and want this relationship to work. Having said that, I do have reasons to believe, which I cannot possibly prove (unless you want me to outline dozens more anecdotes that will be brought into question) that there is a blatant sexist component that is inhibiting my professional development. So I guess I should take meds because I'm delusional? I just don't see how any of those comment are helpful, sorry.

    k-maps on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2011
    I'm unlocking this at the request of the OP.

    Try to be a little more thoughtful in your responses from here on out.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    This is futile, there is no possible way I can convince you that this was a purely sexist decision without coming off as a douche

    I think that, honestly, you should learn to deal better with rejection.

    I don't say this as an ass (I am, of course), but as someone who has been hit with the reality of our world after undergrad.

    Few things are fair, and 95% of the time you'll get a benefit from being male. What has happened here is nothing that I don't see in my company and the companies I've worked for over the years. It doesn't matter who or what, but people get treated differently. Sometimes it's because they're a minority or other group. A lot of the time it's because they're female. Get over it and move on. We all get passed over for jobs and promotions, and I simply have to think that you're in for a world of disappointment if this is how you're going to react to every time you don't get what you think you deserve.

    The Crowing One on
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  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Well, my statements from before still stand. I don't consider this sexism, simply because from my viewpoint and what you've described it's actually a method of combating sexism. I'm sorry if you feel your prof is playing favorites, but he/she is human and can only act as such. It happens in the working world across all genders and ages, so I don't want you to focus just on this situation as you're probably going to deal with it again.

    That said, I understand you're looking for work as many students and soon-to-be-graduates are, and I have the following questions for you that I ask all the young engineers who have sought my advice on that subject:

    How many internships/co-ops/degree-related research jobs have you held?
    Have you been published in a research journal, or presented a technical paper at a industry-related professional organization annual meeting?
    Are you a student member of any professional organizations?
    Have you participated in any project teams or other technical "sports" programs?
    Have you volunteered at your college, with organizations through your college, or independently?
    Have you held a position of authority on any student organization, professional society, or project team?

    I realize that some of these may not apply given that I'm not entirely sure what your degree program is specifically, but the general gist is that just doing university isn't enough these days. I don't mean this to be insulting or derogatory to any new engineering graduates out there, but as someone who has hiring input right now, if I only see a near-4.0 and no work experience (in any of the formats listed above, interpolate as you will) I'm probably going to pass.

    Usagi on
  • KorlashKorlash Registered User
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    Duders, you got this all wrong. I aint saying my gf isn't awesome-smart-fantastic-likable person, who may very well be more qualified than I am. Hell, you know what, she's definitely a more confident and pleasant person to be around than bitter old jealous, indignant me. I love this person, remember? Never have I said that I want her to feel bad about it. Is this what this thread was even about? *sigh*

    Anyway, before you pigeon-hole/reduce me into a sore loser, you could at least give me a marginal benefit of the doubt. Maybe just an iota? You guys are making so many presumptions I don't even know where to start. At the very least you know I'm a good student who is trying to get a job and failing.

    First off, I'm the minority in this relationship. For some reason I get the sense that if I said I was black/woman/crippled you guys would take a different tone in your collective shitting on me. I'm not a native English speaker, and moved to the U.S like 5 years ago. I worked my ass off to go and do well in college. She is a preppy private school girl who's been given the world on a silver platter. Not holding that against her, but at least acknowledge that this alone puts me in an awkward/unfair position. Being in a relationship with someone who is from a privileged background already has its challenges.

    We've known each other for over 4 years and been together for over a year now. We know our respective strengths and often work as a team, as we complement each other well. I don't have a very privileged background, but I'm very good at technical field Y, and can often solve difficult homework problems for both of us. She is very talented/intelligent and helps me with stuff I missed out on in a formal education (writing papers, talking to professors etc). In this class, I happen to excel when it comes to very difficult problems we both wrestle with. At other classes, technical or otherwise, she excels just as much. I need a summer job to support myself. She does not. I expressed interest about the job. She didn't. I'm finding it difficult to explain this situation because it is so absurd.

    I wasn't even the one to bring it up. She pointed out the absurdity before I even mentioned it! ugh. This is futile, there is no possible way I can convince you that this was a purely sexist decision without coming off as a douche. There is one part I don't understand. This is a help forum. I feel really shitty about this situation. I did not say I'm going to break up with, or take it out on my girlfriend. I love her, and want this relationship to work. Having said that, I do have reasons to believe, which I cannot possibly prove (unless you want me to outline dozens more anecdotes that will be brought into question) that there is a blatant sexist component that is inhibiting my professional development. So I guess I should take meds because I'm delusional? I just don't see how any of those comment are helpful, sorry.

    Don't worry about the replies too much. People on the internet can get awfully defensive when they suspect someone of sexism or misogyny.

    I don't think what you're going through is unreasonable. For example, one of the faculty at my university has a very androgynous name, and he was telling me one day about how he once got an interview purely because the people who wanted to hire him thought he was a woman (he was told this after the interview). There's plenty of scholarships and opportunities available only to women to encourage them to go into science/engineering. Bear in mind though, that the reason these exist is because science/engineering departments routinely undervalue women who have similar achievements as male colleagues.

    It's difficult to say what's happening in your situation. It could be that this particular professor just liked talking to your gf more. Are you a visible minority? I don't want to incite you to cry racism without knowing more about your situation, but that's a possibility.

    In the end, no matter what causes this, and even if this has been happening often as you say, she is just one person. There is more than one opportunity out there, and this shouldn't stop you from progressing forward. If only the best/ the people who were the most appreciated found jobs, there would be a whole lot of jobless people out there.

    Maybe you should consider avoiding applying for the same jobs as she is so you two don't directly compete? I'm just throwing this out here, it may be that you are both interested in the same subfield of your discipline, which would make this harder.

    There's not a whole lot to say here other than "keep working hard!", especially since if your gf is indeed receiving preferential treatment, then you're in the same boat as every other male in your group. Being a from a foreign country can make it harder, but if university departments are any indication, that won't prevent you from eventually finding a job.

    Korlash on
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  • k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. 2^<3Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Few things are fair, and 95% of the time you'll get a benefit from being male. What has happened here is nothing that I don't see in my company and the companies I've worked for over the years. It doesn't matter who or what, but people get treated differently. Sometimes it's because they're a minority or other group. A lot of the time it's because they're female. Get over it and move on. We all get passed over for jobs and promotions, and I simply have to think that you're in for a world of disappointment if this is how you're going to react to every time you don't get what you think you deserve.

    I would totally agree with you, but you seem to ignore a very key fact in this situation. We're in a relationship. This means that not only do we have to deal with certain inequities as colleagues, but as life partners. Usually if something unfair happened at work or school I bitch to my gf about it and she does the same to me. But we are constantly put in situations where we are pitted against each other. This is extremely painful for both of us, as we want us to be equally happy. This is just one example of something that happens on a daily basis in a very crucial time in both of our lives. Consider that it's not only hurting me, but her as well. Maybe I didn't explain myself so well as their seems to be a grave misconception of the given scenario.

    k-maps on
  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2011
    If there is one thing I learned in the military it is that women get recognition much easier than men do. Take offense to that if you want but that is my personal experience and observations and were shared by everyone I knew.

    They got selected for awards and promotions more, like way more. I worked in a career field with around 80 percent males but people selected for BTZ (early promotion) were about 50 percent female. It is unfair, it felt like sexism. I do know that they stand out more though and in things like that standing out in any way that isn't negative can help.

    Fizban140 on
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    Few things are fair, and 95% of the time you'll get a benefit from being male. What has happened here is nothing that I don't see in my company and the companies I've worked for over the years. It doesn't matter who or what, but people get treated differently. Sometimes it's because they're a minority or other group. A lot of the time it's because they're female. Get over it and move on. We all get passed over for jobs and promotions, and I simply have to think that you're in for a world of disappointment if this is how you're going to react to every time you don't get what you think you deserve.

    I would totally agree with you, but you seem to ignore a very key fact in this situation. We're in a relationship. This means that not only do we have to deal with certain inequities as colleagues, but as life partners. Usually if something unfair happened at work or school I bitch to my gf about it and she does the same to me. But we are constantly put in situations where we are pitted against each other. This is extremely painful for both of us, as we want us to be equally happy. This is just one example of something that happens on a daily basis in a very crucial time in both of our lives. Consider that it's not only hurting me, but her as well. Maybe I didn't explain myself so well as their seems to be a grave misconception of the given scenario.

    As someone who was married to someone in the same tiny engineering deparment, competed for jobs with, disagreed on career directions (and just life in general with) and eventually divorced my also-engineer husband, I feel for you.

    You have to either be happy for her, be honest that this really bothers you and then let it go, or move on and be with someone who doesn't compete with you. Some couples thrive on competition of this nature, others - myself and my previous relationship included - just don't survive.

    Usagi on
  • DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: dodgeblanRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    Few things are fair, and 95% of the time you'll get a benefit from being male. What has happened here is nothing that I don't see in my company and the companies I've worked for over the years. It doesn't matter who or what, but people get treated differently. Sometimes it's because they're a minority or other group. A lot of the time it's because they're female. Get over it and move on. We all get passed over for jobs and promotions, and I simply have to think that you're in for a world of disappointment if this is how you're going to react to every time you don't get what you think you deserve.

    I would totally agree with you, but you seem to ignore a very key fact in this situation. We're in a relationship. This means that not only do we have to deal with certain inequities as colleagues, but as life partners. Usually if something unfair happened at work or school I bitch to my gf about it and she does the same to me. But we are constantly put in situations where we are pitted against each other. This is extremely painful for both of us, as we want us to be equally happy. This is just one example of something that happens on a daily basis in a very crucial time in both of our lives. Consider that it's not only hurting me, but her as well. Maybe I didn't explain myself so well as their seems to be a grave misconception of the given scenario.

    How is it hurting her?

    DodgeBlan on
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  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    This is just one example of something that happens on a daily basis in a very crucial time in both of our lives. Consider that it's not only hurting me, but her as well. Maybe I didn't explain myself so well as their seems to be a grave misconception of the given scenario.

    I don't mean to be callous, but you sound like I did when I thought that the world revolved around me when I was in undergrad.

    Chill.

    You are in the same basic field, competing for the same narrow "job" field. Is it any surprise that you compete for the same positions? How does it feel to lose to your girlfriend? How would this have been different if you had gotten the position and she had't? I can't image you'd be making a thread (in which case the whole thing would be null and void, eh?).

    You'll be fine. Be proud of your girlfriend and be proud of yourself. This world is far bigger than I think you see it as.

    Best!

    The Crowing One on
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  • k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. 2^<3Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    That said, I understand you're looking for work as many students and soon-to-be-graduates are, and I have the following questions for you that I ask all the young engineers who have sought my advice on that subject:

    How many internships/co-ops/degree-related research jobs have you held?
    Have you been published in a research journal, or presented a technical paper at a industry-related professional organization annual meeting?
    Are you a student member of any professional organizations?
    Have you participated in any project teams or other technical "sports" programs?
    Have you volunteered at your college, with organizations through your college, or independently?
    Have you held a position of authority on any student organization, professional society, or project team?

    I realize that some of these may not apply given that I'm not entirely sure what your degree program is specifically, but the general gist is that just doing university isn't enough these days. I don't mean this to be insulting or derogatory to any new engineering graduates out there, but as someone who has hiring input right now, if I only see a near-4.0 and no work experience (in any of the formats listed above, interpolate as you will) I'm probably going to pass.

    This would be a totally valid point if we ever got to where we submitted resumes. This is pre-pre-pre interview stuff. And yes, I've done everything on that list but sports, and publishing a paper -- which is why this internship is so important.

    k-maps on
  • Shark_MegaByteShark_MegaByte Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    Not holding that against her

    You may believe you're not, or wish you weren't,
    k-maps wrote: »
    She is a preppy private school girl who's been given the world on a silver platter.

    but your choice of words screams that you are holding her background against her.

    Shark_MegaByte on
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    This would be a totally valid point if we ever got to where we submitted resumes. This is pre-pre-pre interview stuff. And yes, I've done everything on that list but sports, and publishing a paper -- which is why this internship is so important.

    Good!

    Is that the only professor you're seeking an internship through? I would suggest, considering that you sound very very defensive and angry, that the two of you have a conversation about not going for the same internships/jobs. Look outside that prof, to other profs or out in the world of industry and make your own space.

    Usagi on
  • k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. 2^<3Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    How is it hurting her?
    Possibly because she cares for me and thinks that it's unfair. Mind-boggling I know.

    k-maps on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    At the very least you know I'm a good student who is trying to get a job and failing.

    Just isolating this very small detail and going to say that, this is frustrating. I'm not accusing you of anything by saying, separate this issue from your girlfriend mentally. This is a rough time to be looking for a job in practically any field, and the little things get you by, including, yes, being a charming, friendly girl with the manners of privileged life. The frustration really isn't coming from the injustice of your girl friend getting more attention, its from the harshness of the market and the fact that you are seeing little opportunities get away from you. Separating the issues isnt accusing you you of anything, its just saying, hey, its unhealthy in the long run to put these issues together. Even if your girlfriend brought it up and agrees, its not really productive.


    You aren't going to get a job by telling these dudes to stop playing favorites, or going to be able to internally shift the way this works. You can, however, try to check your social cues and make sure you arent shooting yourself in the foot by assuming shes having better relations with the department. Im sure there are other professors you might be closer with. If not, you two might want to find some places where you deviate from each other professionally just a little bit.

    Iruka on
  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    I'm not a native English speaker, and moved to the U.S like 5 years ago. I worked my ass off to go and do well in college. She is a preppy private school girl who's been given the world on a silver platter.

    This is futile, there is no possible way I can convince you that this was a purely sexist decision without coming off as a douche. There is one part I don't understand. This is a help forum.

    You already mentioned that because of her upbringing she has command of certain social graces that you do not. Ergo, it is not only plausible, but likely, that any preferential treatment she receives is due to the fact that she is able to navigate social interactions more capably than you are, as opposed to the fact that she is a woman.

    oldsak on
  • k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. 2^<3Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    oldsak wrote: »
    k-maps wrote: »
    I'm not a native English speaker, and moved to the U.S like 5 years ago. I worked my ass off to go and do well in college. She is a preppy private school girl who's been given the world on a silver platter.

    This is futile, there is no possible way I can convince you that this was a purely sexist decision without coming off as a douche. There is one part I don't understand. This is a help forum.

    You already mentioned that because of her upbringing she has command of certain social graces that you do not. Ergo, it is not only plausible, but likely, that any preferential treatment she receives is due to the fact that she is able to navigate social interactions more capably than you are, as opposed to the fact that she is a woman.

    That is very true. There are many cases where that happened! Malcolm Gladwell explained it very well to me, and I accepted it as an advantage Americans with middle/upper-middle class background have; namely the entitlement, finesse and drive to maneuver complex social situations. This was different. She barely interacted with him, which is why we agree it's strange.

    EDIT: I think the term "sexism" really galvanized opinions about this issue. So far, TechGuy is the only one who has been able to see through the PC nonsense of this thread. It's about a guy who is reasonably qualified, but doesn't feel like he is where he should be because of arbitrary reasons. Think "glass ceiling" only insert whatever other systemic arbitrary reasons come to mind. Change the thread to, "Professional impasse and favortism for arbitrary reasons is putting a strain on our relationship".

    k-maps on
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So I'm about to head off to bed, but I wanted to leave with a couple tidbits for you to think about because they're a distinct possibility

    What are you going to do if she gets the internship? Are you going to be able to be happy for her? Are you going to snipe at her or deride her, or just carry your jealousy and anger under the surface until it's time to vent? Talk to her before she applies, be clear on what your plan is, and for the love of god don't let her not apply/take the internship because it might piss you off. Fucking up her future career isn't worth it.

    And for a look into a potential future - how are you going to feel when she makes more money than you? When she promotes faster than you do? Again, are you going to be able to be happy for her, or just simmer away in anger?

    I hope you two work this out, good luck.

    Usagi on
  • k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. 2^<3Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Usagi wrote: »
    So I'm about to head off to bed, but I wanted to leave with a couple tidbits for you to think about because they're a distinct possibility

    What are you going to do if she gets the internship? Are you going to be able to be happy for her? Are you going to snipe at her or deride her, or just carry your jealousy and anger under the surface until it's time to vent? Talk to her before she applies, be clear on what your plan is, and for the love of god don't let her not apply/take the internship because it might piss you off. Fucking up her future career isn't worth it.

    And for a look into a potential future - how are you going to feel when she makes more money than you? When she promotes faster than you do? Again, are you going to be able to be happy for her, or just simmer away in anger?

    I hope you two work this out, good luck.

    Look, luckily there was enough funding and we're both pretty sure we're getting the internship now (Yay us!). Another professor who likes us put in a good word saying we work great as a team (This is very true) prompting the prof to ask her if I can work with her too. Yes, this is an ideal outcome and we're both very relieved and happy.

    Her future was never on the line. As I said, she never expressed interest about the job. It really is a bizarre situation, and frankly it's hard to convey a situation complicated as this in a few forum posts. There are a lot of reasons why he should've contacted me first that are too tedious to enumerate. I don't mind any of the future scenarios you mention as long as they happen under reasonable circumstances. The crux is, we're a couple. We naturally view each other as equals, I hope all couples do. If not in skills/competence then at least in deserving fair opportunity to succeed. I don't see what's so wrong with both of us looking out for each other and working as a team, but apparently I am the MAN trying to keep her down all the time.

    k-maps on
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    k-maps wrote: »
    That is very true. There are many cases where that happened! Malcolm Gladwell explained it very well to me, and I accepted it as an advantage Americans with middle/upper-middle class background have; namely the entitlement, finesse and drive to maneuver complex social situations. This was different. She barely interacted with him, which is why we agree it's strange.

    EDIT: I think the term "sexism" really galvanized opinions about this issue. So far, TechGuy is the only one who has been able to see through the PC nonsense of this thread. It's about a guy who is reasonably qualified, but doesn't feel like where he should be because of arbitrary reasons. Think "glass ceiling" only insert whatever other systemic arbitrary reasons come to mind. Change the thread to, "Professional impasse and favortism for arbitrary reasons is putting a strain on our relationship".

    Do you want (1) A resolution to all current and future favoritism that will set you equal with your girlfriend for all eternity or (2) Sympathy, understanding, and help with the strain this puts on your relationship with your girlfriend? Because you've gotten a lot of (2), which is good, and very little (1), which is because it doesn't exist.

    admanb on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2011
    Tech Guys advice is great, and if you already agree with it, I think you'll be fine. If we are all latching on to the sexism unfairly, fine, but you are smart enough to strip it down to the basic advice at hand.

    What do you want to do about it? Do you want to work with your girl friend on social interactions for self improvement or Do you just want people to see you as equal magically because that would be right? Obviously, the later would be nice, but the former at least gives you something positive to do.

    edit: goddamnit Admanb.

    Iruka on
  • k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. 2^<3Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    admanb wrote: »
    k-maps wrote: »
    That is very true. There are many cases where that happened! Malcolm Gladwell explained it very well to me, and I accepted it as an advantage Americans with middle/upper-middle class background have; namely the entitlement, finesse and drive to maneuver complex social situations. This was different. She barely interacted with him, which is why we agree it's strange.

    EDIT: I think the term "sexism" really galvanized opinions about this issue. So far, TechGuy is the only one who has been able to see through the PC nonsense of this thread. It's about a guy who is reasonably qualified, but doesn't feel like where he should be because of arbitrary reasons. Think "glass ceiling" only insert whatever other systemic arbitrary reasons come to mind. Change the thread to, "Professional impasse and favortism for arbitrary reasons is putting a strain on our relationship".

    Do you want (1) A resolution to all current and future favoritism that will set you equal with your girlfriend for all eternity or (2) Sympathy, understanding, and help with the strain this puts on your relationship with your girlfriend? Because you've gotten a lot of (2), which is good, and very little (1), which is because it doesn't exist.

    Well in terms of (1), I obviously wasn't expecting that, but I thought maybe I had some legitimate recourse in this particular situation, or at least what appears to be a persistent departmental problem. In terms of (2), I mostly just heard that I should suck it up. Which may be true, but it is kind of a non-solution, as it would eventually mean the end of this relationship. There is only so much a person can suppress, or at least it seems to me like a finite ability. Having said that, Tech Guy also PM'd me a general life philosophy that really clicked with me. Believe me, I want to be the awesome boyfriend who doesn't fret about petty things like these, but it gets to this point my brain overloads and I can't help but bitching about it in H&A (slash kicking a few things in my room until the frames on the wall begin to drop).

    k-maps on
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It is tough to be a horse when you are standing next to a unicorn.

    Go find your own success as far away from hers as you can logistically get. Competing with your girlfriend is like Alien vs. Predator: whoever wins, you lose.

    And stop cheating on your goddamn homework, you Philistine.

    DrFrylock on
    Pheezer wrote: »
    I would strongly recommend reading DrFrylock's post thoroughly and considering all of his points individually.
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2011
    Locking this again. Honestly, I think you have what you need from here at this point.

    DrFrylock probably has the right of it.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
This discussion has been closed.