“Yes, being in a female dominated field, I do know what it means to be marginalized. “
oh my fucking god
The really ugly part is they’ve actually done multiple sociological studies on this, and guess what the result is? Men in female-dominated fields aren’t marginalized at all; they get special treatment and are fast-tracked to the top, getting more credit for their work, faster promotions, and greater pay and benefits than their female colleagues.
Here’s one study. Here’s another. And another.
I’ve actually experienced this myself. When I was read as male I worked in women’s clothing stores and departments, and rather than treat me as less knowledgeable, customers assumed I was MORE knowledgeable and preferred to talk to me because they assumed that if men (or people they perceived as men) were in a “women’s” field, they must be REALLY qualified. Sometimes they would assume I was the manager. And I really didn’t know anything, but they took my word as gospel.
The opposite is true now, when people read me as a woman and I’m doing something computer related. Despite that that IS something I have a background in, people tend to assume I don’t know anything, are skeptical at what I say, and prefer to get a man to help them, because they feel more confident in what he says, even if it’s wrong.
In my experience, people don’t assume that women in male dominated fields must be there because they have superior knowledge or ability, they assume they’re the weakest link in the chain. But for men, they assume they must be the strongest link to have made it in. Regardless of whether a field is male or woman dominated, the ideas we have in society about men being more knowledgeable, rational, able to solve problems, determined, and as the most reliable narrators still persist.