Have you ever been left out because of your gender?

I’d like to invite you to share your stories here.

Have you ever been left out because of your gender? What happened? What did that feel like? What did you do about it?

Have you ever been welcomed into a gender-specific group that you weren’t sure you belonged in? What gave you the feeling that you didn’t belong there? How did you feel in the group? What did you do about that?

People of ALL genders are encouraged to reply.

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One Response to Have you ever been left out because of your gender?

  1. Elaine says:

    First boyfriend in college (A) lived on a philosophy living-learning hall. There was a lot of bonding going on there, particularly among a decent proportion of the male residents. Females who spent time with this group mostly tended to be those dating one of the members. (I am not entirely sure how much this might have been due to other female hall residents being annoyed by the juvenile tendencies of these guys and opting not to hang out with them, and how much might have been due to females being actively left out.) I didn’t live on the hall but spent a lot of time there, and I often felt like I was being treated differently, like I was less intelligent, or my presence wasn’t welcomed, because I was female, and that even A was treating me this way. When one of the guys set up a Starcraft competition online, I joined with the screen name “smarter than I look”, but this was too subtle for these guys.

    The only other girl who hung out regularly with this group was Alexandra, later to become my best friend, but we did not know each other so well yet at this time. She moved to this hall during the second semester and started dating A’s roommate, B. It turned out that B used her and ultimately dumped her. Since everyone on the hall was all up in each other’s business all the time, everybody knew exactly when this was going to transpire and another guy on the hall, P, and I waited to comfort her after this went down. As it turned out, though, P felt his number-one priority was not to be supportive but rather to defend B’s behavior and assert male solidarity, to the point of saying “Well, it’s true B was a jerk, but he’s a guy so I’m still pretty much going to hang out with him”.

    I’ve been welcomed into gender-specific groups where I felt uncomfortable, when the bonding in said groups consisted of discussions that made me uncomfortable–complaining about male partners in very sex-stereotypical ways, for instance. This isn’t limited to gender-specific groups. I land myself in mixed-gender groups where the conversation makes me uncomfortable too. I try to come up with a pithy statement to counter the prevailing sentiment when this happens.

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