This is a series of snippets from the life a female scientist – examples of what male (or female) mentors and PIs should never say to their female students/colleagues.
1. We bet with your increased salary you’d get breast implants.
This was said to me at a public lunch table surrounded by numerous colleagues, regarding a raise I’d received by accepting a new position. If I’d been a man, would they have bet about pectoral or testicle implants?
2. Don’t be a “shrinking violet.”
This was said to me while I sat next to the most taciturn man I’ve ever known. No one called him a “shrinking violet.” Presumably he was just a “thoughtful silent type.”
3. Come on Angels.
This was said by a PI while I was walking to a meeting with two other grad students. We happened to be a redhead, a brunette, and a blonde.
4. You really have put on weight, your ass is bigger.
5. Women live longer then men because they don’t work as hard.
6. The only intelligent woman I know is my wife.
7. You don’t dress like a scientist.
8. Do you plan on having a baby anytime soon?
La Científica would like to note: If you’re uncertain of whether you’re about to say something which might be offensive, a good rule of thumb is a simple test: if this person were a man, would I say exactly the same thing to them, with pronouns reversed as needed?