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Fall 2011 Scenarios Discussion

your unexpected qualifications:

Scenario: From a professor “Congratulations on your award! You really deserve it: your high GPA, your research experience, and you're a woman, so you really deserve this!”

Answer Discussion:

  • this may be tricky because you can't really react to this from a professor

jealous classmate:

Scenarior: “Oh, you got into Best University? I didn't, and I have a higher GPA than you. But, you're a woman, so they probably had a couple of spots reserved for women.”

Answer Discussion:

* jealous boyfriend: “You spend a lot of time with Joe in the lab. And, you always talk about him. You can't _just_ be friends with a boy. That's how we hooked up, remember? I don't think you can work in that lab anymore.”

* unevolved classmate: “Why are you in WITS? Are you some kind of feminist?” (probably would mention more about WITS, to help promote their group)

* interview with advisor/boss: the you-can't-get-married-or-can't-have-a-baby (you two may know how to frame this one)

* insensitive boss (this one is real; not sure how to frame): Woman: “Our colleague comments on the outfits that the women in his classes wear, and it makes the students uncomfortable.” Boss: “What kind of things does he say?” Woman: “Oh, just that the dress is pretty or something like that.” Boss: “I hate to think that we live in a world where we can't compliment each other.”

* insensitive boss: you: here is what is happening to me; boss: just develop a thick skin

* not knowing what your capable of: Boss: “A scientific big-wig is coming to our office. I'd like you to talk to her for 30 minutes.” You: “What me? Oh, no. I wouldn't know what to talk to her about. Why don't you ask someone else and if no one else can, then come talk to me.”

* female-stereotypical job assignments: Boss: “You are so much more organized than the rest of us: you're in charge of taking notes for this meeting.”

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