Re: Girls are still undermined?
Neha's already heard this, but I'll post so everyone else can see what she's talking about.
Though I absolutely adore my team, they are a bit disrespectful at times. I'm friends with a lot of members of other teams, mostly through Corey Balint (25). We're the "chat kids" - we have chats just about every night so we can all catch up with each other and whatnot. Basically, acknowledging these people and other random people that approach me at competitions has gotten me the reputation for being a flirt. In reality, I'm a hyper kid that's just extremely friendly. I don't really mind being called a flirt. But it's now been taken to another level.
An occasional joke was okay, that's all well and good. But I've even just recently gotten comments such as "Take off your shirt and go stand on the corner, we need more people to come" (at a car wash we held last weekend). That's just degrading and rude. It may have been a joke, but I didn't find it too funny, especially since it was delivered with a condescending smile. The weekend before, at a fair for the town my school is in, one of the other girls on my team, who I happen to be good friends with, interrupted me while I was doing PR [we had our bot there, I was explaining to parents & kids alike about our robot and about FIRST], and called me over, saying "Carli, could you hold these oreos and stand in front of the tent? We need more people to buy them, and you're the hot one." Well, I was flattered by the compliment, but I'd trade being considered 'hot' for being taken seriously any day.
During build last year, every time I asked to help do something, I was told that people "didn't have time" to teach me, or that I "didn't know anything" and I should go back to doing 'other stuff'. Which brings me to another situation where a new male member of the team (joined end of school last year) commented to myself and a few other girls on the team that we should "go back to making up weird things to make us look like freaks at competitions" and "stop worrying about important things" because we didn't know anything about them, or something of the sort. What he was referring to is the fact that we're all involved in spirit and PR and such - in fact, I'm chair of Events Planning [PR, Outreach, Fundraising], one of the others is chair of Media, and the third the chair of Spirit. We earned our positions. But we do plenty more for the team as well, and we'd do even more if people didn't prevent us from doing it.
They criticize us for 'not knowing enough' yet won't teach us. So all of a sudden it's our fault that we weren't raised with a background in engineering? That we became interested in it along the way and wanted to learn? Well excuse us, we should've known better than to think girls had a place in technology. I've gotten (and still get) tons of other comments about this, year-round.. It's pretty frustrating. Now, I know that many of the comments that are made are in jest, which is fine.. I can take a joke just fine. But when it comes down to saying things that are downright cruel and crossing the line, it's not fun and games anymore. I also know that not all teams are like this. I mean, I do love my team. I just wish that they would understand that I'm not here just to look cute, that I want to learn, and though I do contribute to everything else, I want to have my hands on the robot too.
I don't want to just write chairman's, and plan events, and make cheers, wave posters. Sure, that's all fun. But I'm interested in the robot and it's mechanics, too. But I can't learn, and I never will know very much, unless someone teaches me. If i get blown off every time I ask, I make no progress. And that's not gracious professionalism. It's not a real team. I don't care what the result is, if everyone can't work together and help each other out, it's not as valuable as if the team unites. Excuse the long post, guys. Just had a lot to say on the topic =p. Ask for clarification if you need it, please don't be offended by anything, have a good day =). And please treat your teammates with respect.
Last edited by C.Roberts 1089 : 10-20-2005 at 10:50 PM.
Reason: Cory wanted paragraphs =p.