Someecards Logo
Male classmates publicly accuse student of 'pretty privilege' for her better grades.

Male classmates publicly accuse student of 'pretty privilege' for her better grades.


Being a woman in a male-dominated field is a hardship all on it's own, but what should you do when your teammates are determined to make it even harder?

When a young woman scored higher marks than her male counterparts, she found herself the center of a sexist smear campaign. After reporting her classmates' behavior, they told her she had overreacted and possibly ruined their academic careers. So, she came to Reddit to see if that was actually the case.

'AITA (Am I the a-hole) for reporting my classmates for joking that I have pretty privilege?'

A since deleted user writes:

Background: I'm (F23) one of only a few female students in a male-dominated course.

Furthermore, I am at a highly prestigious university and I haven't really gotten along with the guys on my course. They are all very competitive and I just don't really enjoy their company - everything turns into a pissing contest, and they definitely take me less seriously because I'm a woman.

Sounds fun!

I stopped interacting with them beyond the mere minimum and choose to hang out with other people.

Anyway: I did well in our recent exams (I topped two out of four exams we had so far). Our professor congratulated me during class (I wouldn't have advertised this myself).

Ever since then, my interactions with a specific group of male classmates have gotten weird. They're now outright rude and challenge me aggressively in class discussions.

Like having a target on your back.

We recently had some presentations and one of them chose to do theirs on, to put it simply, 'pretty privilege' - they specifically pointed to two papers that suggested that pretty female students get overscored in assessments. The other guys in the group snickered and one even gave me a wink.

Afterwards, I heard them in the hallway joking that 'they had experience with that themselves'.


I've been seeing a PhD student within our department for a month. He has literally nothing to do with our course. Well, we ran into one of my course mates A together.

The next day in class his friend B asked me if 'my boyfriend' helped me with exams. He said this intentionally loudly and in front of the professor, who heard this.

That's so unprofessional.

I replied that I don't have a boyfriend (cause he's not my bf), but then B pointed out that he had run into me with the PhD student, making a point to say his name (the prof knows him). I just replied that we're only friends.

They didn't let up - I heard that they discussed this thing in two more classes, in earshot of the professors. Both times they suggested I got help for my exams (I wasn't even seeing him then).

I didn’t confront them, but this has been causing me so much anxiety - even without the exam accusations, I worked hard to get here and I don’t want to be known among the faculty for my dating life.

I raised this issue with my supervisor, without the intention of taking it any further, but I wanted her advice as a woman in academia. She convinced me to let her email their supervisors 'to remind them of proper conduct' and described their treatment of an 'unnamed female student'.

About time.

She didn't name me, but they figured it out.

Uh oh.

They confronted me after class and asked my why I would report their “silly joke“. Apparently, their supervisors are now very cold towards them and less interested in helping.

It’s not a formal complaint - only their supervisors know - but one of them, C, said his supervisor writes the reports for his financial aid/scholarship and it was my fault if he lost out on that.

I now feel a bit embarrassed and this was compounded by a friend telling me I took it to far cause C shouldn't lose out on his scholarship. So, reddit - AITA (am I the a-hole)?

What do you think? Is OP overreacting to some normal college ribbing? Or is the treatment she's enduring far more insidious than some 'silly joke'?

Reddit was team OP and ruled a unanimous NTA (not the a-hole).

anyoldname7 writes:

If their “pretty privilege joke” made you lose out on a scholarship or caused you to be graded extra hard, they wouldn’t give it a crap. They intentionally and repeatedly made this “silly joke” out loud, in front of professors.

NTA. Maybe they should have thought about treating you with respect and professionalism BEFORE it had to come from a place of authority.

Throwawaydaughter555 says:

OP just keep escalating this bullshit. Document everything. Call campus security on them. I’m so tired of little boys playing at being men and trying intimidation tactics.

babcock27 agrees:

This is sexual discrimination and harassment and he should lose his scholarship if the school chooses. They can pretend it was a joke, but you have several people who can verify they did this in other classes she wasn't in. They were trying to get her in trouble or expelled for doing better than them. That's illegal harassment. NTA

lordliv suggests:

NTA. Tell them maybe people would be more motivated to help them if they smiled more.

GreaterAmberjack comments:

NTA - they know what they’re doing because jokers like this have been doing it for years - undermine your accomplishments, question your abilities and then act shocked when you stand up for yourself. I’m happy (and somewhat surprised) that the faculty and administration is treating this as seriously as it deserves.

And Ok_General_6940 offers some advice:

NTA at ALL. These men can't stand having a competent woman around. I have worked in a male dominated field for over a decade and I want to commend you on standing up for yourself. This is bullsh*t you shouldn't have to put up with and I'd start documenting everything.

I'd also go talk to that first professor 1:1 and ask them not to announce your grades publicly again. I had to do that in my undergrad, and it helped immensely. Good luck OP, don't let these immature asshats chase you away from something you love.

Well, it looks like OP did the right thing.

Good for her for bringing to the administration's attention! And if any of those creepy dude get in trouble, it's only a result of their own actions.

Sources: Reddit
© Copyright 2023 Someecards, Inc

Featured Content