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Woman's classmates say she has 'pretty privilege,' doesn't deserve grades. AITA?

Woman's classmates say she has 'pretty privilege,' doesn't deserve grades. AITA?

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Being a woman in a male-dominated field can be complicated.

Competition can bring out the worst in people and woman can feel isolated and outnumbered. One woman scored very well in her classes and a group of her classmates began making very obvious comments about why, exactly, she had scored so well. So, she decided to say something.

AITA for reporting my classmates for joking that I have pretty privilege?

Maleficent-Day4476

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 p*ssing contest, and they definitely take me less seriously because I'm a woman.

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 four). 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.

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 over scored 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.

I replied that I don't have a boyfriend (cause he's not my boyfriend), but then B pointed out that he had run into me with the PhD student, making a point to say his name (the professor 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'. She didn't name me, but they figured it out.

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?

Here is what readers had to say to the OP:

thirdtryisthecharm

NTA. Any retaliation should also be reported. They're angling for some big problems if they keep this up.

BelkiraHoTep

Also, if C loses any financial aid, he lost it himself with his actions. He's now trying to emotionally black mail you into taking your accusation back. Don't let them win.

anyoldname7

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.

GreaterAmberjack

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. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

leveraction1970

I would have gone with a very loud in front of the whole class 'Are you saying that your grades are so low because of how ugly you are? That's not right. You should report that.' You know, if It were me and I was a female. It's tough to pull off bitingly bitchy when you've got a beard and are built like a fireplug.

ExemplaryVeggietable

The thing is that women almost never win when making comments like this. Humiliated, nasty men just find new, more direct ways of putting women down. All of that said, your comment is hilarious.

Low_Frosting5987

Get thicker skin and move on.

84Here4Comments84

They are gaslighting you. They were not joking and they knew exactly what they were doing, now playing innocent victim when it bit them in the ass. How it was handled after you reported the behavior is not on you. That was the choice of the supervisor to take it seriously enough to report.

I’m so glad you took action and stopped these bullies as it was likely only going to get worse as you continue to outperform them 🤍

Do you think she was right to call attention to their comments? Have any women experienced anything like this? What did you do?

Sources: Reddit
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