I feel like the political, cultural and social environment of today requires that I continue to address the issue of sexual discrimination as it pertains to my life.
I have posted previously on the gender gap in the US, and my personal experience with discrimination. As if being a woman in this world wasn’t hard enough, being a female scientist comes with a whole new set of prejudice. After reading this article I began wondering how many of my actions are unconsciously driven by the impulse to blend in. How hard am I trying to not let my gender define me?
Since I moved to Miami I have struggled with my femininity more than ever before. I grew up in a town where if you weren’t wearing jeans and a t-shirt you were “dressed up” and must be “going out.” In Miami, regardless of what you are doing, being in a dress and heels is considered normal, and nobody gives you a second look. The more colorful, and patterned and skimpy the more you blend in. Suddenly I found that the neutral/dark colors of my wardrobe were 1) impractical because of the heat and humidity and 2) unusual. I expanded my fashion to include skirts, and slowly to dresses, but I struggle to feel comfortable in these new articles of clothes. For the longest time I’ve considered this discomfort to be linked to my body image struggles. Now I am starting to think that they have more to do with protecting my image as a capable scientist.