So, Alexandra said something interesting the other day, and then again on a recent post of mine.
I was talking about how I feel really embarrassed and inadequate sometimes because I didn't choose to pursue math, engineering, the sciences. I am a feminist; I am supposed to be breaking boundaries and proving girls can do all kinds of manly things too. So, I often feel I ought to be awesome at mechanics, cars, carpentry, street fighting, physics, and computers, and never have to call a man to fix the water heater. Instead, what do I do? I do girly things. I do language (god, please, don't send me an article about how women's brains are designed for language and men's brains are designed for logical thinking). I do literature, art, I do knitting, social sciences.
I am not doing the valuable or hard things. Obviously, though, the things that I do are valuable, and not everyone is good at them. I have internalized the value system that says, fields with more women in them are silly and easy, and fields with more men in them are important. So when I hang out with this engineer, even though he has not implied any kind of judgment at all I feel this anxiety about finding a way to prove I am smart and do worthwhile things and that I am not just 'another' silly girl just because I don't understand his work. I am a human being worth taking seriously.
Anyway, when I was talking about this anxiety with Alexandra, she said:
I think you should to play up your accomplishments a little when in one of these conversations when you're not feeling valuable, because you know the guys are doing it.
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