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Spring/Summer 2021

My Father Says

Sara Gilbert

He’s never seen a woman be treated
differently than a man, professionally.
His bosses have been women, his field
is dominated by women, women have
the same privileges in his workplace. 

He hasn’t seen what I’ve seen. He hasn’t
had colleagues ask for his diplomas because
they’ve never heard of his university. He’s
never seen men throw tantrums like toddlers
because he got something they didn’t, even 

though he was more qualified. He’s never sat
across from a man and listened to him explain
something my father already knew, something
my father already experienced, because there
was no way my father could actually understand. 

Not the way I did. 

The first week of my Ph.D. program, a man
in my office said he’d never heard of the
University of Texas at San Antonio and
American College Dublin, and then he asked
if my degrees were real. As if I somehow 

conned my way into a doctoral program with
fake signatures, a vagina, and a smile. My
second week of work, a grown man threw
a tantrum because I was scheduled for less
in-person hours than he was, but paid the same.

I was working on a special project that he felt
he should be entitled to, even though I had
five years’ experience and he had none.
When I said that, he told me I was bragging.

Every semester, there is a man who sits
across from me, and explains how sexism
is affecting the world, how women are
stereotyped, how double standards still exist.
The faces change, but the words are the same. 

[Check out Sara Gilbert's back porch advice]