The only girl in the boys club?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

Advice to women who find themselves the only woman in the room:

What If I Complain And Get Laughed At And Dismissed?

Well this might happen 99% of the time, because that is how men are socialized to react to being uncomfortable. The other option is that they get quiet and squirrelly and weird and constipated about talking. It sucks to have to call people out. But it is important, because that is the only way anything is ever going to change. Women have done everything in their power to conform to the existing power structures (even though those structures generally run and ruin our lives). Straight white men are the ones who have to change. They have to.

Lowered Expectations, The Double Edged Sword:

When men demonstrate or betray surprise that you know a lot about something or have mastered a skill that they care about, it unfortunately just shows that some guys still don’t expect women to care about anything. Except being pretty and shopping and having thoughts that are somehow completely unlike male thoughts in any way. They think we don’t like dumb obsessive information hoarding. They think our brains are wired differently. They are wrong. Sasha Baron-Cohen’s brother is wrong (man u so fucking wrong Simon).

The flip side of exceptionalism for anyone from an oppressed group is the realization that you are only considered exceptional because the system is sooooooo fuckkkkkked uppppppppp. The idea that it’s fair and you just worked your way in because you’re so hyper-talented is a useful seeming illusion that stops benefiting you the moment it fucks over somebody else. When men are like “wow you’re so cool, you’re not like most girls” it always begs the question oh my god what do you think girls are like?

Some people will never want to talk about the way things are or how and why they got that way. if you end up exiled or excluded from the boys’ club for not towing the party line, start your own fucking club. I’ll come! I’ll bring a lovely bottle of orange soda.