When OP tells the sister the truth about her job, they ask Reddit:
I (F) feel bad about this, but at the same time, grading diamonds doesn't shape up when our family includes doctors, inventors, professors, and a former NASA employee.
My sister Queenie (not her real name) and I come from a STEM-heavy family. Almost everybody went into the sciences. Name any branch and I can direct you to the parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparent who was involved in that field.
Except Queenie. I hate to say this, because she is intelligent, brilliant and creative in so many ways, but she struggled with science and math in school. She is brilliant at art and English.
So our parents encouraged her to go for an arts degree where she would thrive instead of a science degree, where she would have floundered.
And she graduated with honors. We just didn't realize that getting a job with an English degree would be hard. We were still proud of her when she got a job in the jewelry industry.
But I think she always struggled with being the 'black sheep' of our family and being the only one without a career in science. Especially last year or whenever everybody was talking about what their work was doing at Thanksgiving.
Well, in the last year Queenie enrolled in some courses and became a certified gemologist. I'm really proud of her for this. Her self-esteem has really improved since she got certified.
And here's the part where maybe I should have kept my big fat mouth shut. We were having dinner at our folks place the other night. Queenie and I were on the porch with beer and chatting.
She was gushing about her new work as a gemologist when she brought up how accomplished she feels and is comparable to everybody else in the family now as a 'woman in STEM.'
I respectfully disagreed with her on the 'woman of STEM' part because gemology isn't really a science. Queenie's job now includes conducting quality control on her company's diamond stock in addition to selling the finished pieces.
Her certification wasn't as involved or as intense as what most of us went through, which included years of graduate school on top of internships and research expeditions.
There's not much of a science on determining if a diamond is good enough to place in a brooch. Not when our cousins include doctors, nurses, researchers, chemists, and even an engineer for Tesla!
Long story short, Queenie is now furious with me and refuses to even look at me anymore. My parents are also pissed at me, though most of the extended family does think that gemology isn't a true scientific field. Her job is selling finished, finely cut over priced minerals to a clientele that believes in the deBeers lie.
To me, gemology isn't really a legit scientific field. It's more akin to analyzing properties in crystals and gemstones to determine if it can be sold for thousands of dollars. It's like our crazy 'astrologer' aunt who sells natal charts as a side hustle. AITA?
YTA. Such an AH. Gemology is a branch of geology. Geology is a science. Science is a STEM discipline.
You went out of your way to remind your sister that she’s an outsider and you think her job is fake science.
You know full well how left out she felt and how proud she is of her job and accomplishments and deliberately made her feel like crap. Got to keep her in her place under your heel right?
Woman in STEM here. My work is ridiculously easy compared to a lot of others I know - most notably, teachers (with, gasp, English degrees!) who get paid shit to do one of the hardest jobs in the world, especially in the midst of a pandemic.
My job is stupid easy compared to those heroes. Damn OP. YTA. And your edit makes it even worse as multiple people have pointed out it’s a branch of geology…which from my recollection (with a liberal arts degree) is still science.
YTA. Your sister is educated and employed in a field of science. She is a woman. Therefore she is a woman in STEM. Additionally, you knew she suffered from self esteem issues but finally felt as if she belonged and you took a big ol dump on it. That makes you a double AH.