Femininity & capability

From a young age I tried my hardest to not act too ‘girly.’ Yet, stereotypical female things were things I preferred like dresses, flowers, makeup, and pink. At home, I made my entire room pink; pink sheets, pink rug, even down to a pink fan and yes it was extremely ugly. Outside of my house I acted like I hated pink. During elementary school you could find me racing the other boys on the playground or arguing with them about why softball was just as valid of a sport as baseball. At the time acting less feminine was subconscious; however, now as I analyze this part of my childhood I can identify exactly why I was acting that way. I wanted to prove that I was just as athletic, smart, and capable as the boys.

Ten years later, I found that I was still trying to prove myself. There is still an outdated idea that women are less academic and it is bleeding into our society today. As a woman in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field, I am still fighting these societal standards.

Around the country and at San Marin there are still gender gaps in AP STEM courses. This gap internalizes how society sees gender and academia. For example, at San Marin the AP Calculus AB class has only 9 females out of 34 students. This is also reflected in the AP Physics class where there are only 12 females out of 32 students.

I took both of these courses my junior year. While taking these classes I felt I couldn’t be both feminine and seen as smart. However, after reflecting on why I was attempting to hide my femininity I consciously changed my actions. It encouraged me to be more confident in my identity and truly know that I can be a smart, feminine woman. This is why I wear pink: to prove that women are just as academic and to fight this outdated, unacceptable societal standard.

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