At misbehaving, some of our regular readers asked us to get a bit more personal, share some of the trials and tribulations of being a woman in tech. Translation: stop being so darn theoretical. I had true hesitations about this. First, it meant putting my own neuroses on display, highlighting situations that can be interpreted in a variety of different ways. But more importantly, it meant highlighting situations that involved people who could very likely read misbehaving.
Yesterday, i had an experience that reminded me that i’m a girl, not just a person. I decided to post it to misbehaving, complete with neuroses, comments off. I’m fully aware of all the different ways that it could be read; i’m fully aware that the men who responded think i should lighten up or deal with being the fairer sex. That’s NOT the point. The point is that no matter how hard i try to put my chin up in real life, these moments sting. I’ve spent my whole life being told that i shouldn’t be sensitive, shouldn’t take things personally. The reason to post this on to misbehaving is because these moments of sting are something that other people go through and don’t talk about because society is telling them to be more hegemonic. That doesn’t make them go away; we just bury them and pretend everything’s all right.
Don’t get me wrong: i’m not screamingly upset. Frankly, i was far more nervous and concerned about posting the damn thing than going through the situation. But i wanted to lay out the experience, the emotions for others to read and understand. Not because i had worried myself sick or magnified the situation out of proportion. It was a situation, it would pass, but maybe some good would come out of posting it for others to see. It is the raw emotions, the logic in our heads that bring us to a situation. We rarely make this visible. For those who don’t understand, the goal isn’t to give you fodder to attack. Instead, try understanding what life from my perspective might look like.
And then the unexpected happened. Bless his heart, the owner of said comment made a public apology. He didn’t need to own up to that statement, but he did. And he went on to offer his emotional reaction to my tinge of hurt. And he continued on to defend both me, my post and my sense of humor (ah, yes, public support is the quickest way to make me respect someone). So, i’m floored. And surprised. And terribly appreciative.