Yup. That's me. Or so I'm told.
I was surprised by my reaction.
Basically, I can't process this information. I do know that I'm furious.
First of all, I don't think I'm very feminine. I don't often wear skirts or heels. My voice is naturally high pitched, but my Science Voice is noticeably lower.
I don't think of myself as someone who laughs a lot, but I was told that I giggle too much.
This I find hilarious, since I've also been told, repeatedly, that I'm too negative! Lately I'm so depressed that the only genuine laugh you'll hear out of me is one of black humor.
I was also told that search committees want to see that you are Authentic, but that the most important impression you make is all the superficial stuff: appearance, body language.
I'm sure this is all true, but my overly literal and logical brain can't process why the world, people, scientists... would be like this.
The options, as I see them presented to me, are:
a) Change drastically to fit the system, expectations, whatever.
b) Be a Proud Female who is somehow magically successful AND feminine.
I suspect this is the hardest road, though I know there are some (rare) women who manage to pull it off. My fear is the usual- that I'm not Good Enough to be one of those.
c) Quit, so I can live with myself as I am instead of trying to change to please oe impress people I'm not even sure I like or want to work with for the rest of my life.
Now, I know that it's one thing to have a Work Persona who is Not You, but since we work so much, I find it hard to believe one can pretend to be something without becoming it.
Despite all my efforts to appear more Grown Up and Professional, apparently one of the things that is hurting me most is somethingthing I'm not at all sure I can or want to change.
Sure, it would have been easier- a LOT easier- if I were born a boy. But at this point? I don't like this job THAT much. Maybe I should buy a strap-on and wear that for a while.
Labels: women in science