Guest post: With my personhood totally stripped from me

Originally a comment by iknlast on Preserving the sanctity of the big tent.

Make a new twitter account using a man’s name. Choose a picture not of a person but one with masculine bent. Use that account at least a week, but longer is better.

My son actually tried this experiment in reverse. He gamed as a woman. And as a man in the same setting at a different time. His results were predictable, and eye-opening, even to someone like my son who was already fairly enlightened about the issue. The amount of hate he got was intense – and he wasn’t even talking about feminism or the rights of women, he was just playing a game as a woman.

If people really want to know when I feel like a woman, it is when being met with blistering contempt, bored indifference, or violent hostility toward some activity I am performing or some argument I am making. I feel it in my classroom when I have my students draw a picture of a typical scientist, and they all draw men (beards are required to be a scientist, apparently), even though there is a woman standing in front of them, a trained scientist who has published scientific research, and is in the process of teaching them about science. At those times, I actually do feel like a woman, with my personhood totally stripped from me.

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