Actually, It's Her


Gather 'round, folks, it's time for another I Fought the Law feminist rant.

Dr M and I went to Skate's on the Bay last night to celebrate the receiving of Dr M's Master's Degree. When you call Skate's to make a reservation they always ask if it's a special occasion, and if it is they give you a complimentary dessert. So, when Dr M made the reservation she told them that we'd be celebrating a Master's Degree.

We arrived at the restaurant to claim our window table. The hostess looked us up, saw the note, and said, to me, "Congratulations on your Master's Degree! What did you get it in?" I was a little put off at being asked about a degree I didn't earn, so I pointed to Dr M and said, "It's her degree, actually." The hostess then shifted her attention and the conversation progressed to its logical conclusion, and Dr M and I had a wonderful dinner overlooking the bay and didn't think much of it.

Until the end of the meal, when our waiter brought use a big slab of key lime pie, looked directly at me, and said, "Congratulations on your degree. Where did you get it?" Again, I pointed to Dr M, and said, "It's her." And again the conversation progressed after the minor hiccup.

So there you have it. Latent gender stereotyping lurks in every corner.


What would have been funny is if Matt took the conversation to it's logical conclusion by telling them that Yes, he had received his MA, and it was in Advanced Masturbation or something like that.

Hmm, I was going to make the point that stereotypes are usually based on truth (i.e. because men get more master's degrees than women, it makes sense for people to assume that it's the man who's celebrating his degree) but then, just to make sure I didn't say something stupid, I searched the internet for statistics on master's degree attainment by sex and found this:

which shows that after 1980, women have been consistently getting more master's degrees than men. I couldn't find anything to reflect what's been going on after 1994, but I'm assuming that since our sex rocked it for 15 years until then, we're probably still kicking butt higher-education wise. So now I'm much more annoyed about this assuming-the-man-got-the-degree thing than I was before and I'm wondering why, if for 25 YEARS it's been women getting the most higher degrees why the stereotype hasn't shifted accordingly?

yes, women are definitely ahead in the higher education game, especially outside the sciences (though i believe women now slightly outnumber men in medical school as well). in the current first-year class at boalt there are very few penises.

there's way more females in my master's program (asian studies) then men.

but maybe there is a difference between MA's and PhD's? maybe more men are still getting PhD's? i have no idea. but that would skew the whole more women in MA programs due to the fact that men are just in PhD programs and get their MA's along the way.

Or MSs, as the case may be. I don't think Jacob's getting an MA for fiddling around with protein crystals and diffraction patterns. Maybe if the patterns were really pretty he could get a Master of Fine Arts for them, though.

for the record, dr m on her way to a doctorate. she got her MA because she proposed her dissertation.

well, rock on vaginas then. and suck it, penises, suck it.

in my head that was totally not as gross at first.

Also for the record: holohan was wearing a mortarboard during dinner. I made an honest mistake, and I believe that he is misleading you all only for the sake of a story.

Way to create the news, Perry White.

It looks like men do get more PhD's than women-- did anybody know that? And did anyone know, for sure, who was getting more master's degrees? I think this is just one of those annoying things that's based on everyone's impression of what they assume is going on, rather than what they know to be true.

Besides, men are probably just getting more PhD's because it's easier to afford them with their higher-than-a-woman's salaries. And also because they don't spend their free time having babies and making pie. If only I could stop having babies and making pie...

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on October 21, 2004 7:50 AM.

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