*curtsies* Hello Duke! Could you enlighten us on any instances in which you experienced sexism in academics and how you dealt with it?
*Curtsies* Here’s the thing: you’re going to run into sexism in academia pretty much every day. I could list individual instances but it would be exhausting, so I’m just going to talk in general terms. Like it or not, academia is still an old boys’ club in a lot of ways, and even though women are storming the castle, there will always be scholars, professors, and other students who treat women as inferior creatures. Sorry. You can’t eradicate it, no matter how hard you try or how unfair and unfounded it is. Welcome to the world. It’s a shitty place. What you can do is (1) refuse to accept this kind of shitty behavior and (2) prove them wrong. What I mean by refusing to accept shitty behavior is not pitching a fit when something doesn’t go your way and immediately starting to scream about sexism, because that can very quickly turn into a girl-who-cried-wolf kind of situation and people will write off all of your complaints, legitimate or not. What I mean is that when you see sexism in academia, directed at you or anyone else, do what you can to call it out and correct it in a calm, professional way. If a male classmate interrupts you, say, “Excuse me, I wasn’t finished.” Don’t apologize for things that aren’t your fault, and don’t jump through hoops to stroke a man’s ego or make life easier for him at your own expense. Speak up when you want to. Make your voice heard, make sure other women’s voices are heard, and encourage them to make their own voices heard. But the most important thing is to prove the old boys wrong. Refuse to let a man’s idea of what’s appropriate for or expected of a woman limit you. Write the best damn paper in your class. Do the best damn research at your school. Do the best damn talk at your conference. Refuse to stay in the box where a man tries to put you because it makes him more comfortable.