August 11, 2011

A thought - or a moment, maybe - that seemed better suited to blog tl;dring than Plurk. My summer biotech program is wrapping up next week, which means I'm totally stressing about finding a job. Today we did a tour, as a class, of a small local biotech company, and they started with a little Powerpoint presentation, which a bunch of their techs sat in on. All the male techs - wearing jeans, sneakers, and t-shirts. All the female techs - wearing dressy pants, fitted dressy shirts, heels or ballerina flats.

As I was sitting there in sandals, guys' cargo pants, and a t-shirt, I had this sudden fear that I'll get passed over for jobs because of my gender presentation. I dress in 'boy' clothes, and about half the time get identified as male by strangers. I also tend to wear men's suits to interviews because neither of the roughly two dresses I own and think look good on me are interview-appropriate dresses. None of these things particularly bother me, usually - I identify as androgynous and I look damn good in the suit. But I just had like this totally sudden panic about it.

Thinking about it now, I realize it's kind of a stupid worry. I've gotten the job every time I've interviewed (though to be fair, this is three out of three). And it's entirely possible the female lab techs like the way they look in those clothes (not... getting into societal expectations influencing women's views of beauty. That is essays upon essays I am not qualified to write). But it was a really weird moment for me, and I haven't entirely shaken that worry off.