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Preview: Comments on FemaleCSGradStudent: Unleash

Comments on FemaleCSGradStudent: Unleash

Updated: 2016-04-08T03:58:55.379-07:00


Daaaag Leigh. That's a fantastic trio of comments...


Daaaag Leigh. That's a fantastic trio of comments. Perfume as a weapon of mass destruction, femininity and being myself as a sign of strength. All good things.

It's been twenty years since I was a grad stud in ...


It's been twenty years since I was a grad stud in CS. Here's what I've learned from a long career:

Faux masculinity does not help. God's truth. They still know you're a girl no matter how much you try to look like a guy.

The more feminine you look (not ACT -- LOOK) the more strength you have. I promise, they've already noticed you're a girl. A polished, put-together-looking woman is both intimidating and attractive, a deadly combination.

Mascara and lipstick are WEAPONS. Use them. Same with hair dye. Good hair is key. The WMD is perfume. Wear it under your clothes, not on your skin.

Toughness is not less effective because the wielder has on high heels.

If you don't have an inner girlie-girl to let out, ignore what I just said. But do consider the perfume.

Don't, for the love of Mike, ACT "feminine". Talk about what you're interested in, not what they're interested in. Be passionate. Get into their faces if that's necessary. 1000 extra points if you can do that while still staying calm and being polite -- but don't let them talk over you, ignore the points you're making, or talk down to you. Needless to say, don't get the damn coffee.

If you have a southern woman to emulate, do so. I can tell you to go fuck yourself ten different ways, and still leave you convinced that I'm really a sweet lady . . . just one you REALLY don't want to get on the bad side of. They call us steel magnolias for a reason. (Rebecca, work on the tough bitch side of you. You can damn them to hell more effectively if you preface it with "bless your heart".)

You're not going to fit in. Don't try to. Be the smartest, strongest, toughest person in the department instead. The evolved ones (humans) will like you, the mere guys will respect you.

If you find yourself in a nest of mere guys, get your work done, make your goal, and get the hell out of Dodge. There are places to be in the world where humans outnumber men. Find one.

And for God's sake, find a human to shack up with or marry. That makes all the steps above much more pleasant.


Hah! I totally can relate - a few months ago a guy...


Hah! I totally can relate - a few months ago a guy friend, not in my field, helped me move. He spent an entire day, in his words, "looking for something girly" and not finding it.

Great post! I've found it easier to let my femini...


Great post! I've found it easier to let my feminine self show the further along I've gone in my career. Maybe "self security" goes hand in hand with "career security"? Who knows. But good to hear that you're developing a style and approach that work for you.

Just a couple of things I've figured out that work...


Just a couple of things I've figured out that work for me:

1) I dress "funky" a lot: Weird jewelry, vintage t-shirts paired with eileen fisher separates. Geeky guys are usually intimidated by funky women, and it's pretty clear I'm not a least when I'm in the building.

2) I don't talk much. When I do, I speak precisely, in a low octave, and it usually catches attention. And when I'm interrupted, I use my mom voice, "Excuse me, allow me to finish" and I do.

3) I don't act like a secretary. If someone needs help with posting to the website, or e-mailing somebody, I never, ever volunteer help.

Not 100% guaranteed, but these tricks help me cope most of the time.

FemaleCSGradStudent, I know exactly where you're c...


FemaleCSGradStudent, I know exactly where you're coming from. I'm the only woman in my department, and I don't really know how best to fit in.

I certainly have a better sense of fashion than 99.9% of those I work with, but then again that's not much of an accomplishment. I feel like I need to dress up a little bit in order to be taken seriously (business casual vs. my slovenly colleagues' shorts and t-shirts), but then I tend to think if I *did* go for the absent-minded math genius look, maybe I wouldn't be mistaken for a secretary as often.

But even if I had it figured out just how to dress, I still don't know how to behave. I'm too polite for my own good sometimes (thanks, Southern upbringing!), and people just interrupt me and don't listen. I have to get angry before I start to assert myself enough for "the guys" to start listening to what I have to say.

In summary, if you ever get it figured out, let me know! ;)